(As published in the Sunday Star Times, September 7, 2014: www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/10576284/Performance-boosting-tips-to-end-the-year)
It can be difficult to concentrate and stay motivated at this time of year, right? I’m hearing it from a lot of my business coaching clients – they’re frazzled after a long winter, dying for a break and their motivation is beginning to wane. I get it – after 40+ hours at work, it can be a challenge to remain enthused and focused on your business (or job) day in, day out. But you have to take steps to correct this: once you become slothish or lazy, your business (or job performance) will slide.
I was talking to a lady the other day who said she had “food fatigue”. After cooking for two kids, her husband and herself pretty much every night, she was over it. She was sick of her usual repertoire, she couldn’t face banging about the pots and pans to create the usual suspects, and she’d started to dread the end of the day when she’d have to start thinking about the evening meal again.
While she was speaking, I started to realise that her food fatigue could be solved in much the same way as our declining motivation in the workplace.
* She could buy a food magazine or two to look for new and exciting recipes to try. Likewise, we could buy a business book by someone who will inspire. Have you read Richard Branson’s book yet? If anyone can encourage you to not give up, it’s this guy.
* She could ask a friend to share a favourite meal that she could try her hand at, while we could get together with a business-minded friend for advice and a new outlook on things. Nothing gets you motivated and inspired like talking to someone whose opinion you respect and who you constantly learn from.
* There are plenty of cooking classes out there that she could try (Milly’s Kitchen have some good ones!). In the same vein, if you want to up-skill or refresh your knowledge, there are loads of business courses out there, from evening or day courses to ones that run over a weekend.
* She could go online and search for new recipes, in the same way that we can easily jump online and hunt out relevant research, webinars and knowledge to inspire, educate and motivate.
* She could write down all the recipes she knows. Sometimes, you just need a “reccie” to realise what it is you know, what you need to work on and what you can use that you’d forgotten about. For us in business, this may take the form of reviewing your business goals from the start of the year. Reflect on what steps you’ve taken towards them. Remind yourself of why they are important to you and what the end picture means to you.
* She could join a foodie group, where they swap ideas, recipes and reviews on a regular basis. We could join a business circle: meet with people who energise us, who have new ideas, good enthusiasm, similar or better business experience. People who will mull ideas over with you, bounce a few your way, who want to hear about your business and offer an unbiased (but hopefully somewhat educated) view.
* Unfortunately for my foodie friend, I can’t easily think of a comparative example for my best tip of all to staying focused and motivated and on-track: hire a business coach. They will keep you accountable and enthused (guaranteed ha ha)! Guess the equivalent would be having a “master chef” come to your house regularly to give you tips on how to cook more delicious food (how cool would that be!).
The great news is there is enough of this 2014 year to go for you to make it a great one. So what are you going to do differently to max your 2014 performance?