Like you, many professionals have their goals and plans for 2013 in place. Now it’s time to execute. But the goal-execution stage is also where things bog down. So you do what you can: you bear down, focus, recommit, talk to yourself (be careful with that one)—anything you can do to give yourself a pep talk or grit your way through it.
But sometimes you just can’t overcome the slog. You need more. I’ve found that you can regain your energy and drive by recalibrating your professional equilibrium. It’s a combination of three elements that, collectively, revive your goal orientation.
The first element is the work itself. This is what you focus on most—those things that affect your productivity. Think of your to-do list, your calendar, your production goals, meetings and deadlines. They remind you to concentrate. This part of your equilibrium is always front and center, but isn’t enough by itself.
The second is to remember that in the end, professional service is about relationships. When you retire, you will not find nearly as much pleasure in being able to cite the law, code or regulation as you will remembering the deep friendships you formed along the way. Certain colleagues, clients, referrals, and others you worked with are what make your career fulfilling. Don’t wait until they are a memory. Enjoy them now.
Third, remember that this is fun. I don’t mean DisneyWorld roller coaster fun. I mean the kind of enjoyment you experience when you practice your discipline and lead your people. There’s something rewarding about it and keeps you coming back, day after day. You like what you do, but when you lose sight of it being fun, it becomes, well, work. Just work. And “just work” isn’t fun, enjoyable or fulfilling.
This week, monitor the elements of your professional equilibrium: work, relationships and fun. But more so, keep this message handy and review it in your daily and weekly planning throughout the year.