You’re feeling depleted, exhausted. Perhaps you’ve put in too many house at work or have overdone it with holiday preparations. Here are 5 ideas you can try, each based on one of the five S.I.T. (Systematic Inventive Thinking) templates of innovation, to help you feeling more motivated.
1. The Division template tasks us with dividing a project into its elements. Take your average work day. It probably consists of an assortment of (zoom) meetings, phone calls and decision making, coupled with multiple trips to the coffee machine. Most of your day is probably spent helping others with little time for yourself and if you were asked, you’d probably say that you don’t have any time during the day for self-care even if you wanted to. Here’s one way to change that. Instead of looking at the day as one whole unit, see it as the sum of its parts. Can any segment of your daily routine serve as self-care? Can you take 5 minutes with your cup of coffee, shut your phone and computer, sit back and just recharge. When we look at our day a whole, we can’t always see the small moments of possible time. By breaking it down and dividing it into subparts, we can find opportunities for self-care.
2. The Subtraction templates asks us to eliminate a component in a counterintuitive way. Imagine trying to recharge without any time to do it? “What?!? How can I get myself motivated if I don’t have time to do it?” Try this – the next time you are helping someone else with their problem, try imagining you were solving one of your own too. Giving them advice on taking the next step in their career? Internalize it for yourself. Helping them make a critical decision? Use the same technique for your own challenges. Allowing them a space to vent? Give yourself some slack! By eliminating or subtracting a component or resource, in this case time, you are essentially forcing yourself to find another resource or solution that was in front of your all along.
3. The Task Unification template has us assigning additional jobs to something or someone that previously had its own set of tasks. Wish you had time to listen to a motivational podcast? Do it while you are exercising or grocery shopping. Need a few minutes of down time before you come home from work? Move your lightest meeting to the end of the workday and start bringing your stress level down during the meeting. Take advantage of the things you are doing anyway and use them to help motivate and inspire yourself.
4. The Attribute Dependency template encourages us to create new relationships (or dependencies) that never existed before. Until now, listening to a great podcast would give you the daily inspiration you needed but somehow it seems to have stopped working. Try creating new dependencies. Play around with available options such as the length of the podcast offered (a few shorter ones vs. one longer one), the podcast’s topics (ethics, marriage, health), how often you listen to it (morning and evening/every other day) or even the type of the speaker (inspirational, funny, historical). Don’t be afraid to change things up and create new dependencies.
5. The Multiplication template ask us to multiply what we have in new ways. Take three 5-minute self-care breaks throughout the day and let each take on a different purpose. The first can get you breathing (as you smell the aroma of the coffee), the second can get you moving (as you take a walk around the block) and the third can get you connecting (as you send a photo to a friend with a nice note). Schedule these into your daily routine (9 am, 12:30 pm, 4 pm) and make sure that your job isn’t more important to you than your well-being.