Lacking Motivation? 4 Tips to Pull You Out of the Rut


file9311239553069Most of us are susceptible to the temptations that bog down our momentum when it comes to starting or growing a new business.

Poor time management skills, procrastination, and self-doubt creep all around us. Before you know it, you’re paralyzed, de-motivated, and your great plans for a creative project or a new business endeavor are dead in the water.

Do you look around and mutter, “I should be doing that” or “I need to get going with my next project”?

Here are some practical tips to get you moving again so you can get back to productivity and enjoy some progress:

1. Discover (or re-discover) your passion.

If you aren’t usually living/working/playing in environments in which you love, you’ll quickly become bored and apathetic. Doing what makes you feel alive is crucial to productivity.

Get started ===>> Download my free ebook, 5 Easy Steps to Discover the Home-based Business That’s Perfect for You, for help.

2. Learn something new.

Read a book, take an online course, or attend a class at your community college. Regardless of what you learn, I promise it will spark something inside of you.

Get started ===>> Join Kelly McCausey for any of her amazing online courses, including the Stretch Yourself Challenge, which begins May 1. (I just completed her Power of a Focused Business course and I learned so much. I am now going to be working with her as a blogging intern during the next three months—which brings me to #3.)

3. Find a mentor and/or mentoring group.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve benefited from the support of online friends who have the same goals as I do. Whether it’s been maintaining a workout routine or learning about blogging best practices, my online groups have motivated me and propelled me forward. In fact, I was able to apply for the upcoming internship with Kelly after having participated in a group coaching opportunity this spring.

Whether you want to move ahead with a hobby, a business, or a new skill set, find someone who is a few steps ahead of you and soak up everything you can from that person. Barter with them: trade their mentoring for your skills.

Get started===>>I wholeheartedly recommend the Solo Masterminds group. Lots of smart business women hang out there. It’s a terrific place for asking questions, getting guidance, and making valuable connections.

4. Make sure your spiritual house is in order.

I know that God takes us all through various seasons for only his reasons. Our family has been on a “wilderness wandering” for about three years now. Our beloved church of ten years closed in 2010, and the church we attended since then was never a good fit. Because of scheduling conflicts, I had dropped out of my women’s Bible study, and my own personal study and prayer time had become quite neglected.

At the beginning of 2013, we finally sought out a new church and have been attending there since the first of the year. Being back in a truly spiritually-edifying environment weekly has drastically improved all facets of our family life—inlcuding my renewed energy around business and creative projects.

This point is not something mechanical or something that I can explain from a technical perspective. It’s faith, of course, but, I believe it’s absolutely vital to operating a successful business.

Get started ===>> Make sure you’re worshiping weekly in a biblically-sound, gospel-centered church. Pursue God daily with personal Bible study and prayer.

What gets you moving again when you’re in a rut?

Is Multi-tasking Actually Hindering Your Productivity?

Is Multitasking Actually Hindering Your Productivity?

4 Tips to Increase Productivity Stop Multitasking and Get More Done Multi-tasking

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s multi-tasking. I can drive, talk, listen, drink, eat, and chew gum. I can watch TV, blog, monitor Twitter and Facebook, and check emails. I can referee fights, cook dinner, and do laundry.

I’m really good at multi-tasking. But I’m not so sure if it’s really good for me.

In trying to squeeze more work and more activity into the same eight hours, my multi-tasking is actually creating habits that cause me to mismanage time.

Multi-tasking’s Negative Outcomes

  • Mistakes. How many times have you missed something or done something incorrectly, simply because you were too distracted with other tasks?
  • Fatigue. Dealing with constant diversion and ball-juggling makes me tired. When I’m tired, I make mistakes.
  • Creating a time-drain. More time—not less—is needed to over-correct and compensate for the detriments of multi-tasking.

I’m going to try using some tried and true time-management principles during the next few weeks, especially since I have some work deadlines and project deadlines that I’d need to complete in a timely manner.

Increasing Productivity

1. Rely on an updated daily calendar.

I have a small calendar book I carry with me and one large one for the fridge. I have invested oodles of dollars over the years on planners, systems, and the like. My small calendar cost $1 at The Dollar Tree, and I got my fridge calendar on clearance at Michael’s the week after Christmas for 50 cents. Seriously. It doesn’t matter what you spend; it matters that you use the calendar and update it daily.

2. Divide project or jobs into smaller tasks and list each task, working backwards.

First decide what the end result is, then figure out what you need to do each day (or week or hour or whatever) to reach that goal. For example, if you need to write 1000 pages in five days, then you need to write 200 pages each day.Depending on the project, you may discover items that you can delegate to others. The project planning approach gives you an idea of how much time each task requires so you know what time to estimate for completion of the project.

3. Work on one project at a time.

In the construction or creative process, your attention must be on one thing at a time. Undoubtedly, this is the hardest for me to do, but for ultimate productivity, I must find a block of time with as few interruptions as possible. This is also the time to close out my email inbox, Facebook, and Twitter.

4. Work a project from beginning to end until done.

I recently heard about a productivity study that revealed that people got more products completed when they worked each one to completion and then began the next one. Our natural inclination is to work on like items in an assembly-line fashion, doing all the same tasks together then compiling the pieces for the finished product.

But this new information says that when we complete the finished product, it helps us actually get the work done more quickly. I’ve tried this with laundry—instead of doing all the washing, all the folding, and then all the putting away in phases, I’ve washed, dried, folded, and put away one basket at a time. I did feel more productive and there’s something about the sense of accomplishment, plus I wasn’t distracted by piles of “undone” work that I couldn’t get to.

What about you? Are you a hopeless multi-tasker?

Can you stop the multi-tasking over the next few weeks and see what happens to your productivity?