The Motivation Issue.
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Aug 22, 2016

Hey there! Welcome to the 5th issue of TLDR: The Motivation Issue. In this issue I’ll share how I get motivated and go over three tips I use when motivation eludes me.

For those of you who missed last week’s issue about goals and how to justify procrastination, go here to get up to speed.


Ugh, Motivation

This week was tough. Not because anything crazy happened and not because I’d overbooked myself. I found this week extra difficult because I couldn’t get motivated about anything.

It was like this big, lead blanket was covering my body. I couldn’t get excited and the slightest distraction lured me into its web. Looking back on the week, I didn’t do most of what I’d planned to.

I felt stuck.


Getting Unstuck

It’s Friday morning, August 19th. I decided I’d write this week‘s TLDR about getting motivated. I decided that, because I thought it’d help some of you, TLDRians, get unstuck. And maybe, just maybe, it’d break me out of this funk.

I’m going to share three techniques I like to use to shake things up and help me get focused. Perhaps one day, when you need it, they’ll help you too.


#1 Unplug

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but try getting off the grid for a while. Close your browser. Hide your phone. Unplug your ethernet cable. Cancel Netflix if that’s what it takes (and then reactive it later, of course). Remove anything that could distract you.

I know, the idea of sitting alone with your thoughts is terrifying. But try it. You might learn something about yourself.


#2 Compete With Yourself 

Fiercely competitive? Like games? Turn your project into one.

Set a timer for 30 minutes and see how much you can get done. After that, set another timer and see if you can beat your previous score. These sprints help me find focus and get me moving to finish (or start) things.


#3 Don’t Break The Chain

Some of you may recognize this title, made famous by Jerry Seinfeld. He’s designed a great system for staying motivated. All it takes is a calendar and a red pen. For each day that you finish your task, you get to put a red X over that day.

Here’s a quote from the man himself:

“After a few days you'll have a chain.
Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer
every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt.Your only job next is to not break the chain.”


BONUS! #4 Simplify

The biggest momentum killer is not knowing where to start. Starting a new project can feel overwhelming. There are so many unknowns and moving parts that it might feel like an impossible goal.

Instead of trying tackle it head on, simplify it. Break it down into smaller, bite-sized chunks you can understand. Turn those small pieces into milestones and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to the finish line.


I hope these quick tips help those of you in your own slouch. It’s tough when you’re in it, but the only way out is to do something.

See you next time, gang.


Reference Roundup

Don’t Break The Chain
The original article from Lifehacker.

Don’t Break The Chain The App
Yes, there’s even an app for it.


We are five issues deep, friends. I know what you’re thinking—will the fun ever start?! Let me know what you think. Send all calendar screenshots, Seinfeld bits and motivation success stories my way. And while you’re at it, tell me how to make TLDR better for you.

Interested in booking me for a speaking engagement? Let’s talk

Copyright © 2016 Greg Gunn, All rights reserved.

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