If you’re struggling to get your head in the game and focus on your work it’s ok, because until now you have never been taught the best strategies. This is more than just motivational ideas and some tips on how to be productive. It’s understanding why we allow distractions to get in the way and how we can develop a mindset that gets results and enables follow through.
Our brains like to map an easy pathway, it’s called the path of least resistance, which is why one day of zero inspiration to do work can often be followed by another day, and another. If your brain finds a way to get out of a hard task, it will remember and do it again and again.
The path of least resistance means it can be easiest to fill a whole day keeping busy on things that are not on your to-do list. It usually lasts until your list becomes so critical you knuckle down and do it all in one hour, or that point where you say, it’s too hard, I quit.
Through working with entrepreneurs for twenty years I have seen this so many times. Someone has money in savings when they launch a business, and there is no urgency to make sales calls. They focus on making a logo, selecting the perfect font, coffee with friends, watching TV…
Then, the money runs out and they’re in a crisis! At this point, they become inspired to work hard, and they pick up the phone and make the calls.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an effective way to get straight into your work and have it done without putting yourself through such a crisis?
I’d like you to have as many successes in life as possible, which is why I’m going to share my knowledge with you and give you a working understanding of what to do when you don’t feel like working and get you back in the game.
1. Create A Work Structure
Work out your hours and be sure to get started and to end exactly as you specified. Schedule a lunch break, even if that means getting up from your seat, going outside for a walk, and coming back with your sandwich.
Make sure other people know your hours and enforce that no personal calls, shopping or socialising will be done during work time. As soon as work is over, give yourself a break and stop everything until tomorrow.
In the first twelve months of business you’re going to work harder than you ever have before, it’s time to drop the 9-5n mentality and do whatever it takes to be successful! The amount of time you dedicate to your business will need to reflect this.
2. Begin Your Day On The Right Foot
So much about getting through your workday effectively starts well before your work does. At Live it Now we say ‘how you start is how you finish’ and that goes for a seven-year vision as well as day to day living.
This is the most important thing you can do, when this is correctly mastered, you’ll never waste another day.
Structure your day in a pattern, once you get going your mind will remember and look to do it again, and again, so your conscious desires will be supported with your unconscious momentum.
The pattern you choose will depend on your lifestyle choices and time frames, so get creative.
Look at a starting your day with exercise, you are best to go for a walk or gentle jog to get your circulation going and be outdoors. It opens your mind and your opportunities.
Know your outcome for the day. Know what you want to achieve and be committed to getting it done.
Be sure to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast or juice, then shower, and be ready to go at your pre-determined start time.
3. Keep Your Office Organised
Have an area set up where you can work with clean space. Be sure to stay stocked up on things you need and avoid clutter with things that you do not. This space is just for work, not for laundry, not for books and not for sleeping.
Have water by your desk so that you don’t need to get up when you’re thirsty.
Your chair and desk should be ergonomically correct, if not you may find yourself wandering from your work simply to get out of back pain, and you won’t even realise it.
If your chair is cheap, consider investing in one that’s going to support you. If you spend the majority of your day seated, consult a chiropractor and ask them about the benefits to your core muscles of sitting on a swiss ball intermittently throughout the day.
While standing desks are all the rage at the moment it is important that you don’t stand all day. Rotate your standing and sitting and be sure to stretch often during the day.
4. Plan Your Goals And Achievements
You may choose to write your list out the night before. Knowing what’s coming is a great way to get motivated to get out of bed. If not, write it now, noting everything that needs to be done in the day in order of importance.
Target your most important task first and be sure you have all the resources you need to achieve this goal.
As soon as your work day starts, do your most important task and only your most important task.
Keep going until it’s completed, no matter what happens. If something else comes up that you have to do immediately do it fast and get straight back on track.
Every time you switch tasks, leave your desk, or get distracted it takes 30 minutes to get back into a focused and productive mindset. Do one thing at a time, do it properly, and work until it’s done.
Then focus on your next most important task, then the next one, in order of priority.
Bonus Motivation Ideas To Be Productive
If you need an extra nudge to be productive, you might like to add these motivation ideas to a whiteboard in your workspace:
Trance music is great background music for staying focused as it does as advertised; it puts you in a trance and drowns out any thoughts that might pop up and lead you astray.
If you have been staring at the cursor on the white page of your monitor for 45 minutes without a word written, pack it up, it’s not happening. Go for a walk, vacuum the floor, play with the dog. Do something to break state, and start again in 10-15 minutes.
If the task itself is not motivating you, set yourself a reward for when you have completed your #1 task.
In schools or universities, we’re not taught how to be productive. Then in the corporate world, we’re conditioned to work to keep our job, not to excel. As an entrepreneur, we are responsible for our own success and nobody is going to do the work for us!
If you need to disrupt your patterns and create a new psychology around business, join us for The Troublemakers Disruption Tour this March.
Until then, be troublesome.