If you are feeling deflated, ‘tyred out’ or demotivated it’s quite possible that you manage the normal day to day. The problem is that you’re probably not doing the ‘stuff’ that will take your business where you want. If that’s the case, here’s 4 ideas to pump up your motivation so you feel more like working on your business again.
Pump up your motivation
The simplest way to get your motivation back is do something you want to do. The problem is that when you’re low on the energy and willpower you need to get started, the small amount of motivation you have left only seems capable of low energy tasks like business as usual, Facebook, comfort food or fiddling about – all of which makes us feel worse! Keep reading for 3 steps to recharge your energy.
Which motivation killers do you suffer with?
- Too much people time? As an introvert, maybe you’re drained by spending too much time with people? Can you arrange some quiet time where you’ll work differently? Even if you just skip tomorrow’s networking meeting it might help. Even virtual networking meetings can be tiring, many people report they’re more tiring!
- Arbitrary goals: Many introverts suffer from having what feel like arbitrary goals. Chasing after something that doesn’t mean anything to you won’t help. Stop, reflect, what’s really important to you and the way you are?
- Social Rejection: This one can be hard for an introvert and lead to too much self reflection. The owners of small businesses all have to face it sometimes. Whether it’s asking for new business, meeting new people, networking meetings, clients doing what they said they would, clients not paying on time…etc? These can feel like social rejection (although they’re not) and can be like little small holes in your motivation, the infamous slow puncture. Reduced willpower can then leave you focused on the safe, comfortable, traditional tasks – not the developmental ones.
- Putting up with things: The more you put up with rather than enjoy, the more motivation drains away. What can you simply deal with, or dump, to hold onto more motivation?
- Half finished? When my PC has more and more windows open, it slows down. The mental equivalent is half complete jobs. Incomplete jobs either mean you’ve had no “reward” for the work you’ve put in, or you’re thinking about what you still have to do – both reduce motivation. What can you clear off the list, even if only put off for a few months?
- Procrastination prevents progress: What are you procrastinating over? What on the list can you take a tiny step forward on? Just a tiny step in the right direction might help you. Alternatively simply knock things off the list that you are not getting done (dump it, do it or delegate it)?
- Not eating properly: Eating properly gives you energy (of course), did you know it helps your motivation too? A study (“Extraneous factors in judicial decisions”) of judges in the US showed that less glucose in the system led to being less likely to make an active choice of granting parole. When feeling depleted we are more likely to make passive choices (no risks, same old same old) or procrastinate. Personal trainers and dietitians advise regular, small meals. How could you change your eating habits? If you’re always making more passive decisions at the same time of day, look at your food or hydration habits.
- Decision fatigue: Ever had one of those days where you are constantly making decisions? Most people find it draining; they don’t have to be big decisions, too many small ones drain motivation too. In a three hour car drive the other day my navigator kept asking me to make the decisions (and he had the map), annoying (of course), but over doing decisions is another motivational slow puncture. Change your “to do” list into a “to decide” list and choose to only make so many in a day.
3 steps to recharge your energy
The urge to not do anything mentally active is huge, although you know it will feel better when you start. The easy answer is the mentally vacuous scoring dopamine hits from Facebook, or other small tasks that don’t really need doing – but that won’t improve motivation.
Getting back your motivation needs you to deal with the cause and conning yourself into making the first step.
- What is the cause? Find small things you can do about the cause, remove yourself from the situation, or think of another way you can ‘gird your loins’ and do one small step. If it’s some people you keep putting off, can somebody else do it, or can you reframe the reason for the call? Maybe just give yourself a day at home, without distractions!
- Think about your why. Why do you do what you do? What excites you about it? You’re not running your business because you wanted to own your own business, I bet there was a better reason! What’s the big reason (for me it involved fun, laughter, doing good and being a parent my son would look up to).
- Take a small step. What one small step could you take that would move you along, even if you only did it for 5 minutes? Do it and then take another micro step the next day.
Action in the right direction builds motivation, so take some, even if only a tiny bit.