February is when we are in the doldrums. The weather sucks, to put it plainly, and many of us are in the throes of budgets and reports and all the drudgery that is required to make another year happen. Often we don’t have as much help in winter so we really feel like we’re working hard and not getting ahead as much as we’d like…
Are you feeling the angst yet? Do you need more coffee and chocolate just to keep going? I hear you! Here’s my list of top 5 ideas for how to dig deep and get ourselves out of the pit of winter. (I wanted to keep it short, and set us up for success.) Take heed, the biggest theme here is about having more fun, so get ready to not be down in the dumps.
1. Find something warm and fuzzy, and share it.
This is often where the Internet comes in – Facebook, YouTube, and all kinds of other sites are full of images, videos and stories that can remind us of the goodness we all possess, the strength we have to carry on, and the help we can get from others. You might want something specific that relates to your project, but general feel-good stuff is always good too.
Here’s an example for you:
2. Pick a project to tackle, and a time limit to work on it.
I’m sure you have a big “to do” list, both at home and at work. You want to pick one thing at a time when you start so you don’t get bogged down trying to initiate a number of projects at once.
Start one and get some momentum, then start something else. Otherwise you’ll feel like you’re trying to train for 2 Olympic sports. Remember, we’re setting up for success here 🙂 NOTE: The one catch here is not to avoid the pressing tasks. You can start with a small project that is easy to complete to build your confidence, but don’t keep picking inconsequential things… that’s just pulling the covers over your head. The next step will help you stay on target even if the project is immense in scope.
3. Gain momentum – keep doing little chunks, and reward yourself / your team as soon as you complete them.
“Little chunks” is the secret here. Take a timeline or critical path to divide a project into duties and/or areas of expertise and delegate wherever possible. This lets the whole team share in the success, and it lets you focus on the big picture while everyone else is keeping all the balls in the air.
Communication is the other key component in this step. Keep checking in with all the team members and share the progress and successes. Celebrate each and every time you complete a task or stage of the project. Use that positive energy as fuel, just like your “warm fuzzy” that started you off.
4. Keep sharing – have fun getting things done, enjoy other’s ideas, ask questions to learn more.
Be open-minded as much as possible; it will allow you to see other possibilities in solving challenges and improving your skills. It also encourages team members to know their input is important and could make a difference.
When you know you are getting things done, it’s easier to relax and enjoy the journey. Learning new things can be fun, and achieving goals can be a real rush!
5. Hang in there! Repeat #1 as necessary, and use your buddies or team members to help you keep up the momentum.
You’ve heard the sayings…
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
“It’s always darkest before the dawn.
“You can’t win if you don’t play
Sometimes we need a bit of help to get through the bumps in the road. If it means swallowing our pride to ask for a hand up, then we need to take solace in knowing our friend or team member will be honoured to help us out. It’s one of the ways we each pay it forward. Give people the chance to do it for you, knowing there will be a time when you can do the same for them.
Here’s a great lesson from a master at making the most of even the toughest challenges… Dr Seuss. It’s his birthday today; I think he would be pleased to know we are still using his wisdom. Thanks to the team at Huffington Post for their post – I think your interpretation is bang-on 🙂
If you’d like to jump-start your team as your busy season heats up, I’d be happy to share my enthusiasm and ideas on how they can succeed together. Contact me about motivational workshops <firstname.lastname@example.org>