do you want that "productivity surge" all the time?
Once in a while, whether it is because of panic, a new start or because of really good news, you get this unstoppable surge of motivation, and you're more productive than ever before.
That surge depletes very easily. Sometimes, it is because you don't see any results from your work yet, and you get demotivated. Sometimes, it is because you burned through all your fuel at once.
Here is what you can do to keep your spirit going for as long as you need.
1. Surround yourself with sources of motivation.
Motivation, elusive and complicated. Most the time you are sure you want what you say you want, but feeling motivated to go after it, is a different level. During new year's surge it's the fact that you have a clean slate makes you feel motivated. People misunderstand what motivation is or what it does. They think that motivation is the will to work, but there are very few people in the world who don't want to work. Motivation is not about having the will, but having the drive.
Motivation is reason that leads to action.
A classic example: you want to run, but you can't summon the strength to do it, because you're not motivated. When you're chased by a bear, you're motivated to run. In other words, you need to give yourself reasons.
As shallow as it may sound, my source is motivation looking through a wishlist of household items, that I picture one day decorating my house with. That idea drives me to keep working.
Find what drives you to keep going: a dream, a goal, an idea that could be accomplished. It'll fuel you.
The rest of the tips are to make sure you don't burn through your fuel too quickly.
2. Take good care of yourself.
You could have the will, you could have the motivation, but if you don't have the energy, it's going nowhere.
Proper nutrition keeps your energy up: plenty of slow carbs for long-term energy, protein for short bursts to keep you going.
It's hard to get work done if you're not rested. Don't overwork yourself, end the day early enough for you to have some downtime and sleep well.
I deplete very easily, so I always plan one day completely full, and one day half full. The second day I can recharge my battery for the next busy day, while still staying productive. But, that is a tactic that works well for me. With the help of some guidelines, make up for yourself how much downtime you need to stay energized.
3. Document what you're doing.
I find my productivity has gone up since I started tracking what I'm working on. I do that in two ways.
I use an app to start and stop a timer to show how many hours I work on a project per week. This way, I can see if I'm meeting my weekly hours, I can see if I'm keeping up with my schedule, and I can see where my schedule doesn't work and maybe needs to change.
A second trick I use is writing a daily diary. It may seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it. Three times a day I write a new entry, one page a day, with three paragraphs.
Usually once when I wake up, after lunch and at the end of the day. Talking about what I've done and what tasks I've finished, reinforces the sense of accomplishments and makes me feel like I'm moving forward.
Talking about what I feel helps me understand my energy levels. While sometimes your mood is influenced by events in your life, more often than not, if your mood randomly drops, you're probably running low on energy. Recording your mood and writing down why it goes up and down, will help you understand what influences your energy.
It'll help you identify what you need to optimize your energy: maybe your diet needs a change, maybe your hours need to be reduced.
4. Quantitative goals can be discouraging.
If you set goals like follower count, it could really kill your motivation. While businesses rely on quantitative analyses to see if there's growth, relying on them as goals will murder your spirit. Yes, analyse your progress in numbers, but as a projection, not as a goal.
Numbers are useful way to find out what you need to work on and what isn't going well. But if you sit back and say you want a thousand followers by the end of the month and you don't get there, that will kill your drive.
Focus on qualitative goals! "I want to learn to understand the twitter algorythm." "I want to establish a rythm and habit of posting regularily" "I want to improve the amount of hours put in a project". After that, quantitative analyses can be used to see if the goal was succesful. If your amount of likes goes up, you've probably come to better understand the algorythm, but the like count shouldn't be the goal.
5. See completed days as accomplishments.
A friend of mine once said that looking too far ahead can drive you crazy. If your is too far away into the future, it gets really hard to keep your energy, will and motivation up. You have to feel like you've accomplished smaller things inbetween, no matter how small.
Tying in with the idea of a diary, write down what you've done that way, what you've accomplished, and what you've finished. Each post you posted on time, each deadline you met. It will eliminate the feeling of "not going anywhere", and give you the feeling of moving forward, which will refill your fuel tank for the next day. Before you know it, you've climbed the latter of productivity and you've made it to your "real goal", without missing a beat along the way. But I can't stress enough how important it is to rest. If you deplete your battery to zero, it can take days to recharge. You'll lose all the good habits you've build up, and you'll end up feeling like you've lost all progress. And that will definitely kill your motivation. Try my tips, find me on twitter (@TerriniaT) and let me know if you need any more help, or if the tips are working for you. In 2021, I will go on to talk about how selfcare can lead to success! Goodluck in 2021, Love, Terri.