Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions day in day out wondering: what’s it all for? is this all there is?
Matt, 12 months into his role, felt disconnected from the potential he saw in his role originally. His change projects were taking twice as long and were twice as hard as he’d predicted. He felt flat, frustrated and in a rut. Sound familiar?
You want to reconnect back into work. But how?
You need to regain a sense of meaningful progress. Researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer discovered the progress principle when they researched workplace factors that influenced motivation¹.
Their research discovered that sensing progress being made was the single most important factor in boosting positive emotion and motivation. Whether you’re trying to disrupt the market or improve a process, everyday progress—even a small win—can make a big difference in how you feel and perform.
Small wins count – a lot
Think about a time when you’ve had a vague, complex or challenging task. Instead of focusing on that task you suddenly find yourself getting through your emails. Why? Because completing simple tasks gives you a sense of progress: 50 emails down to 30 – it feels good!
Here are 10 ways to focus on making meaningful progress:
- Be clear on your goals are and what’s expected of you
- Make sure you have the autonomy to create opportunities that you own, drive and deliver
- Know what ‘nailed it’ performance looks like and create milestones around it that keep you on track. Picture the success you want.
- Create space to think critically and creatively so your best ideas flow
- Say no to stuff that will distract you
- Keep your ego in check. Be wary of making judgements that create emotional drama in your head. Have purposeful conversations that move you forward.
- Build relationships with others that offer you encouragement and support.
- Ask for feedback so you can learn from mistakes and successes
- Take time to self-reflect on where you’re at, where your focus needs to be and what could get in the way.
- Don’t expect too much of yourself. You’re not perfect. You have professional progress to make too. Manage your self-talk and get out of your comfort zone – it’s where your development lies.
Bringing it all together
You need to able to create forward momentum in your role in order to make meaningful progress. When your big game combines great work, great relationships with a feedback loop that provides meaningful progress – then you know you’re onto a motivational winner. That’s how to reconnect back into your role.
What can you do to give yourself a mojo boost?
¹The Progress Principle: Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer, Harvard Business Review Press 2011