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What keeps you going when you feel unmotivated?

I want to be a preschool teacher or work at a daycare with young children and I'm worried about burnout or feeling overwhelmed.

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Cassandra R’s Answer

What keeps me motivated is knowing that what I do makes a real difference. If you have a heart for working with children, you are truly making a difference and it's not so much work as much as it is who you are as a person. Pursue your field with passion, but also make sure you have a balance with your personal life as well. Be mindful of how much you take on at any given time and that will help with not feeling overwhelmed or burned out. You've got this.

Cassandra
Thank you comment icon Cassandra R, thank you! Katlin
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Alliana
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McKenzie’s Answer

Seeing the big picture of what you want to do helps. So working in a daycare and with young people, shaping your mindset to understand that you are shaping and molding the lives of our future leaders is another way to think of it. But I am personally motivated by doing work that matters.

Outside of thinking about work, it is important to take time for you to rest and get yourself together. If you overextend yourself, you will definitely burn out. Planning trips, stay-cations, or activities for things you joy, you will have something to look forward to and become motivated. So take that time for yourself often so you are constantly excited about it and know something wonderful is coming if you can just get through the workday or work week.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Katlin
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Chirayu’s Answer

Some strategies that can help when feeling unmotivated include setting small and achievable goals, breaking large tasks into smaller ones, making a to-do list, and focusing on the benefits of completing the task. It can also be helpful to take a break, engage in a different activity or exercise, or talk to a friend or mentor for support and motivation. It's also important to remember that feeling unmotivated is normal and can be temporary. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Katlin
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Doc’s Answer

Katlin getting started is always the hardest part. Knowing how to motivate yourself will require the most amount of effort at the beginning because this is where you’re implementing your systems. Knowing where to start will help a great deal.

• Regularly review your goals and progress. Seeing progress is a great motivator in itself, and also improves your self-esteem.

• Continue to set new goals. Think about what you want to achieve next week, next month and next year. Tackle one goal at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

• Keep the momentum up. It takes most people about 2 months to develop a new habit, but for some people, it can take much longer. Keeping the momentum and routine helps it feel more automatic over time.

• Find mentors, for example, someone you look up to who is experienced in the habit you want to change. Finding social or support groups with the same interest can help you find a mentor.

• Surround yourself with positive people. Positive friends and family enhance your positive self-talk. This may also help to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety if they arise.

Hope this was helpful Katlin
Thank you comment icon Thank you, John for the advice. Katlin
Thank you comment icon Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day Katlin Doc Frick
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KhyRi’s Answer

What keeps me motivated is options and freedom. If I stop, my options are limited. It could be travel related, or something as simple as what I eat daily. I want to have options. If I give up, I might not be able to afford cheese on my cheeseburger, so I have to deal with a hamburger. I love cheese, so I'm motivated to keep going so I don't have to eat hamburgers. I also love to travel. If I become demotivated, I'll think about the fact that giving up means I'm giving up the option to choose how far I can travel. Right now, I could travel worldwide. If I give up, the only trip I'll take is to the bathroom and the kitchen.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Katlin
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Graham’s Answer

Answer: Acting in accordance with your intrinsic values, as long as they’re aligned to immutable, time-invariant, natural laws. This is where internal motivation is generated sustainably.

Your intrinsic values may be loyalty, generosity, trailblazing, mentorship, etc while natural laws are more universal such as morality, love, patience, forgiveness, etc.

If your values do not align to natural laws there will be an internal dissonance. If your values align with natural laws, but what you are choosing to do in life does not align with your values, there will be an internal dissonance. Burnout is likely inevitable in these situations.

So one must ask: Are my values appropriate to natural laws? Am I doing things in accordance with my values?

Only then is TRUE sustainable intrinsic motivation (and avoidance of burnout) possible.

Feeling overwhelmed, swamped, too busy, confused, or other synonyms, however, is unavoidable in any career path or life. However, if your actions/values are aligned properly, you will automatically perceive these scenarios as inviting challenges, rather than insurmountable, dreary, life-sucking, obstacles.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Katlin
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Molly’s Answer

If you are working with children, I would remind yourself that you are doing incredibly important work and that you should be and feel appreciated. Hopefully knowing that you are working with children can help keep you motivated when things get tough.

Best of luck!

Molly
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Katlin
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Andrew’s Answer

Great question and it’s good that you recognize the potential for burnout. That puts you ahead of the curve and allows you to prepare. My advice would be to learn skills and techniques that help you to stay energized which can release stressful feelings that could make you feel overwhelmed.

