Autumn is a time of year when some of us are more excited and inspired to jump into action and aim for our goals. The start of the “school year” still gets some of us going. This is my usual frame of mind.

It’s also the time of year when some of us shut down, or want to shut down, to avoid focusing on work and career and anything “serious.” We’ve enjoyed our summers and are sorry to see them go. So we keep our minds on the beach and our hearts on anything but our to-do lists. Unfortunately, this is my frame of mind this year.

This got me thinking. There must be cures for this lack of motivation. There must be ways to incentivize ourselves to get our enthusiasm re-sparked and our gumption reignited. So I dug down deep and did a bit of research, and have five tips for re-firing all your cylinders:

  • Remember what you really care about – one of the best ways to get going again is to reignite your passion, whatever your passion may be. Find the part of your work that excites you. Find the tasks, outcomes, or people you care most about, and use them as your excuse to get excited.
  • Pick the task with a big bang – one of the best ways to get fired up is to accomplish something that is huge and important. The momentum of a “big win” can re-inspire you, and the proud feeling of a strong outcome can make you want to win more and more.
  • Find an accountability partner – sometimes all it takes to tackle the tasks in front of us is someone who is expecting us to tackle the tasks in front of us. So find someone who can hold you accountable for what you need to focus on – be it a colleague, good friend, or coach.
  • Do something you love – if you love what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do it. So, to get yourself going, work on the things that you enjoy the most and/or work with the people you enjoy the most. Work on the work that will be fun for you, and then use that energy to move on to other items.
  • Take a break – as you’re taking these steps, remember to give yourself a break. Literally. Take ten minutes (or even fifteen) and do something unrelated to work that you enjoy. Get up and walk around your office (or better yet, around the block outside). Look to nature to inspire and ignite you. Find a way to distract yourself from the work you don’t want to do, and work up the oomph to come back and then do the work you didn’t want to do.

There are times we want to tackle every challenge in front of us, and times we want to take a break (or maybe even another break). Try one – or all – of these five steps to get yourself back in the game when you need that extra push.

How do you get yourself back in it when you’re less than motivated?
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