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Fill Your Motivational Tank

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How’s everyone’s motivation level?  I’ll be honest, mine’s low.  Our office was one of the few that never closed or did remote working, so work hasn’t really changed for me.  I just keep plugging along, but for the first time in forever, I don’t have that “fire in my belly” as my former boss liked to say.  There are so many things on my list that I want to do (and I actually do mean here at the office lol), but just can’t make myself get around to starting them.  I can totally be a procrastinator by nature, and I thought I had broken that habit, but it seems to be back in full force. 

I’ve made lists of things that seem like I’d be inspired to start them but find that I end up pushing them to the side just to complete the regular stuff.  I find that my job/career is always just a cycle.  Every week/month contains the exact same conflicts and opportunities.  For me, it’s basically all financial and HR issues.  I despise HR issues.  I despise HR.  Y’all know what I’m talking about, right?  Don’t you get tired of employees coming into your office and complaining about what they don’t have?  Or someone wants to say something but fears that they might be overheard and taken out of context, so they come to your office to vent it out. Then you get to decide if it’s really venting or is it something that needs to be handled.

And please don’t get me started on personal life.  I honestly thought with COVID going on that it would have more time to myself, and live the life I’ve always dreamed about, you know, as a hermit!  Then I remembered I had parents, and they need all kinds of assistance since they can’t go out.  Fortunately, I have a brother who’s just as involved with them as I am.  But still I find that I have to work on finding time for myself, my husband, and of course Oakie.  It’s a balance I’m constantly working on these days.  And for my coworkers and friends, they have to add their children to that list.  It’s a wonder anyone has any motivation!

So that got me to thinking - do we lose motivation because we run at full speed for so long, and then we just crash and burn?  I guess then it becomes a matter of gassing up the tank or in some cases, maybe we need a new car to start over.  But how do you go about deciding which you are?  For me, I’ve had to take a long look at the pros and cons of my career.  There are tons more pros than cons, so it was easy for me to know that I need to work on filling my tank.  I find that I’ve been cheap in doing so.  Some days I only put about $5 in, and you know what?  It doesn’t last long.  I’m working on filling the entire tank at one time with the premium gas and speeding off.  I visualize that a lot.  It really does make me laugh out loud when I do.   And that’s really helped in motivating myself.  My next big step is to find someone at the office who can help hold me accountable without it being a stress to them.  It’s not that I need someone to check on me, it’s the idea that someone could at any time ask where I’m at on my list of creations.  And that’s what I want to be held accountable for – the things that I want to create to help others in my firm and SDA.  The day to day will handle itself, and the rest will fall into place as I go.  Here’s to filling the tanks and speeding on down the highway!

What are some ways that you are filling your motivational tank? Share them in the comment box below.




Susan Lankey, CDFA is the Office Manager for DJG, Inc. in Williamsburg, Virginia.

She is a Past National President for SDA.

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Comments on this post...

Nikki Pierce, CDFA, LEED AP BD+C says...
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Susan. Thank you for clearly articulating the thoughts that many of us share these days .... This statement truly hit it for me. "There are tons more pros than cons, so it was easy for me to know that I need to work on filling my tank.... " I’ve recently taken on a new role at my firm and find myself ‘stuck’ – looking at the undefined task list, and not wanting to dive in. I often retreat to the tasks that I am familiar & comfortable with to archive a sense of purpose. What to do? I’ve scheduled monthly check in’s with my PIC and started collecting and organizing my information, notes, to do’s in a MS Team group. Next step is to print out a physical calendar and pencil in notes. I hope the visual plan will motivate me!
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Marsha Witherspoon, CDFA says...
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Funny you should write about this Susan. I, too, have found myself lacking motivation to complete the most mundane of tasks, much less the more important items that need to be done. True confession - I am a procrastinator extraordiniare. To counter this tendency I've enlisted family to help keep me motivated and to remind me how much better I feel when a task is finished. A calendar with due dates and notes also helps.
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Penny Nelson, CDFA says...
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020
I'm so glad to read that I'm not alone in my lack of motivation! I, too, feel like I'm just plugging along. The work we've been doing on ExCom does re-energize me, but I'm struggling to transfer that motivation to my work day. Beyond to do lists, which do help me, I'll be interested to see other's suggestions for filling that motivation tank (I love your analogy!).
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Brooke Simcik, CDFA says...
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Susan, honestly, I find my motivational tank empty way too often. So your post hits me right in the gut. After 20 years of repeatedly doing the same thing, even with a multi-discipline job description, days become tedious and unfulfilling. Burn out is a real deal. I often find I need to interject something "new" into the equation that will force me out of my comfort zone (writing, learning something new ). Then my old stand by is to start creating a list of "to do's" so I can see them being marked off as they are completed. I am not sure why that helps me. Fantastic and insightful blog Susan, thank you.
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Sabrina Heard, FSDA says...
Posted Thursday, July 23, 2020
I am so glad to know that there are several of us in the same boat. Crazy that all of us are either on ExCom or past ExCom. Susan - thank you for the pick me up when I needed it. We need to all fill our tanks with some fun stuff too.
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Danika Larson, CDFA says...
Posted Friday, July 24, 2020
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susan! I think we are all hitting a variety of motivation/inspiration walls as things seem to be constantly changing around us. I am trying to keep my focus on "what can I do today" or "what needs to be done today" as a way to stay motivated (and also sane)! It is easy for me to become overwelmed when I think of all the things I need to do in the next week, month, quarter, year, or even more overwhelmed when I think of all the "should be doings". Staying focused on just the day (with a little bit of thinking about the future - I can't stop that as a true planner :)), has helped keep me more calm and motivated. Wishing you all the insights as to what works best for you as we continue to move forward!
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Lynda Meyer, MSA CDFA says...
Posted 8 hours ago
Great analogy Susan! I too, have not teleworked except for 1 day when I just needed that break to refresh myself! Definitely something I'm working on, I also have a ton more Pros than Cons!
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