“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get your work done when you’d rather sit on the couch and watch Netflix isn’t always easy – especially, with isolation in full swing.
Personal motivation is the extra push you need to get the results you want. But how to get it when you can’t even tell what day it is and you wake up on a Tuesday thinking it’s Saturday?
Minimise distractions to get your best work done
This is usually easier said than done (especially if your kids and partner are also working from home at the moment).
But when you are in a truly motivated state you absolutely MUST limit all distractions so you get the most out of your motivated time.
Limit social media
Cull the feeds you rarely use. Keep LinkedIn but cut Instagram. Are you using your Twitter account, or can you get news another way? If Facebook or another site is stealing too much of your time, curtail its use through technology, with an app like Freedom, https://freedom.to/, which can block internet access for up to eight hours at a stretch.
Or StayFocused, a Chrome extension that restricts minutes spent on time-wasting websites. The extension is totally flexible, allowing you to set the amount of time you can waste each day, determine which websites are time-wasters, and decide if you’d like to block certain sites altogether.
Give yourself a strict time period to work
This limits procrastination and prevents burnout. The more limits you give yourself, the less time you have for wasting. Deadlines such as “I have 90 minutes to finish this task” or “I will finish work by 5.30pm each day” make it easier to keep yourself on task.
Create new habits and save time
Human beings are often described as creatures of habit, but the truth is, behavioural change is hard.
As busy people, making a change either means cramming something else into our days, or replacing something that we’re used to doing – and that equals time. Neither option is especially easy, but with planning, making a change is possible.
One step at a time
You might have a list of items you’d like to change or pick up but focus on each one in turn. Trying to change a group of things at the same time is a recipe for failure. Giving each new habit the focus and time to succeed means you’re more likely to make the change you want.
Break it into manageable tasks
Breaking your habit into bits is the best way to make it manageable. Plan to make smaller changes gradually, knowing they will add up to the overall shift you are looking for.
Think long and hard about what motivates you, and use this as the basis for your commitment strategy. This is how you’re going to hold yourself accountable.
Some options include:
- Finding or creating a motivation group, for example, if you were taking part in a gym program there would be other people there to motivate you.
- Make an announcement on social media about what you want to achieve.
- Ask someone to check in with you about your progress, or even make a bet on your likelihood of success with a friend.
Bring your A-game and get your team involved
If you always bring your A-game the results you achieve will be impressive.
Three As to bring it:
- Appraise: Work out who will make up your dream team. Consider individual strengths and determine what your players want to achieve. If you don’t have a team, now is the perfect time to do this exercise and start by getting a good bookkeeper and business finance partner (like us) on board.
- Allow: Empower your team to deliver on your plan. Just as the coach sits on the side-line and stays out of the game, allow your team to demonstrate why they’re on your team.
- Acknowledge: Reinforce the great work they’re doing with support and encouragement – and celebrate their successes to build confidence and momentum.
And you know what? If you truly just need to take some time out (even if it’s just for 30-60 minutes), do it. Watch that show. Call your friend. Have a soak in the tub. Go for a run. Whatever it takes for you to relax so you can get back into it with gusto.
Remember this quote:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
The key takeaway here is just don’t stop, slow down, take time out, but keep working towards your goals, stay motivated and see the results unfold.
If you need a motivated business and finance partner onboard to help you achieve success in the current climate, we’d love to have a conversation to see if we can help you achieve your goals.