Guest post by licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitator Laura Burns
Real Talk: At least once a year I find myself bogged down, mired in annoyance, tethered to noisy messy stuff in my life – feeling stuck – and unable to get myself in gear. Why does this repeatedly happen to me? Am I the only one? Although it sometimes it feels that way, I know I’m not the only person who finds themselves in this predicament. At least I’m not alone? Regardless, it sucks.
Fortunately there’s a silver lining in this tale of wilted willpower, and it comes in the form of lessons learned. I may (almost) fall apart on a semi-regular basis, but I am the master of picking myself up and dusting off the blues. A lifetime of learning how to motivate myself, the queen of procrastination and demotivation, has taught me some tricks that inspire and motivate even the worst of us! If you find yourself needing help getting motivated, check out these ideas below and remember to be kind to yourself. You may have trouble making yourself snap out of it, but it happens to all of us at one time or another.
• Ask for accountability: For many of us, knowing that someone is going to check in on our progress is enough to get our butts off the couch and right to work. Whether you’re writing the great American novel, building an herb garden, *cough* finishing a blog post, or designing a newsletter, it’s great motivation to know that you have an Accountability Buddy who’ll know if you don’t get your work done. In fact, many of us set deadlines for this very reason! I set deadlines and then create computer pop up reminders at various intervals telling me to get to work and that I “better have started at least thinking about” the project. It’s easy to click the box away when it pops up, but at least it gets me thinking about the work.
• Force yourself…for a few minutes: “Well if I could force myself to do the work, I wouldn’t have this problem – right?” Yes! If you could make yourself just get up and do the work you’d be free of this problem. You’d also probably be fluent in 5 languages, a world renowned chef, and a master of the delicate art of Chinese calligraphy. Let’s be real, these things are probably not going to happen for you. You can, however, set a timer for 10 minutes and make yourself at least attempt to do the thing you don’t really feel like doing. After 10 minutes you’re free to go back to that bag of kale chips and the episode of Scandal. BUT, I bet you won’t want to. I’ve found that forcing myself to at least get started on a project is enough momentum to get me going for a while.
• Go for a walk: There’s something about getting your blood pumping that makes tackling a project seem less daunting. Switch your slippers for some real shoes and hit the road for a lap around the block. If you live near a more natural feeling area, that’s even better. A walk in the woods is one of the greatest mood lifters I’ve ever encountered. It’s hard to be the queen of the couch when there’s fresh air to be enjoyed. When you come back from your walk try setting the timer and working for your 10 minutes. You’ll find yourself enthralled in your work in no time.
• Brag about it: Humans love validation! When I get stuff done I love telling my husband or my friends about it. No judging here. If posted a victorious Instagram selfie or Facebook humble brag status update about your work helps get you motivated to finish – no problem. I’m all for whatever it takes to get the job done. We all love getting positive feedback for our work, so brag away!