Being motivated is one of the most important temptations you need in order to be more productive or simply get the job done.
As business owners, we tend to procrastinate on things we do not like, or simply we lack a motivation to get it done.
We do not want to hire anyone at this point, so the job has to be done in one way or another.
Lack of motivation is the cause of neglected projects, crushed dreams and continuing failures. That’s because of the unwillingness to keep working on activities to grow and improve a project.
If you happen to hire people, and build a team, often you’ll notice that some of your team members might not be as engaged or motivated as you previously thought.
So how can you act in such situations and what to do to boost your motivation and the motivation of others?
1. Be Specific – abstract or undefined goals are difficult to focus on.
Would you be more emotionally engaged if I say, “fruit?” On the other hand, perhaps you’ll respond more strongly to the words, “banana, strawberries and cherry?”
The word “fruit” holds an abstract meaning; it is not as engaging as “banana or strawberry.”
It is exactly the same without goals. The reason why most “goal setting” does not work is because it is too broad.
When we make things more specific, we attach higher emotional value to them. It is very powerful.
2. Focus on progress – it is a good practice to chart your progress. If it is monetary, put some numbers in Microsoft Excel over the last year and see a graphical representation of it.
If it is the amount of work, outline the number of tasks you’ve completed. Like for example, blog posts, number of videos, article submissions, number of follow-up emails, and number of programs, systems or products you’ve developed.
How many team members do you have? What’s their progress?
When you focus on what’s already achieved, you’ll get to the edge to keep moving and keep improving.
3. Share what you’ve learned – as soon as you get a big insight, as a result of hard work, efforts and failures, share them with somebody else.
Do this with partners, mastermind groups, collaborative meetings, etc.
When you share your insights with others, you are going to comprehend them better, and actually be motivated by them to keep going.
Learning can be enjoyable, but when you share what you know to somebody else, and if this can help them, there’s nothing more fulfilling.
4. Expect failures – Brian Tracy one’s said, “Failure is not to obstruct, but to instruct.”
Most people think that failures are the reason why they lack motivation to keep moving forward.
Well, it is not about the failure, but the perception of it. If you think of failure as an obstacle, then you’ll get discouraged quickly and quit trying.
When you think of failures as lessons or stepping stones to get to the next level, you’ll be MORE motivated to fail even more, because you’ve discovered something that did not work.
Expect failures and actually embrace them to improve your current project.
School teaches people how NOT to make mistakes, but the ironic part is that we DO learn from mistakes.
We involve as individuals when we accept and take responsibilities for our mistakes, and that’s how we improve our lives.
5. Never complain or criticize – we often have this tendency to find always the horrible within the terrible.
When you complain about anything, you completely demotivate yourself. Always complaining people do not take responsibility for anything. That’s why fear, self-doubts and conflicts arise that are holding people back.
You’ll be more attractive to other people if you do not complain. If you criticize and complain just to “get attention,” it represents you as a needy, pushy and weak person.
The main reason why we complain and criticize all the time is because we are used to be getting what we want in life. When you do not get what you want once in a while, we become needy and weak as a result.
It is a form of insecurity and panic that’s taking control over our lives.
6. Be more optimistic – optimism plays an important role to productivity. It gives you more motivation and fulfillment.
When you are optimistic, regardless of all problems, challenges, setbacks and failures, you are going to eventually succeed.
Optimism can endure the disappointments from previous mistakes and failures. That’s why it is critical to view EVERYTHING as a learning experience.
Oh, I did a mistake, what can I learn from it?
Wow, I just messed up, what’s the lesson behind it?
7. Confidence – if you do not believe in your own ability to make things happen, who else would?
Confidence comes from:
1. Practicing things, without worrying about mistakes
2. Gathering more knowledge at the area you are interested in.
Confidence does not happen overnight. It is a skill. The more knowledge you acquire about things, the more confident you are going to be to take action.
Getting one book, one course and one seminar often isn’t enough. We usually learn from different angles, and getting many perspectives on a given topic, is going to help us develop confidence.
The best combination is knowledge, combined with practice.
8. Negative people – when you have negative people around you who complain, bitch and criticize all the time, it is going to affect your state of mind.
You want to avoid all kinds of interactions with negative people.
If a person you like and trust is “being negative,” tell them to STOP doing that. Do not tolerate negative influences and behavior, period.
9. Find great partners – business is about having others, helping you, to achieve a common goal.
You have to be constantly on a “hunt” for potential team members, partners or affiliates. You do not look for them to come to you. That’s one of the biggest mistakes people make.
Over time, of course, you are going to be contacted by all sorts of individuals, but it is better if you get to choose who to contact. This way you have more control over the “deal flow.”
How’s that related to motivation?
The higher quality of people you find, the better off you are going to be. More confident you are going to feel about your business and the future.
10. Measure your results – most people “assume” that they are doing well within their businesses.
In reality, if you do not have proper measures, you are not going to have any frame of reference on how well you are doing.
I already talked about the importance of focusing on progress. When you measure things, you get to see a nice graphical representation.
When the tests show significant results, you are going to be more motivated to keep going.
There are some tools on how to measure your results.
11. Share your results – if you have a team, they need to know if they are playing a role to “make the world a better place.” When they see testimonials from customers, positive feedback, and good results out of their efforts, it boosts motivation.
Most business owners hide how much money they make from their team members. This has to be strategic, depending on many factors (such as: exclusivity, how long they have been working for you, what results they produce, etc.). If they see big numbers, they feel more “secured” to be part of your company.
However, security should not be the main reason why they are part of your business. That’s because staying in a comfort zone does not represent any challenges. Without challenges, there are no improvements.
