Over the past year as a blogger, I’ve been surprised that increasing members to my community and building my online presence - the things I feared the most - were growing at a pretty natural rate. Instead, the thing that nagged me the most was straight-forward: finding the motivation (and time) to do the work I needed to do.
Sounds ridiculous, right? But after chatting with enough bloggers, I can say that this is a common problem. These days, I’m able to get a hell of a lot more done (although I’m still working on it). So today, I want to share with you the lessons that I’ve learned and why you haven’t been able to get things done. After you’ve read this, you’ll have increased motivation, inspiration and productivity. Let’s go.
#1 | You’re afraid
One of the biggest reasons I used to lack motivation, was because I had a fear that things would take too long. I figured everything would take longer to complete than I thought and that scared me. A blog post and a content upgrade? See you in 6 months! I’d built up these fears about how long different tasks would take to do, which meant I’d take even longer to complete them.
The good news is - you can beat this. Here’s the trick: try and predict how long you think each task will take and then time yourself. I was shocked. I can now write 1000 words in a way faster time than I ever could’ve predicted. You’ll usually find that you over-estimate every single timing and that should be incredibly motivating for you.
Doing this simple activity has helped me be more productive and motivated ever since. Now I know realistically how long it takes me to do certain tasks (like writing 1000 words and scheduling tweets).
Ask yourself some questions: What are you afraid of that’s keeping you from doing your work? Is it the same as me - fear of how long it will take? Worried you’re not going to be able to deliver at your best? Your answers will reveal a lot.
#2 | You’re not making it easier
Want to really get things ticked off your list? Make things easier to do. This is a strategy I’ve used ever since I can remember. It helps me develop better habits and get things done even when I’m low on motivation.
Here’s what you do - you want to cut off some time. This works wonders for your morning routine. I get to craft the routine I want because I make it easier for myself by getting some tasks out of the way the night before. Struggle to decide what to wear? Check the weather and get your outfit ready the night before. Always tempted into buying your lunch? Prepare it in advance. Likely to skip your workout? Get all your gear ready and put it somewhere visible.
This puts you in complete control of the situation. It saves you more time and makes things easier for yourself too. It’s the best way to jump-start positive change.
#3 | You’re spending too long with technology
It’s no wonder you’re not motivated to get things done when you spend hours scrolling through social media. Usually things you don’t remember half an hour later.
The thing that’s changed my motivation and productivity? Turning off notifications for all my social channels. I get so many a day, my phone would literally buzz every few minutes. Turning off notifications means you won’t get distracted. It also means that when you do use social media, you’ll use it much more intentionally.
Tune off from the noise of the online world. You’ll be able to ease back into your to-do list that’s been bugging you for weeks with no problems at all.
#4 | You don’t know your peak times
It’s real-talk time. Around 3pm, I’m useless. Ages ago, I used to start my routine in a certain way. Emails, checking social media, scheduling tweets. Really bitty tasks that didn’t take up huge chunks of time. This meant that I was left with the BIG tasks in the afternoon. That turned out to be a BIG mistake when I realised that I functioned the worst around 3 in the afternoon.
It’s just like finding out when your audience is most active online. You need to figure out when you’re most productive and you can get your best work done. Then you can prioritise your tasks so you’re getting the biggest tasks done during your peak brain power hours. Emails can wait. Trust me.
#5 | You don’t set yourself rewards
Rewards work well for so many people. The concept is simple - tell yourself that once you finish this task, you can have A. Or B or even C! Something else that works is rewarding yourself with a sweet or small piece of chocolate every time you complete a section or tick off a task. You’ll just have to work it off afterwards 😉
#6 | Your workspace isn’t organised
Nothing affects my motivation levels than a messy workspace. Papers all over the place, things not in the right place - the messier my desk, the messier my brain feels. Luckily, you can fix this in a really simple way. It’s just a habit you have to get into.
At the end of every work day, spend a few minutes tidying your workspace ready for the next day. Then on a Friday or at the weekend, spend about fifteen minutes just sorting everything out. Having bits of paper with different lists on all over the place makes you feel like you’ve got a longer to-do list. That’s a big reason why you’re not getting things done. A clean desk and a clear plan will help you in so many ways.
#7 | You’re not giving yourself a break
It’s not all work and no play you know 😜 There will be some days when you’re just not feeling it and no matter what you try, you can’t change that. Pushing yourself to do the work can sometimes be one of the worst things you can do. You’ll have less passion and less will to get it done. This will result in poor results and a one-way ticket to burnout.
Take time out. Relax. Pull your mind away from work. Do something you love. Do something for you. I swear you’ll feel so much better when you come back to work. Plus, you never know when inspiration might strike.
These aren’t quick fixes to being a motivational mastermind. But doing some of the things from this list will put you on your way to seeing a big positive difference. All you’ve got to do is try.
Let’s chat in the comments - what are your tips for getting things done when you’re not motivated?