Submitted by Tech
Is it Spring yet or, is it still Spring? Living in the Desert Southwest can make it confusing when trying to match the calendar with seasonal monikers! We like to say that there are really only two seasons here: Summer and NOT Summer! Summer is when people hide and only talk about how hot it is. “Not Summer” is when people totally forget about how hot it was and brag to anyone who will listen about the spectacular weather we’re having! We are blessed to live in an area where if you are tough enough to survive for six or seven months out of the year you can enjoy possibly the greatest weather this country has to offer.
So, what does all of this have to do with the title? Well, in the “real world”, we all have jobs and responsibilities that need our attention in order to move forward. As it is with the great weather this time of year that tends to “lull us to sleep” with seemingly endless days of perfection, sometimes we can be lulled into complacency regarding our jobs and responsibilities because things seem to be just “perfect”. But are they?
We tend to start the year off with enthusiasm and anticipation of what comes next. Then, as the weeks turn into months, we tend to slip into a pattern of performance that seems to blend into an endless succession of mind numbing repetition. Get up, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, drive to the office, “survive” the day, fight the traffic back home , kiss the wife, say hi to the kids, go to bed, get up, grab………. Sound familiar? Maybe this is an overstatement but I’m sure there are elements in it that we all can relate to.
The point is that it is easy to get caught up in the routine of life to the point where no matter what your goals are for the year you may be unconsciously stuck in a rut. Yeah, you go to work every day and go through the motions of your responsibilities but, because of a certain level of self-induced apathy you are not quite as engaged as you were at the beginning of the year. This condition, although not fatal to you or your co-workers, can be debilitating to your employers’ goals. So, what to do? Here are four ways to check to find out if you are caught up in this syndrome.
- Review the goals. How will this help, you might ask? Well, think back to the end of last year and the beginning of this year. Weren’t you excited about the possibilities these new goals were going to bring to the team? Didn’t you “buy into” the plan? Think back to those times and re-live the excitement, the anticipation, the sense of “we can do it” attitude that got you, and the rest of your team, willing to “go for it”!
- Talk to your co-workers. Really, talk to your co-workers. You might be surprised that they are experiencing the same syndrome. It’s easy for people to become robotic in a familiar situation. Our jobs, if we have been doing them for any length of time, can become a “just going through the motions to get to the end of the day, the week…” routine. Ask them if they are still on board with the goals. If there enthusiasm has waned then re-invigorate them with all the reasons why they should still be excited.
- Pay attention. What? Really, pay attention. It’s one thing to “know” the goals. It’s something completely different to execute the goal. Just having a general knowledge of the goal is not enough to stay engaged for the long haul. Going through the motions will become boring and unfulfilling in a very short time. Look for the nuance. Explore the details. Be aware of what is going on around you. Take the time to question instead of just letting it go. Remember, you are a part of the team because your position matters.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, review your personal life. Ask yourself if you there are areas where you can improve. It is understood that a persons’ performance at work is closely tied to the condition of their personal life. Don’t let the situation at work carry over to your home. Take the time to “take the time”.