So you sit down and start to work. You have to write your newsletter. You’ve got to write two promotional e-mails. You need re-work your calendar for the week. You have a few clients to reach out to and some follow up with current clients. You’ve even got it neatly organized on a to-do list. None of the tasks seem too hard, but when you count up all the time you’ll spend on them, it does seem overwhelming.
Suddenly you notice that your motivation is going down the drain. You start to get distracted. You wander onto FaceBook and get lost for 35 minutes. You check your in-box, I mean you have to take care of those e-mails right? You get hungry – and decide to go get a snack. Before long – two and half hours has gone by. You’ve been doing “stuff” but none of it is revenue generating and you aren’t crossing the big items off your to-do list.
You end the day with nothing major crossed off your to-do list. You also have a sneaking, subtle feeling that though you worked – you just didn’t quite get to the right things.
If you are stuck in this pattern, know that you aren’t alone! Sometimes motivation is low for all of us, especially if it has been a particularly busy time.
But the key to success in entrepreneurship is to find motivation to stay on track – even when you don’t want to. To get things done, even when you’d rather be doing just about anything else!
Just like all of you, I struggle with motivation and procrastination too. And, I’ve figured out some sure fire ways to get around it.
Here are my top three tips to keep you moving forward even if “you just don’t feel like it”:
1. Rest your mind. I’ve noticed that sometimes my mind literally needs to take a break. My favorite break: television. I know, it’s not yoga or meditation or something more healthy. But I’ll tell you what, there’s nothing like an episode of my favorite science fiction or fantasy show to perk me right up. Then I can start working again. However, be careful on this one. If you find yourself taking lots of breaks, skip this step! Move on to 2 and 3.
2. Procrastination is caused by Fear. If you aren’t doing something – it’s usually because you are afraid. Usually it’s one of the common four: fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of “being found out” (fraud factor), fear of not knowing how to handle the future.
The best way to handle this one is to just get real with yourself. What are you afraid of? Then go and find someone to talk it through with. I find that a great conversation usually sheds light on a dark and scary fear.
Then, go ahead and start that task. I can’t guarantee that it will be fun. I can pretty much guarantee that you will have butterflies in your stomach. However, breathe and do it anyways.
You might have some questions on things that you don’t know how to handle. Don’t stop. Just make sure you have a mentor to shoot those questions off to. Keep moving through it – only pausing if there is something you don’t understand and you are waiting on a question to be answered.
You’ll see, once you tackle it – you’ll never feel that same fear again. That’s the main difference between successful entrepreneurs and ones that aren’t. Successful ones walk forward towards their fears every single day. What was once terrifying to them becomes normal. And with each leap over a new fear – they tackle bigger and more impactful challenges – leading to more and more success.
3. Use a Timer. This is my favorite one of all time. I use a timer all the time, quite, literally, almost every day. I close my browser. I close my inbox. And I just focus. I work on one task at a time and get it done. This tool is especially useful if you are tackling a task that you are scared of. Then you just tell yourself that you are focusing for 25 minutes. It’s a great way to move through that fear for a short period of time.
My favorite application for this is called Pomodoro. It’s an online timer that actually talks to you. Mine just told me I had five minutes to go to finish this article. Brilliant!
Here’s a link to the Pomodoro app: http://mac.software.com/productivity/pomodoro
You can move past procrastination. Just face your fears, use a timer and take a break when you need it.
Robin Hardy is recognized for her ability to ignite authentic enthusiasm by engaging the most empowered, unstoppable you. Her dynamic, energetic, playful coaching and presentation style opens you to new levels of success and allows you to reach heights that you may have only dreamed of reaching. Robin will effortlessly and naturally guide you on a journey of discovering a limitless vision of your dreams.Her seminars have empowered women/men to step out of “Their Boxes” and start living their lives. Robin brings over 20 years of real life experience as a Christian to empower & edify you in your walk. Robin is a Certified Empowered Options Coach, Host & Media Personality of “Empowering You Radio”, Inspirational Speaker and Author of “Where’s My Rose Garden: An Inspirational Journey of Hope”, that will bring new life to your business and personal lives through the word of God.