Phoning it in? How to jump start your motivation

Phoning it in? How to jump start your motivation | practice (split each time) | Are these 10 challenges hampering your productivity?
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April 15, 2024
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Leading the Way
Phoning it in? How to jump start your motivation
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If you feel like you're just phoning it in every day, it may be time to shake things up by pushing yourself to take some risks, setting new goals, identifying barriers to progress or letting go of limiting beliefs, writes author and leadership expert Gregg Vanourek. "Somewhere in between the extremes, there's a healthy place of urgency to live intentionally, achieve important things, serve others, and cherish your days, not squandering your time in a cloud of complacency," Vanourek writes.
Full Story: Gregg Vanourek (4/11) 
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Put it into practice: Getting clear on your purpose, values and vision, as well as taking responsibility to create opportunities for yourself (instead of waiting around for someone to "discover" you), can also lift you out of the doldrums, Vanourek writes. "You're much more likely to thrive when you take ownership of your life and recognize your agency -- when you take your life back."
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Are these 10 challenges hampering your productivity?
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Leaders, especially those working to get their business off the ground, can feel overwhelmed by all the tasks they've taken on, the meetings they must attend, the limited resources and the uncertainty of success, writes Naphtali Hoff, who provides examples of such challenges. "The pressure to succeed can be immense, leading to stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact productivity," Hoff notes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (4/12) 
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Put it into practice: Perpetually busy leaders also face common challenges such as email overload, a temptation to multitask, procrastinate or poorly prioritize their time, Hoff notes. "Without clear priorities, employees may struggle to allocate their time effectively across various tasks and projects."
Read more from Naphtali Hoff on SmartBrief on Leadership
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Smarter Communication
When we meet people we instantly like, they probably share common traits of being authentic, good listeners, empathetic and excellent communicators, traits we can all foster within ourselves, say experts. There's a fine line between being likeable and trying to please others, though, which can be damaging to your integrity, says Jenny Woo, founder and CEO of Mind Brain Emotion.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (4/11) 
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Put it into practice: When we meet someone we don't like, Woo says it's important to check our biases because it may be some association with their communication style or culture that is off-putting, and we should try to see beyond those. "Being open to new ideas is also about being open to other people's ideas and opinions."
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Time management is not just prioritizing. It's a relationship
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There are three key leadership lessons that Fred Ende, director of curriculum and instructional Services for Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., shares in this blog post related to prioritizing, decision-making and self-care. Ende writes that leaders should reconsider their relationship with time, understand the power of saying no and balance caring for others and oneself.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (4/11) 
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Daily Diversion
Three fishermen, stranded on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Guam for more than a week, have been rescued after they used palm fronds to spell out the word "HELP" on the beach. They're not the first castaways on the Pikelot Atoll; in 2020, three others landed there after their craft ran out of gas, and they were rescued after spelling out "SOS" in the sand.
Full Story: USA Today (4/15) 
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Editor's Note
A study of futurists from TATA Consultancy Services shows that 90% are optimistic about forthcoming AI changes, and 72% envision significant contributions to employee well-being. What does this mean for job loss? Remote work? Get TATA futurist Bill Quinn's insights about work experience transformations -- from potentially shorter workweeks to who owns AI's work -- and participate in an audience Q&A during SmartBrief's April 18 "AI Redefining the Work Experience " webinar. Register now for the free event.
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
Today's issue focuses on managing your time and taking responsibility for making your own opportunities. It's easy to get lost in the fog of the day, letting our mind wander away from the task at hand, or growing complacent in our career advancement.

Naphtali Hoff outlines many of the common challenges we all face, from email and meeting overload to straight-up procrastination. Gregg Vanourek offers solutions to those problems, such as pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, identifying the things holding us back and seeking support to achieve our goals. Fred Ende reminds us that sometimes it's better to say no to some things so we have the energy to say yes to what moves us forward. Ende also reminds us that self-care is critical.

You can use these tools to set yourself up for a successful day. If all that fails, you can call out for rescue by spelling out "HELP" with some palm fronds!

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Who knows what is on the opposite side of each hour!
Juan Ramon Jimenez,
poet, editor, critic, Nobel Prize in Literature recipient
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