The workplace blah’s hit all of us at some point. It’s hard to get motivated, things don’t feel as though they are moving forward and we just don’t feel good about where we are. How can we deal with them?
The best cure for the blah’s is taking action – any action. And if you take action that directly impacts you it can be very invigorating indeed. Here is a fantastic exercise, adapted from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that can help you re-energize right away:
A Fly On The Wall
Imagine this scenario: You’re moving to another city, and today is the last day at your job. Three coworkers are sitting at a table in the lunchroom, not realizing that you are in the next room and can hear every word that they say. They begin talking about you – and what they are going to miss the most about you.
Think about this for a moment. Get a pen and make a list. What would you like to hear your colleagues say about you? That you were honest? Hard-working? Happy? Serious? Laid-back? Energetic? There is no one right answer for this – only a right answer for you. Write down all the words and thoughts that you would love to hear.
Take a look at each word and ask yourself, “Do my current actions and behaviors actually send this message?” Try to imagine your coworkers coming up with examples of you demonstrating each quality. If you’re like most people, you’ll struggle with this part. It will become very apparent that, while this is a quality you consider important, it’s not one you are actually exhibiting.
The Action Plan
This exercise, if you take the time to do it, is great on a number of levels. The first step helps you articulate some of your core values, as well as the image that you would like to project to those around you. The second step helps you look at the image you actually are projecting. The last step is, of course, addressing the gaps between the two.
Try this. Seriously. You won’t regret it. Create an action plan. Do some research. Create timelines. You will be amazed at the positive difference it will make in your life – and how quickly those workplace blah’s disappear.