12. Stick to a mission – a mission statement represents the “why” your business exists in the first place.
When the initial mission is altered as years pass by, the business is doomed to fail.
If the “why” constantly changes, things aren’t going to go smoothly when it comes to motivation and getting the job done.
That’s because the mission is the driving emotions that causes tasks and projects to get done in the first place.
It would be a totally different game if the mission statement is altered.
13. Accept negative temptations as natural – fear, anger, anxiety, sadness and stress are part of life.
Most people consider them “unusual,” so they try to repress them or push them away.
If one represses negative temptations, they tend to multiply.
You want to accept them emotionally, without rejecting them or disassociating yourself from them.
14. Immediate action – procrastination is the biggest enemy of motivation. When we have lots of knowledge, it is going to be worth nothing, if not implemented.
As soon as you learn something new, put it into play. This will help you to avoid the procrastination along the way.
15. Reward yourself, but do not expect recognitions – when you complete a major, task, or when you eliminate a major road block, take a break and celebrate.
It is important not to look for recognitions from others what you have achieved. This is your victory, not theirs.
Share your victory, but do not brag about it. Show people that it’s possible to go beyond any wild dreams by being an example.
Leaders lead by example, not by talk or barking orders.
16. Keep a journal – now, that’s an interesting one.
The journal can be used as a tool to document your efforts on a daily basis. Even if you may not review it often, when you write things down, you tend to incorporate them into your memory more efficiently.
After a certain amount of time, it is interesting to see your previous train of thought, and how much you’ve improved as an individual.
I used to read old essays I’ve been writing in college 2-3 years ago. When I saw them, I was very surprised. It was like they were written by somebody else.
As you involve, you constantly change, and it is a good tendency to motivate yourself, based on “where you have been, and where you stand today.”
17. Look for role-models – look for people you admire, who’ve already done what you are trying to achieve. I guarantee that you are going to find people like this.
Usually, when you admire something in another person, means you already possess this trait, but you haven’t fully developed it.
Identify your idol’s traits, because those are the ones you have, and you are more likely to be inspired by.
18. Alternate your tasks – if you do the same things regularly, you’ll get bored very easily.
You want to do one task, when you complete it, do a completely different one.
When I write just articles, I can get a little burned out. If I start creating videos, it keeps me on the edge.
Then, when I go back writing articles it is not tiring any more.
Shifting from one task to another is critical when it comes to engagement and motivation. I am not talking about multitasking, or not completing one task and going to the next.
After a task completion, I go to a different one that’s serving my biggest goal.
Doing tasks of similar nature all the time can burn you out. This is also true for your team members, if they get involved in the same activities over and over again; they are going to feel less challenged and disengaged.
19. Make commitments – when you make a commitment to finish a project, to reach a certain outcome or simply to achieve a certain goal, you are instantly engaged.
Making a commitment is an emotional process. It entitles to get something done; it engages your emotions in a way to make things happen.
Example of commitments:
“I am going to finish this by the end of this month”
“Life is too short, I better do this now”
“I do not have much time, so I have to do it by the end of this year.”
Commitments are accompanied with a sense of urgency. It is important to keep all promises to yourself.
Never make promises you can’t keep.
20. Visualization – this is very powerful, and not many people know how to use this.
If people do not know how to visualize things, they simply never experienced what they want to visualize. Lack of a frame of reference or experience makes it IMPOSSIBLE to visualize something in order to make you feel better.
Visualization is a mental tool. It can be used to boost your motivation, especially if you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, or experiencing as if you were the person you are imagining.
Let’s say you see a famous performer on stage. When you see that on TV, and if you imagine that you are that performer, you are going to experience pleasant sensations.
That’s a good example of visualization. When you find idols, or people you admire, and if you put yourself in their shoes, you are going to experience what they experience.
This is going to motivate the hell out of you.
21. Be prepared of your urges – most of our urges, like sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, checking emails, browsing on the Internet, visiting Facebook, etc., are happening without thinking about them.
So we start justifying the urge with logic, without realizing that we are doing it. When we justify, we create imaginary stories to explain things to ourselves, even if they are not true.
The key is to be more AWARE of your urges, and to be able to notice them consciously when they happen.
Often, we might get urges to quit doing a task, an activity or a project, and do something completely irrelevant that wastes a lot of time and energy.
We might feel like not working today, or not doing important tasks, because we get pulled by urges to do something else.
Be aware of what causes you to get an emotional kick to do something, and write them down each time it happens. Analyze it.
22. Plan slow, execute fast – planning is great, but too much planning is not.
When we plan, we might get caught up into minor details. This wastes a lot of time.
In order to validate the plan, you have to take action twice as fast.
Simply, we do not know if the plan is going to work in the first place, that’s why we have to take action to test it, and adjust to it along the way.
In my experience, the first plan always fails.
23. The power of reasoning – when you have a lot of reasons why you are going what you are doing, it is a great motivation booster all by itself.
Most people find reasons WHY something should not work, or why something isn’t working.
Find reasons why your current project should work, and why you are trying to make it happen.
Take out a sheet of paper and write down 20 reasons why you have to achieve your goals.
For every single goal, write at least 20 reasons.
24. Be patient – patience keeps you sane, when it comes to motivation.
When we are motivated, there’s an urge to see instant results right away. In reality, when you delay short-term pleasure or gratification, you’ll get much better results in a long-term perspective.
So be patient, remind yourself that the more you delay gratification, the more pleasure you’ll get later on, because you put efforts on your projects to reach your long-term goals.
Ones you get there, there’s no coming back.