When You’re Feeling Unmotivated

I sat down this evening to write a post I’ve had in my idea pad for some time. I was going to write about mobile and the enterprise. Tonight I feel unmotivated to write about either of those.

Sometimes a topic sounds of great interest, and other times your brain isn’t in that same through process to think of great things to write about it.

The Question

What do you do when you’re not motivated to do something?

I think that’s a very easy question to answer in my case for posting to my blog. Switch gears and choose something else that I feel more in the mood to write.

That’s all good for my blog, but what about a project that you have to get done? What if there are deadlines breathing down the back of your neck and there’s no way you could put it off even one more hour?

That question is a bit more tough to answer when you consider those circumstances. Now you can’t simply set your current project aside and move to something that inspires you more.

You’re stuck.

Take a second to think of a situation like this you’ve been in. It could be as soon as yesterday, it could be last year.

Ask yourself again.

What do you do when you’re not motivated to do something?

Means of Motivation

One of the biggest challenges of Learning & Development is to motivate people to want to spend their time with us and not something they’d rather be doing.

There are all sorts of things to attempt to motivate. You know, those things to try to get a person lost in what they’re doing.

Games? Yes, that’s one of them. That popular buzzword gamification, but really it’s just motivation. Or at least the attempt of motivation.

Have you ever been in a situation where you can tell somebody put a lot of effort into trying to motivate you to do something? Something like a training event where they tried so hard to “gamify” it?

I have.

The problem with this is that they tried so hard they forgot about the content, it’s boring and there’s too much. It was intended that I’d be motivated to go further, to do good, but I just wanted to get through it as quick as possible.

This is what happens 9 times out of 10 when training is “gamified.”

How do you motivate someone that’s just not as interested as you in the topic?

The Answer(s?)

I don’t have the answer to how boring content can be made into something fun.

I do have the answer to how you can get somebody through it as quickly as possible so there’s less chance they will get bored though!

I have dedicated a large part of the past year working within an IT L&D department thinking and wondering how this stuff could be made less boring.

People don’t have time to waste on training, they don’t have time to enjoy the content you spent so much time working on. They also don’t care about it, they just want to finish and do their jobs, what matters to them and what they get paid for.

I think myself and a teammate had an aha moment together today when we finally realized what needed to be done. I had been veering down this path for some time but finally became aware of the path I was steering.

Simple, graphically beautiful, wordless (or very few), and just amazingly easy to follow job aids. Yes, but back the words to as few as possible, show don’t tell, and start there for every single training event needed. Okay maybe not every one, but it’s a great place to start!

Beyond the job aid(s), continue to monitor the effect of it to see if that is improving people’s work.

Is it?

Great!

No?

Then you may have to check to see if something else is needed. Hopefully you’ve already ruled out a system problem or some other problem that training can’t fix.

So that’s it, if somebody never has to even take training and is able to either search out the information they need from others or find a job aid that will help them, that’s motivating.

So this post has probably changed subjects several times since you started reading, but that’s okay. I just wanted to write some ideas down and my mind feels so much clearer for doing it.

Please share some of the things that caught your interest in the comments section and what you do about them.

Don’t be shy, nobody is going to judge you or scare you. We’re all here to learn and be part of a great community of L&D professionals who each have their own way to approach problems that are as unique as we are.

Tell me.

What’s your answer?