Ali Wong and Jen Kirkman are two seriously hilarious ladies.
Know how I know that? Because I found every which way possible to put off work the other day and ended up in front of Netflix watching stand up comedy for well over an hour.
Staying motivated can be hard.
Especially in the summer, and especially in the world of things like smart phones and Netflix. In which case, you Netflix ON your smart phone, and are killing two procrastination birds with one stone.
Consistency in business, however, is crucial; staying engaged with your audience and continually communicating your company’s intention and message — through words and actions — is essential to building that brand you believe in and getting others on board to believe in you, too. (First step in business: believe in yourself. Others will follow.)
So while having your downtime and actually working that into your schedule is AWESOME, too much “free time” can lead to a lack of motivation when you start to fall away from those productivity habits you had in place before.
What should you do when you find yourself in a motivational pitfall?
I continually go back to two methods for finding that motivation again:
• Start small.
• Create urgency.
Part of the reason you may be experiencing a lack of motivation could be due to the size of the tasks currently on your plate; does everything feel too big to dive into, and thus, it’s just easier to avoid it altogether? Or maybe it’s just that you have gotten into the habit of, say, getting MORE sleep than you really need, catching two hours plus of prime time television every night, etc.
Whatever the reason, I like to take a step back and make a list of everything around me that should be getting done, business-related or not. New blog post? Add it to the list. Dishes? Write it down. Update apps on phone? (Yes, I know, but seriously.) Add it to your list.
Then, go through and organize them by the amount of time and effort each will take. Start by tackling the itty bitty things on your list. Once you gain momentum and keep working toward the bigger things on your list, you’ll find yourself knocking to do’s out left and right. This is a super simple way I trick my brain into getting things done and works like a charm every. time.
This is another trick of the brain, but works oh so well when I have those lazy, groggy days when nothing seems important. I create urgency. By this, I mean that I look at what’s all in my head and write it down in a list format. (Or just start with the list from my “start small” recommendation, in case you’ve already been there.)
From here, I assign some deadlines. But not just any deadlines; if I’m the only one holding myself accountable, this whole motivation thing is never going to happen. No, I have to make the deadlines dependent on something. For instance, if it’s been on my list foreverrrr to design new business cards, I’ll note that the turnaround time on these is, say, two weeks. However, in just two and a half weeks, I have a big event I’m attending and it would be SO ideal to have my new cards by then. Thus, I’ve just given myself a deadline of 2-3 days to get these babies done and out the door so I have them in time for my event.
Can’t figure out what to tie your deadline to? Reach out to a friend or accountability partner! My AP and I meet every Monday morning to discuss what’s new and what’s coming down the pipeline that week. We’ve started sharing our weekly goals and hold each other accountable to those. When you make yourself socially accountable by sharing your list or goals with someone else, you instantly find more urgency in that item and are more highly motivated to make it happen (and by a certain date).