The difference between being in a rut and being in shallow grave is probably only a few inches, we’ve all been there. That place where getting fired up seems impossible, and you can feel your motivation seeping out from underneath you – and you’re swimming against the current of life with not even a bronze medal in sight. It’s not a nice place to be, but buck-up chap there’s few things you can do to stay on top.
Set Milestone & Goals
There’s a cliché bandied about, where some Italian city wasn’t built in 24 hours, or something to that effect, and how right, a lot can be done in a day but it takes many a day to build an empire. Your own personal life and work projects are the same.
So what you need to remember is to chunk large projects into smaller bite size pieces and reward yourself when each of these is completed. Save the Johnny Walker Blue Label, or the weekend getaway to Mashatu for the final task’s reward perhaps, otherwise things could get a little a pricey mid-way.
Set goals to ensure you’re on target and if something isn’t working, deviate, try an alternative but don’t get bogged down – keep the momentum moving forward and your eyes on the prize. The goals and milestones needn’t be drawn out but they do need to be drawn out on paper – and no more than 200 words say.
Find your Patch of Productivity
Everyone has there little spot where they can get into the zone and just bash a way at there tasks and feel great in the process. You don’t? Well find one! Some prefer solitude, quiet and maybe some classical musical in the background. Others prefer being in amongst people, in say a public place such as a cafe where all other thoughts (aside from the one at hand) can be drowned out. Some find a quiet office, with a “do not disturb” notice outside does the trick. Wherever your own unique place is, it needs to be created, by you, and no one else. And in doing so, every time you are in your zone your brain will be triggered into a state of insurmountable focus.
Your Time To Shine
Some days you’re up, some down. Know when you’re at your peak, for some (like me) it’s in the mornings right after a workout. This is where you need to step into your zone and get cracking with most important (i.e. top priority) tasks that are going to make the most impact – not the tasks that merely keep you busy. A solid (and focused) 45mins of optimal work is more productive and motivating than fitting in 15mins here and there, being constantly distracted by interruptions.
Accept that some days you just are not going to be on top of your game, no big deal. These days will give you a chance to scratch off some of those ‘monkey-tasks’ (i.e. tasks a trained monkey could do) off your list. And if you’re not keeping lists of things that need doing on a day to day basis, get yourself a copy off David Allen’s Getting Things Done (which although isn’t exactly a riveting read, it does have some sound principles).
A break? Are you insane? There’s just too much to do! True there is, but taking a little time out each day for you to do the things you love, like; riding a bicycle, reading, taking your dog for walk, coffee & a chat with a friend, meditation, yoga, weight lifting; whatever it is, it all serves to give your mind some much needed down time. Which in turn refreshes and rejuvantes the mind, meaning when you return: You will be kicking derrières left right and center, and your motivation will be through the stratosphere,
Work/life balance is important. It’s a crappy situation where at the end of hard day’s work the only thing you have to look forward to: is going home to get bum-idle on the couch, with the remote and a beer – not good for tomorrow’s motivation my friend.
Take up a new sport, learn to cook, visit an art gallery, sign up for online dating, spoil the missus with a night out, grow a veggie patch, plan a holiday, invest in the stock exchange, go to the gym, design your own cocktail, take up photography, outsource your menial work tasks to some guy in India named Brubesh – just fill your hours (and every hour) with anything to keep you smiling and make what little time you have on this earth worthwhile. That is how you’ll stay top of your game and beat the blues.