Staying motivated at work

A few weeks back, one of the stake holders of my product was found falling short of her targets. She blamed me for the miss. We discussed in detail and realized that the problem was not due to me. There was considerable unproductive noise in the discussions.

Also, last week, I had a few heated exchanges with our engineering team. It was about making minor improvements to a product feature. The engineering team declined to adhere to the change request. The change was of medium priority. However, as product owner, I felt that I should have the final say. I was aggressive in pursuing the request, however, there was a rage of opposition and it was not done. Sadly, none of the people opposing the change even checked the quantum of effort involved. There was a lot of negative noise. After the incident, the engineering team became more rigid to my subsequent requests.

This is not the first time, I have had disagreement with other teams in office. But for some reason, this time, the opposition was quite vocal. These incidents left me quite depressed and demotivated. I felt that the people involved in these fights were incapable and political. I wanted to leave the company and instead apply to companies which had smarter people with non-political motives.

I spent quite a few sleepless nights thinking about these incidents again and again.

I started with being highly negative to gradually becoming neutral. What really helped pacify me was the realization that I need to focus on what ultimately matters. I am motivated by products that matter and make a difference. Anything that helps me do that is what I should focus on. I should focus on connecting with the users, the stakeholders, understanding priorities and channelizing all my energy to creating remarkable products. Everything that helps me do so is positive energy, anything that takes me away from it is negative energy.

In our respective organizations, we should all be vigilant at identifying noise and staying away from it. If it somehow comes on our way, we should deal with it, but only as long as it really affects the path to our milestones. Else we should ignore it. Within an organization, different teams have different objectives. This is more pronounced in bigger organizations where teams are chasing multiple unconnected objectives. Motivations that are aligned to one’s objectives are the ones we should focus on.

By staying focused, we don’t loose sight of what we are to achieve. Because we don’t loose sight of our goals, we stay motivated to achieving them.