Are you an entrepreneur or an executive who typically eats a rushed lunch hunched over the keyboard? Do you find yourself too swamped with work to take a break?
You may believe that you’re an expert multi-tasker capable of handling it all but the truth is being pulled in too many directions can take a huge toll on your physical and emotional well-being.
Over the years, I’ve worked with all kinds of entrepreneurs and business executives at different levels and I have come to the realization that staying busy and not creating downtimes in the daily schedule is the number one reason behind reduced productivity, poor health and loss of motivation.
And especially for those who’re looking to burn a few calories and stay fit, it’s during this time that they begin to slack on their workouts and diets. They begin slacking and eventually give up these healthy habits all together.
Losing motivation is normal in the workplace today. A recent survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in India revealed that 91% of workers are actively disengaged at the workplace (1).
But you don’t have to lose hope yet. There’s a silver lining behind every challenge even though we might not be able to see it right away.
That’s why having a friend, mentor or a coach who can see your life situation from a non-judgemental lens can help tremendously.
With that said, here are a few strategies I encourage my clients to use to eliminate their stress and increase motivation at work…
Reduce the cortisol overflow:
Just for a moment… picture a headless chicken. Can you see it clearly?
Well… that’s what you are going to turn into in a couple of weeks (or months from now).
Most entrepreneurs and corporate executives today are exhausted and frazzled. They just don’t have the motivation to keep going anymore. They only do it because they have to. Their cortisol levels are just too high and they are incredibly stressed.
Stress is normal and natural. It’s a part of life. It’s one of those things that help you grow. Physical stress that you apply at the gym helps your muscles grow. Similarly, mental and emotional stress that you apply on yourself by doing challenging things helps you grow.
But that only works to a certain extent. At the gym, if you over train yourself during your workouts, the natural result is injury. Similarly, if you burn yourself out mentally and emotionally, the natural side effect is lack of focus and loss of motivation.
You have to learn to release the excess cortisol from your body. You have to learn how to de-stress yourself. There are many things you can do to alleviate some of your stress such as…
- Taking short mini breaks (vacations for 2 – 3 days) with no mail, no work during your off time
- Sleeping for 8 – 10 hours a night for 2 straight days w/o a worry
- Practicing meditation before going to bed
- And so on.
You Always Have Control Over Your Work More Than You Think:
Most executives feel that they literally have no control over the work they do. They find themselves bombarded by a bunch of emails and tasks everyday… that they never have the time to think through and plan things effectively.
In order to be an effective executive or entrepreneur, one needs to learn to balance the kind of work they do.
Most of the emails and tasks that you get from your colleagues or co-workers will include pending tasks that will have an impact on the present or the immediate future. Example – fixing a software bug, answering a co-worker’s question, talking on the phone with a customer.
While these tasks are certainly important, they will only have an impact on the present moment or the immediate future. The problem here is that for every 3 such tasks that you complete, 5 more new ones will open up for you.
All of a sudden – you’ll find yourself endlessly working on one thing after another without anytime at all to catch your breath.
There’s a huge difference between getting things done and being productive. Productive people aren’t people who get the most things done. These people only take care of a few important things that make a big impact for themselves and the organization.
Most productive executives are future-focussed. They spend most of their time focussing on tasks and activities that if done today will have a tremendous impact in the future (1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now). They also work on tasks that require immediate attention as well but they schedule time later in the day for such tasks.
Examples of high priority long-term value tasks include – Working on the 2.0 version (or the next version of the software), creating better documentation to answer most co-worker’s questions, training other people to handle phone calls with customers (or creating a Frequently Asked Questions sheet).
The most important thing to realize is that you can’t become more successful in the past or the present. You can only be successful in the future.
Performing urgent activities will only alleviate some of the stress associated with the present moment… but it won’t necessarily make you successful. You’ll only make progress on your goals when you focus and work on your future-based activities.
So think and choose your tasks wisely. Always plan your tasks beforehand and schedule time to get to emergency tasks later in the day.
Use Exercise To Bust Stress:
An exercise regimen is imperative for all executives and entrepreneurs that work long hours on critical tasks and projects.
After working with some of the busiest Entrepreneurs and executives, I’ve come to the conclusion that exercise and work go hand in hand. By exercising more, you are bound to be more creative, mentally sharp and efficient.
Despite of experiencing the benefits of exercise first-hand, many people continue to slack on it. This is mainly because of our conditioning. We are naturally hard-wired for instant gratification.
Internally, we do not believe in making long-term investments to improve our emotional and physical health. We are willing to do it financially by purchasing a house, taking a life insurance, etc.
But when it comes to our physical and emotional health, we are unable to do the same because of inherent programming.
And this is where starting small comes in handy. By starting a simple exercise regimen that is easy to do and lasts no less than 15 – 30 minutes and performing it daily for 2 – 3 months, you’ll be able to overcome some of the inherent programming and install a new positive habit.
Once this habit has been installed and has become a part of you, you can gradually increase intensity and keep going. In no time at all, you’ll end up becoming the fittest you’ve ever been all your life. That’s how powerful habits can be.
If you’re currently overwhelmed in your career or business right now and find yourself severely disengaged, go here right now…
I will personally help you beat overwhelm, increase motivation and develop a systematic plan to take your career or business to the next level without compromising your health and wellbeing.
In addition to working with clients 1 on 1, I also engage with corporate teams through my In-Person Group Wellness Coaching Sessions. During these sessions, I personally work with teams and help teams to beat overwhelm, increase motivation and take their performance to the next level without compromising on their health.
If you are an Executive who is keen to drastically improve your team’s motivation and their productivity, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with me right now. Go here to contact me:
PS: If you found this article helpful, I’d appreciate if you can spread the message with your friends and co-workers by clicking on any of the appropriate social sharing buttons.
Sources – ‘91% Indians not emotionally invested in workplace’ – Gallup Organization Study (https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/91-indians-not-emotionally-invested-in-workplace/article5221945.ece)