As a creative person, being able to motivate yourself is a crucial part of your success. When you don’t write, draw, or engage in your chosen pursuit, it’s pretty hard to create income. While it’s true that everyone suffers from a lack of productivity once in a while, any prolonged lack of motivation is going to have consequences for not only your bottom line; your energy levels, your confidence, and even your health can be affected when you’re not doing what you’re meant to be doing.
If you need to up your self-motivation skills here are a few ideas that may help.
They say the hardest part about getting going is just getting started. These first few tips will help you motivate yourself to take that first step:
1. Have a plan in place.
It’s easier to start when you know where you’re starting. Before you stop for the night, make a list of everything you’d like to get done the next day. In the morning, you’ll be able to start right in on the list because you exactly what you need to do. This builds momentum, and makes the rest of your day flow more smoothly too.
2. Eliminate distractions
Once you have your plan, make sure you are distraction free. It’s easy to procrastinate when your favorite distraction - mine is surfing Instagram – is right there to be enjoyed. It’s amazing how motivated you can become when you don’t allow yourself to check your favorite site or watch your favorite tv show until you get the work done!
3. Use the 5-minute rule.
I learned this one from a counsellor I was seeing awhile back. She said that anyone can do pretty much anything for 5 minutes. If you give yourself permission to stop when the five minutes are up, chances are you’ll feel motivated to keep going because there’s no pressure on since you’ve already met your goal for the day.
Yes, I’m a list maker. But sometimes they really help to keep you focused and motivated. Besides the to-do list, pro and con lists (or pleasure and pain lists, if you prefer) work really well to keep you motivated.
4. The pleasure list
This is the good stuff… all the benefits you will gain when you take action and get the work done. Money? Confidence? A finished book? These are a few of the things that can keep you going when you find your motivation has wandered off in another direction.
5. The pain list
I’m not much into pain of any sort, and mental pain (aka worry) is a big no-no for me. A pain list gets that point across in a big way when I know that if the work doesn’t get done, the cash flow doesn’t flow, and I don’t get to move. Make a list of the painful things you want to avoid, and use this as motivation to get your butt in the chair and keep working.
Reading over these lists every day will help keep you focused on why you’re doing this.
Change Your Mindset
Improving your self-motivation skills is really about changing your mindset.
6. Figure out why you’re stuck.
Being stuck is one of the worst feelings. Usually there’s something else behind it so when you figure out what that is, you can really get things done! Ask yourself what keeps you stuck: Are you tired? Bored? Afraid? Once you know what keeps you stuck, you can take action to deal with it and move on.
7. Develop supportive habits
There are good habits that support you in reaching your goals, and there are not-so-good habits that fuel procrastination and distraction. If you develop enough supportive habits, then working hard to motivate yourself becomes a thing of the past. Why? Because you take the right actions automatically and don’t need to be pushed or cajoled into doing them.
8. Create competition…
with yourself, that is! When you strive to improve your own performance every week, it can be even more motivating than competing with others. Comparing yourself to others can be demoralizing, but comparing your own performance to your previous results can be very self-motivating.
If you’re still thinking you need more motivation, here are a couple of final tips to keep you going.
9. Take a break.
Sometimes physically changing your space is a great way to clear your mind and re-motivate yourself. My personal favorite is a walk by the river; usually I end up coming home refreshed and energized to get back to work.
10. Reward yourself!
There’s not a whole lot that’s more motivating than the promise of a reward at the end of job. I’ve heard of authors who buy themselves a new pair of shoes every time they publish a book. For me, it’s earrings. I like to buy myself a new pair of earrings for every goal I meet.
How do you reward yourself? Share your favorite rewards in the comments!