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.
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.
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.