Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in general.
Maybe it feels like there’s such a mountain of work ahead of you (house chores included!) that you don’t know where to start.
Maybe your current projects aren’t terribly exciting.
Maybe you’re feeling a bit burnt out.
Or maybe you’ve got something worrisome happening in your personal life.
Whatever your reason, here are a few tips to help you self-start yourself back to productivity.
A note from Preston:
A quick pause to share some great news with you. April Greer will now be working as the Content Manager for GraphicDesignBlender.com.
With April’s help, we’ll take the Millo content to all-new heights, improve consistency, and become even more useful to you as you build your business.
April has already spent the last week helping me organize our content and has done a stellar job. Join me in congratulating April on her new role by leaving a comment on this post.
If you’re interested in contributing to the site, April is the best one to help you. Contact her at [email protected] to submit content or ask questions.
Now, back to the content…
Where was I? Oh yes… Here’s how to stay motivated when solo business has got you in a rut
Don’t even try to pawn off the sweats you didn’t sleep in as “dressed.” Go put on clothes that you wouldn’t be embarrassed walking in public in at 3pm.
You’d be surprised the subconscious impact comfort clothes have on your productivity.
Do something really small and simple to get the ball rolling
Whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, sending out one work email, or walking your dog, tear yourself away from Reddit, your cozy bed, or your TV screen and get one tiny thing done.
Psst: Have you heard about Hectic? It's our new favorite tool for freelancing smarter, not harder. Client management, project management, invoices, proposals, and lots more. Hectic's got it all. Click here to see what we mean.
Once you’re away from the blerch,* it’s easier to transition into the next task.
* Thanks, Matthew Inman! PS – Be VERY careful when visiting this site…when you come up for air, days may have gone by.
Make a very specific to-do list
Since lifting a finger to even make a list sounds worse than running 10 miles, follow these guidelines to motivate but not overwhelm:
- Be super-specific. List only the first step of action for each task. (Seriously, on these days you should write “carry the vacuum downstairs” rather than “vacuum downstairs.” Likely once both you and the vacuum are downstairs together, the vacuuming will get done.)
- Be realistic. This is not an exhaustive list of everything you still need to do (there’s this to-do list for that). This is a list to get you moving right now.
Force progress in small time increments
Set a timer for 30 minutes (15 if that’s too daunting) and require yourself to work until the timer goes off.
No Facebook. No bathroom break. No snack food.
When the timer goes off, allow yourself a break of 20% of your work time.
Rinse. Repeat. (If necessary: often you’ll find that getting started was the hard part.)
Do anything you have the motivation to do
When you’re stuck in lazy mode, forcing progress sometimes just doesn’t work. No matter how much you bang your head against a project, you just can’t get into it.
On these days, there’s no sense in wasting time. Your brain is telling you it’s tired and needs a break.
So if you all you want to do is play video games (or bake cookies, or read, or bang on your drum set, or <insert awesome activity here>), do it. When you’ve recharged your brain’s battery, you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to work.
Get some exercise
I know, I know. The very last thing you want to do when you’re unmotivated is break a sweat.
But it WILL help.
Physical exertion causes a whole slew of chemical reactions in your body that, if nothing else, feeds your brain a different concoction of hormones…stimulating, attitude-lifting ones.
How do you get motivated on ultra-lazy days?
Share your secret(s) in the comments on this post.
Keep the conversation going...
Over 10,000 of us are having daily conversations over in our free Facebook group and we'd love to see you there. Join us!