Yesterday, I sat in my office bleakly staring at my computer screen. I had plenty to be doing and getting on with, but quite frankly I didn’t seem to have the energy or even audacity to achieve what I had intended. Feeling deflated, I turned to scrolling through my social media pages and quickly another hour had been wasted, with no productivity going on whatsoever.
We all have moments, or even days like this. Let’s be honest, no one can expect anyone to be superhyped and motivated in work all day every day. It’s not possible! The amount of times I used to stress over wasting an afternoon in work when I had not been ‘feeling it’ or hadn’t achieved anything on my massive to-do-list.
But, you know what? I have learnt to accept the fact I am not always going to be on the ball 100% of the time. Nobody is and it’s far too much pressure to be putting on ourselves.
However, there are certainly a few things we can do to help ourselves stay motivated in our businesses and to keep ourselves moving forward when we feel we are slipping under.
Have a to-do-list. Making a list of everything you need to do is super important in keeping you on track and motivated to do so. As you go back over your list and cross off your achievements the feeling of satisfaction will definitely spur you on to keep going, especially when one of those big tasks is accomplished.
It’s also a good idea to look back over your to-do-lists as you will find things you have written down at a particular time, is no longer relevant to you. Crossing them out and rethinking what matters to you with new things to achieve is a great way to re-focus the mind.
Whenever you are feeling a little deflated, look back over your to-do-lists and what you have already achieved. You’ll be surprised of the boost it will give you and the encouragement to keep moving forward.
Write down your goals. We all have goals in business, some small and some large. It can be so easy in business to get distracted with everything that is going on daily, so writing our goals down really helps us to focus on them. Seeing a goal on paper will help us to visualise how we will feel when we accomplish that goal and by visualising it, we can devise a step-by-step plan on how we are going to achieve it.
Writing our goals down for our business really helps to motivate us to keep pushing forward. Even when you are having a bad day or things just don’t seem to be going right, looking at our goals and remembering why we are in business in the first place, is usually enough to give us the kick we needed to get re-focused.
Focus your time. We are all guilty of putting too many expectations on ourselves and then beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve it. Rather than trying to get a million of things completed in one day, focus your time realistically on the tasks required. Put aside realistic chunks of time dedicated to complete each task. By focusing on one thing at a time and switching all distractions off, such as emails, phones and social media, we will find we can achieve so much more.
Just by doing this, we will be giving our own morale a boost and at the end of the day when there are still things to complete, don’t sweat it. Congratulate yourself on what you have achieved and move the remaining tasks to the following day, prioritising them if required.
Celebrate your wins. Every win, big or small, should be acknowledged and celebrated. As a business owner, I know how easy it is to keep aiming higher and higher and pressurising myself to keep doing better and better. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, it’s important to reflect on why we are aiming for that next level? It’s because we have achieved the level before and that certainly needs celebrating!
If you don’t achieve something the first time around, then learn from it, change your approach and try again. There’s no failure, simply lessons. Celebrate each and every win and enjoy the journey along the way.
Know your why. Why did you start your own business? We all have our own reasons; to quit working for someone else, to help with family commitments, to retire your partner, to buy a dream house, to be able to work from anywhere, to be your own boss, to have financial freedom. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember why you started and when you are feeling low this will give you the positive boost needed.
I absolutely love running my own business. The journey hasn’t been plain sailing, but if it had I would certainly not appreciate it as much, or how far I have come.
Yesterday, when I had wasted a few hours being completely counter-productive in my work, instead of sitting there for the rest of the day, I took myself out for a walk with the dog. I was only outside for 20 minutes, but it was long enough to clear my thoughts and re-energise myself. By the time I got back to my desk I only had an hour before dinner, but in that hour I achieved two more things off my to-do-list. Ending my day on a win and a positive, for sure.