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There are plenty of blogs out there about how to motivate people.  Some backed with facts and figures, some just ideas, and some..   Well, you get the picture.   I decided, well, I'm not an expert.  I've never been in HR.  Although my Mom was an HR Director - and she had some interesting stories to tell.  This isn't about her observations.   At different points in my career I had been a team lead, manager and project manager.  I'm still doing some of the project management.  So am I qualified to write about what motivates people?  Probably not.  But I can tell you what motivates me and let you mull it over.

Here's my job - I get up early in the morning, and I go to work.  Not really of course there is more than that.  So I'll give you a quick overview of probably a fairly normal day.  The exception - or maybe not as much of an exception - anymore is that I work from home.

So here's my workday.

  1. Log in - check on any e-mail that might move things up or down my priority list.

  2. E-mail first - is there an "emergency".

  3. Open my priority list.  Verify that I'm mostly on track.

  4. Start with the most urgent and work my way backwards. Doing development, configuration, training or learning as I go.  If I finish anything during the day, update specs and create testing documents.

  5. Meetings through out the day.  Some for new projects, some for my boss, some with the consultants...  and of course many more.

  6. Possible writing beginning specs.

  7. Questions through out the day.

  8. Quick fixes may be needed - it probably isn't the program - but debug.  You never know..

  9. Finish up my day by with one of the two options:

    1. Looking at what I've got going tomorrow and getting ready for it.

    2. Quickly shutting down my computer before anything else happens.

If possible training is added here and there.  If not, I train as I have to work on a project.

I think that's a pretty normal boring routine.  Wake up the next day and repeat.  So how do I keep motivated?  It's a boring day right?

Being All Kinds of Interested

  1.  All the NEW toys.  SAP is great about adding new things we have to learn.  I work with my boss on getting those programs / configuration / installation of things I don't normally do..  It keeps me challenged, happy, and pushes me to learn quickly to finish the job.

  2. Those interruptions - they could quickly become annoying, right?  Not correct.  It's all a balancing job.  My favorite interruption is by a lady who needs reparative help because she doesn't have authority.  Why?  She thanks me.  She truly appreciates working with me.  I have great respect for here and I think it goes both ways.

  3. Meetings - OK yes, I do get frustrated sometimes.  That's why I have mute.  I also rarely have my camera on.   Basically because it can cause issues with my system.  Sometimes I like say out loud - while double checking I'm on mute - "we have talked this through 5 times".  Maybe banging my head on the table.   This makes them bearable.  However, my best meetings are with my boss.  My one on one meetings give me a strong idea of what's going on in the company.

  4. Documentation - I used to hate it.  Now - I love it.  I'm being serious.  I am the only in house developer/configurator/WF Admin....  Well all of that.  My documentationhelps me communicate what I'm going to do (Spec).  But best of all someone else's documentation can save me hours looking for a problem.

Now I've gone through why my day isn't so boring most of the time.  Now:

Motivates Me!

  1. New "stuff".  Learning!!!  YES!  A little thing called Teched.

  2. Positive feedback.

  3. Sharing what is going on with our company as a whole.

  4. Being aware of the payoff in what you are doing.

  5. Knowing what I've developed/changed is being used.

  6. Rainy day, positive e-mail.  (I save those)

  7. Going to SAP TechEd where I learn so much my head may just explode.

Those are my long lists.   Have you thought about what motivates you?  What makes you say, yes, I really do like my job most of the time?