…When All You Want To Do is Bury Yourself in a 40 Foot Trench
Alternate titles: —
-5 Ways To Stay Motivated When all you want to do is sit in your closet and hope everybody forgets about you
-5 Ways To Stay Motivated When all you want to do is move to Botswana and pretend to be a traveling food critic.
We all go through these stages. Especially those of us that aren’t on the typical path. You know, the work 9-5, corporate ladder thang. Some of us choose to go to work in our pajamas and that is perfectly okay. As long as you can be productive in your pajamas.
Trying to work your way into a business that is laden with too many sharks and not enough bait can be extremely trying on the mind and body. It wreaks havoc on your sleeping schedule, emotions, dignity, and everything else that can be wreaked havoc on. Giving up seems like the only choice at times, but we all know better than to do that. We know that we have to keep pushing, even when it’s the last thing we want to do.
While I am guilty as charged of the above, I’ve also got some tips for getting through the down times. They aren’t a cure-all, but they definitely help get your mind out of the ditch.
1. Make a list.
Making a list seems like a pointless task, but it can really help to get your head back in gear. Write out some goals for the week, or even just for the day. Point out some things that you will do to help push you in the right direction. These are small, simple goals that will inch you towards the pot of gold. It can be something as simple as eating healthier or sending 1 e-mail per day. Being able to have a list in front of you can help streamline your thoughts and to-dos. When I write out a goal/to-do list, I start with the simple things that I want to incorporate in my every-day (i.e. send 2 e-mails per day, work on a mix every day, make 1 new contact each week, etc. ) and then move on to bigger goals (2 new projects by x date, etc.) This way I can look at the smaller goals and check them off each day as I work towards the bigger goals.
2. Take a break.
Although it seems counter-intuitive to take a break when you should be working, sometimes a walk by the beach or up a mountain can do wonders. Getting your head clear and taking in some nature, sans-electronics, can do a lot for your mind. It can center you a little bit and give you a fresh start to go off of. Take as little as 15 minutes or as much as a few hours out of your day to connect with something besides your internet connection.
3. Talk to someone.
Whether that is someone who has been in your career path for a long time, someone who just has a lot of life experience, a therapist, or a good friend, talk to someone about your struggles. Lay out what is frustrating you and together, try to come up with some solutions. You don’t have to solve quantum physics, but just come up with some simple solutions that will point you in the right direction. If nothing else, you can get your fears and worries off of your chest and get someone else’s perspective of your situation.
While a break may be necessary, sometimes you have to just throw yourself into some work, even when it’s the last thing you want to do. When you’re motivated, everything is simple. It seems like a walk in the park and nothing can stop you. When you’re not motivated? Just looking at your work can make your head spin. Sometimes you just have to go through the motions until you get back on track.
5. Take a risk.
As an entrepreneur, taking risks is in our blood. Without that, you’re just another average worker in America. Sometimes being at rock bottom is just the juice we need to take a big risk we may have been putting off. I’m not saying you have to go jump off the Empire State building, but do something. Whether that’s sending an e-mail to a potential client or starting a new ad campaign that you’ve been thinking about, sometimes taking a risk can be the best medicine for an unmotivated soul. There’s always a chance that it won’t work, but isn’t that why we live the way we do?
If we didn’t want the lows of being our own boss, we’d go get a job working for someone else. The fact of the matter is that we know these ups and downs exist and we know that we are going to continue to face them throughout life. The trade off is that when things are good? It feels incredible. You get to bask in the glory of knowing that you did this on your own and that what you’re doing means something. You figured out what it took to get to that place, and you got there. It’s okay to have help along the way, but in the end you wouldn’t be where you are without your individual drive and brains.
What are some ways you stay motivated when you’re feeling like the yellow starburst amidst a bowl of red and pink?