July 8, 2020

How to get and stay motivated

Since the covid pandemic happened, I did the following:

  • Self published my book
  • Recorded and sent out promotional video clips on LinkedIn to promote the book
  • Started the finishing touches on my next book
  • Started another site and project
  • Caught up with friends

Maybe to some of you, it sounds like a lot. To others, it probably sounds like I didn’t do that much. Either way, I have been trying to get and stay motivated and I thought I would share a few things that might help you if you are finding it hard to be motivated working on whatever it is you are working on.

Get 8 hours of sleep, exercise, eat healthy

You can’t get motivated if your energy levels are low. Nor can you stay motivated if you feel tired and want to take a nap. Motivation starts with your foundation, so build a good foundation to start.

Set up a schedule

For example, my day consists of at least three different ‘meetings’. I have a lunch break. I have a dinner break. And I have an exercise break. In between those meetings, I have a limited amount of time to get work done. Similar to the structure of work meetings, I find that I get a lot more done when I know I have a meeting to attend.

Do something small

Motivation doesn’t find you and then inspire you to take action. Motivation finds you when you are already taking action. Don’t feel like running on a treadmill? Spend five minutes walking on the treadmill. Do you not feel like writing a few crappy pages for your book? Write one paragraph.

When you do something small, the motivation finds you.

Remember your end goal

There’s a story about Gertrude Ederle. Up until the year 1926, no woman had ever swum the English Channel. A car company offered a red Buick convertible and $2,000 in cash to the first woman that could swim the English Channel. Gertrude was 19 and she wanted that car. She decided that she wanted the car so much that she would swim the English Channel to get it.

Partway across the English Channel, Gertrude was drained. She felt like she could not swim any longer. But, she closed her eyes and imagined herself in the red Buick convertible. This vision gave her newfound strength and she did not stop until her feet was touching the shore.

Swimming the English Channel was not Gertrude’s goal. Being in the red convertible was.

Remember your end goal and how great it will feel once you achieve it.

Think positively

It’s dangerous to start thinking that you aren’t going to get anything done today. Or that you are otherwise being unproductive. There are some days where you do not feel like you are going to get anything done. Don’t force it. Sleep early and then get a great start on your work the next morning. The worst thing you can do is to force something that you do not really want to do and then get into a negative spiral of emotions and thoughts that lead you to beating yourself up.

Find accountability through friends

A good friend and I have come up with a way to keep ourselves productive. We message each other each day and ask what we have accomplished that day. This has a number of benefits:

  • You are harder on yourself than your friends are, and your friends will have an encouraging word to say
  • It is completely free, and at the same time, you get things done because you don’t want to say “nothing”
  • If you do end up not doing anything, your friend will still be your friend

How are you staying motivated during this time? What tips and tricks do you have?

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