Having a plan helps. You can also speak with others in the preschool field for tips. Practice meditation and ways to relax. Focus on what you can do today to make tomorrow better. Create a vision board so you can see your goals, etc. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Andrew Katlin
Thank you comment icon My pleasure. Andrew B
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Posy Lou’s Answer

Motivation is not an easy thing to pull from thin air. You’ve got a lot of great answers above.

The human experience is a unique one in the fact that there isn’t just one right way to live or one path to take. You have choices and decisions to make every day, and they will ultimately lead to a cause-and-effect chain reaction.

The best thing to remember is that your life is just that: yours.

You make it what it is in every decision you make and day you live.

Try to continue to be positive and making good decisions that serve you and your interests. When you feel happy, take note and reflect on why that is.

It isn’t easy, but that’s why we persist. There’s beauty in the struggle and growth through the pain and discomfort. :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Posy Lou for the advice. Katlin
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Praveenaa’s Answer

Hi Katlin,

Very good question

My answer is going to be very short and crisp.

The one simple thing that I would carry forward when I feel unmotivated is talking to me in mirror.
That will make me analyze and gives me the courage and positivity back.
Try this and hope it will work for you too.

Thanks for the question.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Katlin
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Alexandra’s Answer

This is a very important question. I'd like to start by saying that every profession or occupation carries some risk of burnout. People have found different ways to deal with burnout so there is no right or wrong answer here, but this is what I have found helpful and have also heard from others in terms of strategies to avoid burnout:

- Make a list of tasks and assign priorities to each set of tasks. Do not try to do everything in one day or week.
- Take short break during your day
- Schedule time to do things you enjoy, such as exercise or hobbies
- Dedicate time to speak with your co-workers to reconnect, understand their challenges and ways to deal with those, and also just to build relationship with others
- Look for ways to do some things more efficiently
- Ensure you get enough sleep
- Tell others when you need help or need extra time for a project
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Katlin
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Dawn’s Answer

I let the children guide me. I ask what they want to do today. Listen for what they are excited about and go with that. I find a project we can do together. They are so much more involved and interested in their own ideas. Their enthusiasm is catchy! When you treat children as small people who know what they like and what they want to learn about, your job becomes a guide. And doing things together, working and laughing together builds a family. Then if I’m having a bad day I can tell them- sorry, I’m just cranky today! They are so smart and empathetic, they will rally around you and help lift you up just like you’ve shown them how to do. And they learn adults have feelings and bad days too and it’s okay. We all have them!
Thank you comment icon Dawn, thank you! Katlin
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi, thank you for your question. This is question more on time management. If you can manage your time properly to have sufficient time for rest and relax, you would not feel burnout. This is about work life balance.
Below is my suggestions :
1. Identify a time management tool , e.g. your phone calendar, Microsoft Outcook. etc.
2. Put down your daily work hours
3. Ensure you have sufficient time for sleep
4. Assign some time to do some exercise and leisure, and relax e.g. your hobbies, etc. Also, have some time for your family and friends gathering
You do not need to fill up the entire schedule. You can have some 'me' time for reflection and relax.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Katlin
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Alpana’s Answer

Hi Katlin - This is a great question! With any job, there are some days/weeks that can be particularly challenging. What helps me is to think about my reason for doing what I do. Every now and then, I make sure to reflect on my personal purpose, and I think about the value of the work I'm doing. When I do this, I'm able to remind myself that even during challenging times, the work I do is meaningful and it is helping others in a way that's important to me. For example, I work in the social and environmental impact space, and even though sometimes it can be really challenging, I'm proud that I'm able to help advance social and environmental equity.

It's also really important to take care of yourself. Careers take time, work, and energy, and sometimes, we can get caught up in the stressors of work. It's important that we make time for self care and do the things outside of work that bring us joy and rejuvenate us! This looks different to each person, but for me, it involves taking vacations to see new places, going to the spa for a pedicure, and volunteering at my local animal shelter!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Katlin
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Katlin,

I think everyone has felt unmotivated at some point in their life. I know feel that way from time to time.

What has helped me is to remember what do I ultimately want to accomplish. Some trainings call this a Goal, North Star, Point B, etc. Then I ask myself is what I am doing today going to help me ultimately accomplish what I want. If not, then I evaluate why am I doing this. If it will help me accomplish what I am striving for then I think of the satisfaction, joy, etc that I will get / feel once I accomplish what I want. That will then get my juices flowing. This next sentence is something else to think about. Inspiration comes more naturally to people and makes them feel happy, whereas motivation can be harder to sustain and cause people to go through challenging moments. Are you inspired to accomplish what you want.

Best of luck!

Ken

Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Katlin
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