There’s that funny old saying: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that’s exactly what we’re going to chat about today: self-motivation. For startup owners, or anyone in the business sphere for that matter, a lot of the time you might be working on your own. Late nights, early mornings in front of your laptop trying to code that software or fix your website for the thousandth time. These can add up into stress, the kind of stress you’re too stressed to acknowledge. So, how do you motivate yourself to work smarter, not harder? Let’s unpack that now.
Set SMART goals
Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help you stay focused and motivated. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Write them down and stick ‘em where they’re visible when you’re working.
Break down your daily to-do’s
Take it from someone who used to multitask across a hundred different unfinished projects – prioritise. It will take away that overwhelming feeling and turn it into fuel for getting stuff done. I would highly recommend looking into a scheduling tool like Asana or even just using a checklist on your daily planner. It’s super satisfying to customise & mark-off tasks.
Create a plan of action
Having an outline before you start is crucial for staying motivated. If you’re going through a tough patch with your mental health, it will be great to turn to your plan. Questions you could write answers for might include: what do I do to calm myself down if I’m feeling overwhelmed at work? What conditions help me work best? What time of day am I most productive?
Flip the negative bias
Our brains are wired to take the negative approach, the safe and survivalist route. That’s great when you’re running away from a very hungry lion, but not so great when you’re trying to make work less stressful. Anxiety or stress on a base level are actually an almost identical composition to excitement. So, try to challenge your mindset when it tells you that you’re anxious. You can, over time, trick your brain into relishing the anxious feeling.
Celebrate your progress and achievements. Reward yourself for reaching milestones and for staying on track.
Share your goals with a friend, family member, or mentor and ask them to hold you accountable. You’ll have someone to share your successes with, and when motivation is low, it can completely change your mood to simply call someone who gets you.
Be open to change and be willing to adjust your plan if necessary. Inevitably, you’ll encounter hurdles somewhere along the road, so it’s beneficial to reevaluate your relationship with setbacks from the outset. They’re totally necessary – you wouldn’t savour the end product without the hustle and challenge to get there.
Take care of yourself
Maybe I sound like the broken record of every twenty-something mindfulness guru, but it really is integral to get the basics down-pat. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and moving around. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take a more consistent approach to your goals
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help establish a sense of discipline and structure, which can carry over into other areas of your life and further enhance your motivation. When you feel physically capable and confident, you are more likely to approach tasks with a positive attitude and greater motivation. Your body releases endorphins when you break a sweat; these hormones promote happiness and reduce stress.
At Rovert Digital, we like to keep it real. We know not every day will have you feeling like some harried academic scholar who writes 5,000 words a day. And you know what? Embrace that. As a startup/business owner, you’re handling a lot of stuff on your lonesome, and you’re doing a great job. We’re proud of you!