Updated: May 28
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were on top of your game and completely productive all the time? Think about how much more you would get done. How many more clients and subscribers you would have. How much more money would hit your bank account. It’s a lovely thought, isn’t it?
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The problem is, it’s totally unrealistic.
While it’s something that most entrepreneurs and over-achievers I know strive to do (myself included!), the reality is, you can’t be in growth mode all the time. That would be like inhaling without ever exhaling. It’s just not possible.
So first, let’s get okay with the fact that it’s normal to lose your drive from time to time – as long as you don’t get stuck there for too long.
And when you are feeling stuck, I want you to always have the tools to get, well, un-stuck.
Here are my top 7 tricks for getting your groove back when motivation has completely escaped you.
1. Reconnect with your WHY – I believe that inspiration is a catalyst for motivation, which is why I find this to be one of the quickest ways to reignite my fire when my motivation dips. It’s easy to get lost in the humdrum of emails, sales calls, copywriting and paperwork. Find a way to reconnect with your purpose for doing your work. This could look like reading old testimonials, reaching out to your audience to ask what they’re excited to already be receiving and what else they’re looking for, or even volunteering your time with an organization that has a shared mission. If you need to go a little deeper, Simon Sinek is the go-to resource for identifying and staying focused on your Why.
2. Take small steps – Overwhelm is a major contributor to work paralysis. If you find that you just can’t get started because you simply don’t know where to start, you aren’t alone. My suggestion is to break down your big projects into a short list, with the highest priority items at the top. Then, underneath each project, write down 3-5 small steps that you must take in order to finish your project. Once you’ve got your list, you can focus on knocking one item off at a time, starting at the top. Taking small steps will get you from overwhelm to progress in no time.
3. Change up your routine – Sometimes finding your motivation can be as simple as getting out of a rut. This can be especially effective if you work from home. Maybe you’re in the habit of hitting snooze a few more times than usual and Netflix has you binging during that afternoon slump. Trust me when I say I’ve been there. My favorite trick for turning this around is to change up my routine so my brain is forced to create a new pattern. Getting in a workout first thing in the morning or simply getting up and dressed for the day (anyone else find themselves in their pj's at 2pm??) is a simple shift that can have a big impact. Getting out of the house and working from a coffee shop or co-working space is a great way to shake things up too. I know I’m always WAY more productive when I work from my local coworking space! I also like to schedule meetings first thing in the morning so I don’t have a choice but to get up and and get focused. It really helps to set the tone for the rest of the day.
4. Meet with your mentors – Get on a call with your coach, mentor, mastermind group, or someone you trust to guide you in your business. Having a sounding board – especially one that you touch base with on a regular basis - can help you stay accountable to any new habits you want to create. It should also provide you with a safe place to get perspective and explore the possibility that something deeper needs to be addressed. If you don’t have anyone to support you like this, I suggest reaching out to your community (or mine!) to find an accountability partner, a small networking group, or hire a coach or mentor.
5. Tidy up your work space – It’s amazing what clutter can do to shut down your creativity and inspiration. Spend some time cleaning and tidying your desk. Refresh the look by adding a small plant or artwork that inspires you. Burn some sage or palo santo if you’re a little hippie like me. Giving your workspace a good once-over will clear any stagnant energy and help you come back with a clear mind and intention.
6. Review old notes and ideas – If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got old notebooks laying around full of notes and inspiration you’ve jotted down over the months and years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this trick to kick-start my creativity when it’s low. I’m always surprised at how many brilliant ideas, advice, and tips I’ve jotted down and then completely forgot. Reviewing old notes is a surefire way to boost your motivation. Note: if you don’t have old notebooks to sift through, grab your favorite books or bookmarked blogs and skim them. You kept them around for a reason: use them.
7. Write or refresh your mission statement – If you don’t have a mission and vision statement for your business, it’s time to write one! Really carving out a few sentences to define your purpose is a powerful exercise in itself. Then, when you need a little lift, you can always read them to help you remember the bigger picture of what you’re working toward. Bonus points for printing it out and keeping it visible at all times.
I’m curious – do you have any go-to motivation boosting tips that aren’t included here? I’d love to hear them! Email me or comment below.
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