Noting feels better than success – and that’s why success can be a silent impediment towards getting work done. If you’re like me, you’re always hauling ass to meet your goals – and there are usually one or two “little incidents” that pop up and push you off course.
You get so used to contingency planning, that when things actually go off without a hitch… you start celebrating. You start relaxing. And by the time you’ve finished taking the pressure off, you’re back where you started.
This is especially dangerous when you’ve hit a benchmark in a larger plan (like writing a story) and haven’t actually finished things up. If you can’t run through the finish line, you’ll never finish anything ahead of schedule.
Running a business is a bit like riding a bike – momentum is crucial. And if you have it, you shouldn’t let up on it. Here are a few techniques I’ve used to let success motivate me to get MORE done instead of less…
Ask Yourself What You REALLY Want
If you’re going to “treat yourself” it’s a lot better to go out of town or visit a theme park or use some other method to get out of the house… than it is to loaf around and play Madden for the dozenth time. Ask yourself if there’s a single fun thing you can do to get the “reward itch” out of your system and go back to work.
Trigger “High Energy” Moments
One of the benefits entrepreneurs have over average working stiffs is that you have more room to listen to your own body. Try and time your natural highs to line up with new challenges in your work.
You are an entrepreneur, right? You’re in the business of YOURSELF. That means you need to know yourself like the pimplesaurus at McDonalds knows the french fry machine, okay? Create a “science of yourself” and track what makes you stronger, faster, smarter, sluggish, or anything else.
Eat The Right Stuff
This is related to that “high energy” point, but it’s so important that it bears restating. I don’t know a single successful person that doesn’t take any care of themselves physically. Too much “junk” blocks your ability to feel your physical signals.
Try and keep a stead and consistent diet. You can vary your sauces and methods of cooking, but I’ve found that the less time you spend hemming and hawwing about what you’re going to eat, the better you’ll be at staying on task.
Rekindle Your “Burning Desire”
You might not notice it, but when you’re in “crunch time” on a project, that crunch isn’t just physical. You can really wear yourself out, even if your actual work isn’t too stressful.
So don’t just use your down time to relax – use it as a time to re-motivate yourself. Find some motivational material on YouTube, listen to someone else’s success stories, or just get encouragement from a friend. Tell them what you got done – and what you plan to get done really soon.
Don’t just picture your end goal in the abstract, either. Feel free to get really specific – those specifics don’t just motivate customers to buy, they can motivate you to work.
Don’t Get Ready, Be Ready
Overdosing on preparation time crushes your productivity. Outline your research process and spend as little time as possible researching and prepping. Basically, you want to minimize your prep time and just get started.
Once you’re ready to work, focus 100% on the task or priority that you are trying to get started on. Turn off email and the phone, close your door, get rid of papers on your desk (who still uses paper anyway?) If you can spend a 20 minute uninterrupted run working on your project, then it becomes much easier to stay on the ball.