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Wellbeing / Work motivation

Finding time for feeling inspired

In this deadline-free week, instead of focusing on one task after the next, numb to everything except the pressure of finishing tasks on time, I have had time to ponder, to think, to observe...and time for feeling inspired.

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It has been an intriguing week of emotional ups and downs, of excitement and frustration, of joy and melancholy. This week has been an emotional rollercoaster… yet nothing has happened.

There have been no births or deaths, no accidents or windfalls, no important events. In fact there have been no deadlines – a very unusual week. There has been no mad dash to get a report or project finished. There have been no planes to catch or appointments to keep.

I have been working quietly at home, doing my accounts, tidying my office, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, working my way through a large pile of ironing.

So why the emotional ups and downs? Why has this been such an intriguing week?

I’ve been pondering this question and think it’s that I have had time to feel.

I haven’t been rushing or fiercely focused on one task after the next, numb to everything except the pressure of finishing tasks on time. I have had time to ponder, to think and to observe. I have had time to feel guilty about not working at full tilt – I think we always find time for that.

"This week I have taken the time to recharge, refocus, re-write my list of goals and get ready to get going again."

I have had time to feel frustrated whilst apartment hunting via distance. I have had time to feel annoyed with myself when little tasks don’t get done. I haven’t replied to that email. I haven’t made that phone call. And I’ve had time to indulge myself at the end of the day, to forget about what hasn’t been done and have a glass of wine, watch the seven o’clock news and cook dinner.

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Most importantly, I have had time for feeling inspired and to re-focus on what’s important. I have given my three week-old niece a bath for the first time and felt useful, helpful and significant in my sister’s family life. I have spent two glorious hours in the sunshine working in the garden and felt physical, productive and warm, a wonderful reprieve from Melbourne’s chilly winter.

I have felt pride on seeing an article of mine published in a professional magazine and gratitude when a reader emailed to say thanks, and I’ve taken the time to check in on the online community of solo professionals whose pursuits, positive outlook, goals and achievements regularly inspire me to achieve bigger and better things myself.

This week I have taken the time to recharge, refocus, re-write my list of goals and get ready to get going again. It’s a good thing too. Next week I will be back boarding planes, lugging laptops and racing deadlines. But I’ll be doing it with more spring in my step and the knowledge that I know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I will be feeling inspired.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than your own life. Positive psychologists suggest keeping a journal in which you make a note each night of at least one item, issue, conversation, story, person, scene or experience that inspired you that day. Review this regularly and use it to help you form your goals. What have these things inspired you to do? What small step can you take tomorrow that will get you on the way to achieving that goal and maintaining that inspiration?

Ellen Jackson

from Potential Psychology is a consultant business psychologist, coach, blogger and author. She is passionate about using the science of psychology to help other thrive and prosper at work and at home. Connect with Ellen on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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