Motivation is a never-ending story. In the course of our work life there are periods, where we feel excited with our work, we feel pride of workmanship. What we do seems to click, we achieve a flow-like state easily. Other times we struggle as if walking through muddy ground — every move seems to require effort. Ultimately, we feel guilty, we feel like impostors. We ask ourselves, whether we should be leading others, if we fail at leading ourselves.
As project managers we are responsible for motivating the team, but first and foremost — ourselves. This may be challenging at times, as we are only people, and motivation levels vary. But since we become a point of reference, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to stay motivated to the biggest extent possible.
This means that we should actively search for sources of motivation. How can we do this?
- Engage in communities of practice,
- Read books and articles on project management,
- Build helpful routines to make our day run smoothly,
- Work from a task list — to see progress over uncompleted work,
- Commit to a schedule and keep it updated on a regular basis,
- Search for sources of inspiration,
- Practice gratefulness — our work is not a given,
- Network more to feel engaged.
Ultimately, we might need to ask ourselves the big question — are we attuned to our work indeed or is it perhaps a good moment for a switch? If we see that our work is leading us nowhere, if we struggle to build the motivation we desire on a regular basis, then we might need to move on — create a space for others to take over and add value.
An option might be to start writing about our challenges — putting these in words might have a cathartic effect, but it can also lead us to helpful discoveries, ultimately helping us understand the root cause better.