Motivation (n): that thing that can be hard to find, but easy to lose.
You know the feeling – the feeling of being inspired, refreshed, and ready to take on the world.
But you also probably know that other feeling – the feeling of being burnt out, brain-fried, and just plain exhausted; the feeling of every ounce of motivation slowly leaving your soul.
And that applies to both home and work life. At home, maybe you’re struggling to find the will to wash the dishes or fold the laundry (if anyone is ever really motivated to do those things, that is). At work, it’s a different story – especially as a dental professional.
Your patients are relying on you, so whether you’re feeling it or not, you’ve got to get the job done.
When we’re lacking motivation at Biteline, we like to try a few of these approaches.
What’s your why?
The first key to maintaining your motivation is understanding your motivation – what’s your why? What inspires you, influences you, encourages you? Maybe it’s a sense of personal validation or self-worth, or maybe it’s making sure your work is meaningful. For RDHs and DAs, that’s oftentimes your patients!
It’s also helpful to look at the big picture. Sure, cleaning mouth mirrors and explorers might not make you feel like you’re changing the world, but it’s necessary in order to do the most important job – keeping your patients healthy. Don’t underestimate the little things.
Set some goals
Nothing revolutionary here, but there’s a reason goal-setting is always on these lists – it works. Sometimes lacking motivation can be the result of a sheer sense of overwhelm. So, make a to-do list and set some goals. And then break those goals down into smaller tasks. Take things one by one, step by step, and give yourself a pat on the back for any kind of accomplishment!
Writing these goals down can make a huge difference – it helps you visualize them, and you also have the great satisfaction of crossing them off your list. Or, say them aloud to a friend or coworker. It will make them seem more real to you; and bonus(!) – they can keep you accountable.
Ditch the distractions
A lot of times, losing motivation comes down to pure distraction. Maybe your friends or coworkers are having a super interesting conversation across the room, or you hear nonstop notifications on your phone. Or maybe the TV or radio is too loud. Anything can be a distraction; you have to figure out what those are for you – and then ditch ‘em!
Try heading to a coffee shop or library if you can do any work outside of the office, or pop in some noise-cancelling headphones. Whatever you need to do to stay focused, do it.
It may sound cliché, but you also have to stay positive. Don’t get too frustrated; keep your chin up. Leave yourself notes around the house or office that remind you of how great you are at your job, with your friends, etc. Or save some cutesy inspirational Instagram posts, and pull them out when you’re feeling unworthy or unmotivated.
Give yourself a little bit of grace! And don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself.
Treat yo’ self
Don’t judge us, but this might be our favorite one – treat yo’ self!
Set those goals, and reward yourself for completing them. Maybe that looks like going out for a drink on a Friday evening, just for making it through the week. Or maybe you finally completed a project that you’ve been putting off for a long time – treat yourself to a mani-pedi. Hit a huge work goal? Take a fun day trip on the weekend.
Staying motivated is definitely not always an easy thing to do – even if you’re passionate about what you’re doing. So, sometimes, it helps to have a loving little nudge in the right direction; we hope these tips will keep you inspired to stay at the top of your game!
Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!