|04-16-2008, 02:47 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
On/Off Motivation mostly off =p
I haven't posted in a while. And haven't really posted much, but have read a lot of steve's articles and a fair amt of this forum.
I've got a good job, great family, and a nice house. Our finances suck as we have had a lot of unforeseen expenses and only one income. I make good income though for my area, being a experienced programmer. We aren't going BK or anything, just a lot of debt to pay off, which can be quite depressing.
I've been able to make on and off progress on several business ideas over the last year or so. In fact, I had a good 2 month run where I was waking early, getting 2-4 hrs of work done on the business (web business) a day, and seeing some real progress. Things were going so great I thought I had finally solved my motivational problems. I could see with confidence that in a few years I'd be able to live off my business income.
I was the most effective working on my own business. I think that after a couple of months though I decided to work on a freelance project to help pay off my sizable debt (it only paid off a small sliver of it), and I got "off track". After a month, I just had a hard time of recapturing that motivation and personal effectiveness I had so my business effort stagnated.
Eventually over the ensuing months two things happened.
1. I didn't work on my business because I had more freelance projects.
2. I didn't work on my freelance because I had no passion for it!
I think deep down I have avoided freelance because I know I'd rather be working on my true goal, my business.
I have spiraled into a worse state, where I have overdue freelance work, an unfinished business, and all I do in my spare time is play games (to "escape" most likely). What is worse, my performance at my day job is suffering, and I don't get good sleep. I stay up late, I stopped excercising. I have gone from "dynamo" to "useless" in about 6 months or so.
One factor is that I've been doing more around the house as my wife went back to work, so at least I've been doing a good job of spending time with my family. Still, all my other ambitions have been completely deflated. When I have a couple of hours of free time my mind says "I can't get much done in 2 hours" and back to gaming I go.
I've been trying to get my mind out of this state for a while now. I am pretty self-aware, but often are unable to to change my ways even though I basically KNOW what's going on.
I will try to use this post as a starting point (hopefully) to crawl my way back to effectiveness.
|04-17-2008, 08:55 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington State
Experiment with reframing: I can get something productive done in an hour, and I can get even more done in two hours!
It sounds like the first thing to do is take care of the urgent stuff: get caught up on the freelance projects. Choose not to accept new projects until you're done with the current set. You'll feel better when you complete the things that are hanging over your head. Often when I catch myself feeling unmotivated and not getting things done, I realize it's because there's a task on my to-do list that I'm avoiding. If I simply get it out of the way, I feel better about everything.
Perhaps the next thing to do is commit to a certain number of hours per day or per week for your business. Choose an amount that's reasonable so that you'll be able to successfully put in the time. Successfully meeting your goal will inspire more motivation.
As you develop your business into something that earns your full-time income, you may want to decide you're done accepting freelance projects you feel less-than-passionate about. (I sure felt better about playing gigs in general when I gave myself permission to turn down performances that I didn't want to do.)
|04-17-2008, 12:12 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Perth, Australia
Why did you start the business in the first place? I just think you may have become disconnected with why you started doing this in the first place. When that happens, what you do becomes a job, and this is what it sounds like.
Take some time to explore your business and reconnect with the reasons why you started it. This will bring back some of the passion and inspiration. Once you have that inspiration, you can create a vision for the business and once you have the vision you can create a plan. Use this vision and plan to keep you focus and motivated, by looking at it every day.
Ignore the freelance projects until you've finished your plan. They will still get done, but while they are urgent they aren't important. When you have a stable direction for you business, then you can do the freelance work knowing that your business is taken care of for now in the medium term. Once all the freelance work is done you can focus on the business again.
I might come off as very pushy, but it feels like a good way to get back your motivation and still take care of your commitments.
|04-18-2008, 01:34 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Since making this post I have found I have more energy. I hope it is not temporary. The improvements made thus far are..
1. I've been thinking more along the lines that life is a series of connected time chunks, and all we can really do is spend the "next chunk of time". I can't wait til I have a week to work on a project, I need to spend the 1-3 hr chunks that I have available daily.
2. I have been doing better at my day job, trying harder
3. I've not yet worked on my business or freelance, but have cut back on game playing a little, and have woken up earlier 2 days this week.
|04-18-2008, 03:22 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: In the present
As a self relied individual for the past 7 years I have had to wrestle with motivation quite often. There are those great times when you are getting everything done ready to take over the world and the unfortunate times when you can't even answer a simple email. I really wish I knew the exact science of the motivation monster. Although, a fews things I picked up along the way are..
Video Games are great, just not when things need done. The best way is stop gaming completely until you get your stuff in order. If not you will always get "caught up" in the game world and crave more. If you play on your PC uninstall your games. When you get the urge to play it will go away when you think about having to install the game all over again just to play for a few. If you have a console unplug your wires and put them up in the closet. Then put up a picture next to the console of something that reminds you of your goal.
Physical fitness is a performance booster, even so in intellectual works. Not only is it good for your body it's good for your mind.
Diet... Eat good, feel good. Eat like crap, feel like crap. It's that simple.
Plenty of sleep
|04-18-2008, 05:37 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Wow uninstalling my games... I might have to resort to that if I truly can't get motivated, but I hope not.
Yes its a real mystery how my mind cycles between "dynamo" and "slug" over the course of a year. I haven't figured out the pattern if there is one.
I think constantly feeding myself with self-improvement material might be one of the keys though.
It is like I have two forces in my mind vying for dominance. Sometimes the productive one wins out sometimes the pleasure seeker wins out, and each can be dominate for long stretches of time, very strange.
|04-20-2008, 12:27 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I can totally relate...something I've learned over the years is how powerful momentum can be, both in terms of your own personal productivity and motivation as well as how a marketplace responsds to your business.
It really is a matter of 2+2+2 = 20, in other words if you can string together a consistent pattern of 2-hour blocks then the sum total of progress will begin to get much larger than what appears possible in just two hours.
Another question to ask yourself though is - "Do you believe in your business and your ability to grow your business?"
You may believe that you MUST operate your own business, but are you on the right track?
That could also be a reason why you temporarily give up on it...consistently avoiding progressing because there is some underlying doubt about your business or your ability to achieve goals with your business?
|04-21-2008, 03:38 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Jeff, I think you are spot on when it comes to why I give up on my business. Self-doubt is the likely cause. In fact I have about five "unfinished" businesses all of which I completed 10-50% of the work to get each started. My most recent web business was probably 50% finished when I switched back to freelance and ignored it.
Other times I've had partners and I gave up on them too. Very frustrating, but I think you are right, since I have never successfully run a business I probably am doubtful that it will really work so it saps my motivation and I quit.
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