When your plate is full of work, it often can be hard to justify the sacrifices you're making at home in order to get it done. The secret to feeling good about the situation is to stay motivated -- and the secret to staying motivated is to nurture feelings of accomplishment.
So suggests author Lisa Evans in a recent article for Fast Company. "Feeling a sense of accomplishment is an important part of our sense of self-worth. Beating up on yourself because you think you could have accomplished more can dent your confidence and self-esteem and leave you feeling depleted at the end of the day," she says. "Maybe you could have used the hours in your day more effectively and accomplished more on your to-do list, but you probably accomplished more than you think."
To increase your feelings of accomplishment in a way that keeps you motivated, consider breaking large goals down into smaller ones.
"If your goals are too big to accomplish in one day, you are more likely to suffer from feeling unaccomplished because there's simply no way to get that item crossed off your list quickly enough," continues Evans, who sings the praises of "sub-goals" that help you gauge your progress. "If you're starting the day with the goal of creating a PowerPoint presentation, for example, that might be too large of a goal to get done in one day. Instead, start by identifying all the steps you'll need to take to reach that goal. The first step might be to establish content. You might break that step down into brainstorming thoughts on the topic, researching the topic, and asking other people for their thoughts and input. You might not have written out all the content you need for the presentation by the end of the day, but you can probably check off researching and brainstorming, allowing you to show yourself that you have in fact accomplished something."
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