Time for some colouring in?


I often read different articles about motivation in the workplace,  how Managers and Leaders in organisations  need to inspire and motivate employees.  It’s a tough task because there are so many facets to what motivates you to do a good job each day.

But the thing is,  even when you have a great job, you know exactly the contribution you are making with a really juicy project and you know you could possibly change the world…don’t you just simply come into work sometimes,  and motivation alludes you?   You want to put your head on the desk and sleep,  you’d rather go for really long coffee break than dig your teeth into that inspiring project.   We all have these days, sometimes it is triggered by something that has happened in work environment (politics or gossip), sometimes something in our personal life throws us off (kids who are sick and wake you up 10 times in the night) and sometimes it happens for no apparant reason at all.

As one of my previous managers would say…time for a “Colouring In Day”…what? huh?

She explained that given her motivation was so low, all she felt capable of doing was sitting and colouring in a picture, like you used to do at school.  No real brain power required.   So, on her “colouring in” days, she just accepted that she wasn’t feeling on top of the world.  It was not the time to tackle the big projects.  She would review all her to do’s,  break off all the “easy/simple” tasks and choose this day to get them done…perhaps even something like cleaning off her office desk.   She would also let us all know she was having a “colouring in” day, so we knew not to bother her with complicated issues (plus we would all have a bit of a laugh about it).

Now…not everyone is in a position to do this,  nor can you take this approach for more than one day in a row.  But sometimes, I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to always be “on”, to be the fabulous person we know we are every single day we are working.  Giving yourself permission, to just take a slow day,  get some easy things done…usually results in a few productive things being done, and whole new you when you wake up tomorrow, refreshed and in a much better position to tackle the big projects.

So, do you need a colouring in day today?

(I’ve even attached a picture for you to colour in,  which apparantly will help you with some creative meditation…BONUS!)


What’s on your power playlist?

P1020845As per usual, I trotted out for my morning walk with the dog and although the birds chirping and breeze blowing were lovely and calming…my legs weren’t really pumping and my mind was wandering elsewhere.   So I decided to put on some tunes, digging around on the smartphone for some suitably energising beats, soon I found myself picking up the pace to keep up with the music. Next thing I’m pumping up the hill like nobody’s business and when I reach the top (after a quick recky to ensure no one was watching), I actually started to dance around the top of the mountain. It was fabulous, I felt strong and energised and READY!!! As I made the descent down the hill, my mind was buzzing, ideas flowing and I returned back home invigorated and in a completely different mindset than when I left.

And it reminded me the power music has to impact my mood, and it is a little trick that I had forgotten about. Sure, a bit of calming background music can help set the scene when you need to concentrate. But on those days when you are feeling less than motivated, perhaps when things don’t seem to be going your way and quite frankly you feel like job #1 Is pushing S&%T up a hill…yet again.

Now is the time to pull out your POWER PLAYLIST, pump up the volume and start dancing around like no one is watching (except, of course, if you are in the office and clearly people ARE watching. Then you might need headphones and some subtle chair dancing to complete this task).

Some days I imagine my life as a scene in a movie because crap stuff happens in movies all the time, but a few well placed songs and we are back on track. Cue the montage, the snippets of scenes where the person starts the healing process, working out, getting jobs done..whatever the solution requires. And over the top is a fist pumping, “hell yeah” tune which makes it all look so easy (think “Rocky” training scenes, running up stairs never looked so much fun!).   So I try to put this perspective on my life, pump up my power playlist and imagine the montage…Claire working on her blog, Claire exercising, Claire kicking butt at work and Claire the super mum…and all of a sudden, I feel like that person, the person in my movie who has got it all under control. (yes…folks…she really has gone mad this time)

Here’s a few tracks that often make it onto my movie soundrack (clearly it is going to be a Disney style 80’s flashback movie)…what’s on yours?

I get knocked down, but I get up again – Tubthumping

This is who I am – Vanessa Amarosi

Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Fighter – Christina Aguilera

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor