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Ever feel like it’s hard to get motivated? You’re not alone. I recently received this message:

“The hardest thing that’s keeping me from pursuing my passion is being able to sustain my enthusiasm and drive. When I hit an obstacle, I simply lose heart and shelf my ideas. I often feel my ideas and projects are beyond my ability to accomplish. I hope you write about ways to stay motivated and to persevere until you make it.”

I think a lot of people can relate to this. We get short bursts of inspiration here and there but often nothing that’s sustainable.

In this episode, we dive into finding drive in the first place, then six ways to stay motivated.

Show Notes

1. Work Towards Something

  • 05:05 Sean: It sounds obvious but I think a lot of people aren’t working towards something. They’re not looking far enough into the future and they’re aimless. They’re working but not going in a particular direction so it’s like running in place. Set a goal (Related: e068 You Have One Life – Set Bigger Goals). The main thing here is to work towards something. Set a Lambo Goal! Matt and I will be launching a new show called Lambo Goal on the seanwes network in a month so make sure to sign up at LamboGoal.com if you want to be notified of when it launches.
  • 06:22 Ben: When I go running, I usually run a 3-mile route. Physically, I’m incapable of seeing 3 miles away from my starting point but if I look ahead and keep my eyes fixed on a point within my vision, it gives me a place to run to. It comes in handy near the end of the run when I’m feeling like I’m out of fuel and I could just stop and walk the rest of the way. Sometimes I run on a treadmill and try to do the same thing with the amount of time I’m running and it doesn’t have nearly the same effect. Having the visual and being able to see what you’re running toward is extremely powerful. I think big goals are important but it also helps to find something more within your visual range.
  • 07:55 Sean: It’s like if you’re on a road trip, you know where you’re going to end up but it would be like looking at something on the horizon that you could actually see.
  • 08:12 Ben: Your destination could be thousands of miles away but you’ll pass through another city that’s 50 miles away. It’s easier to focus on those 50 miles, then once you get there, you keeping looking to the next city until you reach your destination.
  • 08:50 Sean: What is your goal? What is your purpose? You may not feel motivated because you have nothing to work towards. Setting something to work towards initially can be helpful. With the WHAT → WHY → WHATS concept, you have to bring people into your WHY with an initial WHAT. The WHAT is a tangible thing. For some people though, knowing the WHY is the first step (Related: tv056 What → Why → Whats).
  • 09:47 What am I really about? What is my reason for doing this work? What is the reason for pursuing the things I’m pursuing? That takes reflection and time away from the busyness of life to figure out. Take a sabbatical, a trip, or set aside a weekend to really think about your purpose, your long-term vision, and your WHY for what you do. Take that weekend and don’t schedule anything so you can spend that time reflecting on those things.
  • 10:34 Ben: Most of the time, the WHY is already there before people know what the WHAT is. That was definitely true for me. I finally understood that my WHY wasn’t going to impact people the way I wanted it to until I carved out a clear WHAT for people to grab a hold of. My WHY was what motivated me to start saying no to extra things and really try to focus. You might already know what your WHAT is but it also might take you years to discover through trying different things. If you know what your WHY is and you’re consistently reminding yourself of it, the execution of the WHAT is going to take care of itself.
  • 12:01 Cory: I’m working toward being a well-known filmmaker and, like Ben was saying, I have short films I’m always working on that are smaller steps toward my goal. They’re easier to see and it’s easier to stay motivated because those are smaller goals in the near future.
  • 12:33 Sean: It sounds simple to say, “I want to be a well-known filmmaker,” but it’s easy not to have a long-term goal like that. You could just set the goal of making a short film and make another one when you’re done, but then you have to ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish?” It seems deceptively simple to have a goal you’re aspiring towards. It seems like saying, “I want to be a well-known filmmaker,” wouldn’t help but it does.
  • Setting long-term goals gives context to making small steps along the way.

  • 13:14 Ben: The stronger you can make your WHY the more motivating it can be. If your WHY is, “I want to be a well-known filmmaker,” you can ask the question, “Why do I want to be a well-known filmmaker?” The deeper you get into those motivations, the stronger that foundation is for pushing you to do your WHAT consistently.

2. Make a List

  • 13:46 Sean: This is another one that sounds simple but a lot of people don’t do it. I believe our brains shouldn’t be used as storage devices. Brains should be used as processing power. When you’re trying to hold on to ideas, tasks, things you want to do, and projects you want to accomplish, you’re using some of your processing power to prevent yourself from forgetting. That’s an unnecessary distraction. We have apps and good, old-fashioned paper where we can store that stuff. Write it down, get it out of your head, stop using your brain as a storage device, and actually make a list of the things you want to do.
  • 14:41 Ben: When I write things down, I tend to remember them better anyway. It creates a connection not just to the idea I’m trying to remember, but to the place where I can find it. The better system I have in place for storing that information, the easier it is for me to forget about all of that stuff and put my mind power toward creating.
  • 15:17 Sean: If you don’t have a list, then step #1 is thinking of the thing you need to do. If you have to think of this thing as step #1, you might end up thinking yourself out of doing it. Whereas, once you’re ready for action, looking at the list means step #1 is doing. I’ve talked about the “Back Against the Wall” Trick and my use of the app, Wunderlist (Related: tv011 How Do You Get So Much Done?). This app has different lists that I treat as categories—a list for today, a certain project, things I need to do that aren’t urgent, thoughts I have, books I want to write, features I want to add to seanwes.com, Learn Lettering stuff, Community stuff, etc. Those are top level and I drill down from there to add individual items.
  • 16:38 Each of these items starts with a verb. If you have a vague statement like “website overhaul,” That’s overwhelming because it’s a project and not a task. You want to have a verb—what is the thing I’m going to do? A website overhaul: step #1 is come up with my goals. What do I want to accomplish here? I need to find a developer. I need to email the developer with [x] or reply to the developer with [y]. It starts with verbs and on each individual task, I add a note with any information regarding that task. Within Wunderlist, you can see a pin icon for any notes included with the tasks. I can look at it and I can see exactly what needs to be done. If it can be broken down, I break it down further. The task isn’t, “Do everything for episode 149,” it’s, “Create the featured image, set up redirects, write the excerpt, proof shownotes, make the forum post, etc.”
  • 18:05 I break everything down into single tasks. It’s not a big project disguised as a task. I think you’ll find a lot of the things you have on your list that you haven’t checked off in a long time are probably projects instead of tasks. You see those and go, “Nope, nope, nope! That’s too big. I can’t think about that.” That’s how it’s been for me because I’ve got all of these really big projects and I’ll write down what looks like a list of tasks on the whiteboard but I’ll look at it and not want to do any of them. I know under the surface those aren’t really tasks, those are projects. I start thinking about all the things that go into that list and feel like I can’t do it. You’ve got to break those projects down and figure out which project is the most important. You only want to focus on one project and the individual tasks for that project.
  • If you look at all of your projects as tasks, you’re never going to get anything done.

  • 19:16 Ben: There are some people out there who love making lists because it’s enjoyable for them to break down every task and sub task for projects, but it can become very granular. At what point are you doing that to the detriment of actually accomplishing something, and how do you balance that out? If you are working so hard on your list that you feel like you’re accomplishing something but you’re really not, that can put you in danger of not moving forward as efficiently as you could. How do you find the balance between getting too granular with that stuff and getting to the sweet spot?
  • 20:10 Sean: It goes back to writing the top three things you need to do tomorrow on a post-it note. The very first thing you do the next day is #1 on that list. You wrote it down the day before when you were thinking about it, you slept on it so your brain was working on the problem while you were sleeping, and the first thing you see when you get up is that list. Don’t check email or social media. Don’t add things to your list or break down the list. It’s the first thing you do, otherwise, if you don’t have that kind of hierarchy, you might wakeup and poke around at your list.
  • 21:03 Ben: You curate your list and simplify it by pulling out the things that are most important, so you’re not met with the noise of all the other stuff that’s on your list. That helps you to find focus and motivation.
  • 21:21 Sean: If you need to get rid of the list you’ve already made, that’s fine. For some people, maybe that is what they need. If the list is a big mess of non-verbs, you might need to start over and reorder the priorities. Here’s a real example I’ve been dealing with this week: I’m working on my Value-Based Pricing course. We just finished our Value-Based Pricing series on the podcast so first, the list of value-discovering questions to ask your clients needs to be fleshed out and sent as a PDF to the people who subscribed at ValueBasedPricing.com.
  • 22:32 The next thing is creating a landing page—which I’m trying to model after my Learn Lettering page, where it offers value with a free guide. Right now, the Value-Based Pricing page is just a sign up form but I want to make an epic landing page that someone could read and get something out of without having signed up. In order to complete the landing page, I’ll need to write out the copy and make illustrations. I want to make illustrations because everyone who talks about Value-Based Pricing addresses it in a vague, abstract way and I want to give it a face and brand it for people. After the landing page, I’ll be doing a 3-part video series outside of the course that people can get for free. This will provide value and give them an idea of what’s to come. Beyond that is writing and shooting the course itself.
  • 24:00 Next week is my sabbatical so this week we’ve taken off of seanwes tv to focus on Value-Based Pricing. I’ve been looking at these three things, all of which are huge: the PDF, landing page, and the videos. Cory and I took the time to break these things down. The first thing that needs to be done is the PDF because those subscribers have been waiting for a couple of weeks. The next thing I need to do is the landing page but that’s too big. I need to write the copy, come up with the concepts for the illustrations, then I need to illustrate them. I need to design and develop the page, and imbed the recent Value-Based Pricing podcast series. Then, we’re going to work on the 3-part video series. We broke it down into those 5 steps and gave timeframes for completing each one. Instead of thinking about all of this in terms of, “Oh my gosh, we have to do this all at once,” we decided we’ll space them out by doing one video per week. One of the main factors in building buzz for your product launch is time. You want to account for time.
  • 25:51 If I put out 3 highly valuable videos, some people are going to see it (Related: tv057 Good Work vs. Popular Work). Of the people that see it, some will see the first, less will see the second, and even fewer will see the third and that’s it! People don’t notice announcements, they notice consistency. We need to account for the time factor so we decided to space them out. Once I actually went into that project and figured out what it’s going to take and when I wanted to do it, I discovered that I would be spacing them out. Which means, this week I really only need to complete one. Going in and breaking things down like that helped free up some processing power for me instead of looking at 3 really big projects and getting overwhelmed.
  • 26:52 Ben: On one hand, you’ve got the big picture, which is completely overwhelming. Everything you just described about the work you have from start to the finish product is a lot of work and that can be paralyzing. On the other hand, you’ve got these granular items. If you were to say, “Write the copy,” and under that you decided to break it down into, “Brainstorm on the whiteboard,” and, “Type out my notes,” you could get yourself so preoccupied with each of those tasks that it would keep you from getting stuff done as efficiently as you’re capable of doing. I feel like there’s a sweet spot where you don’t get so granular you keep yourself from producing efficiently but you’re definitely not feeling overwhelmed by the big picture.
  • 28:00 Sean: Do you have any insight on honing in on that sweet spot or just seeing it as something to aspire towards?
  • 28:07 Ben: I think it has to come through practice. You know yourself and you know what kind of detail you need. The reason I went into the podcast publishing example is because you have so much experience doing that you almost don’t need to look at the task list anymore. You don’t need to get to the really fine details of that process because you’ve done it over and over. The more familiar you are with a reoccurring task or project, the more you can back away from the details. When it’s something new and fresh, or it’s a version of something you’ve done before with different nuances, it’s good to pay attention to how detailed you get and how that effects the efficiency in which you’re able to get things done.
  • 29:30 Sean: There’s something to be said for the practice element. We talk a lot around motivation and we try to get people incentivized but motivation is an illusive thing. Where does it come from? It comes after the fact in most cases.
  • Motivation comes when you show up, you do the work, and you go through the movements.

  • 29:32 Practicing can’t be underscored enough. Once you practice, it becomes a thing you do. It’s not the next thing on the task list, it’s on the schedule and it’s something you just do. There’s no question of whether or not you’re going to do it. You start going through the movements. You find that motivation in the doing.
  • 30:00 Ben: There’s this innate tendency once we start something and begin the process, we feel driven to see it through to completion. Before we start something, through thinking about what the end result might look like, our brains can psyche us out of doing it. The key thing with practice is the more you stop thinking about something, get started on it, and see it through to completion, the more you realize you’ll see anything you do through to completion. The sooner you can stop thinking about something and start doing it, regardless of how successful you feel you might be, the sooner you can actually get stuff done. That lesson is learned through practice.

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3. Think of It as “Reality Aligning With Your Mindset”

  • 31:41 Sean: Zoom out from where you are right now on the timeline and look at this goal—remember, step #1 is to work towards something. Envision the point where eventually you achieve that goal, whether it’s months or years from now. Whenever that is, visualize the point at which you will achieve your goal. It’s a matter of reality aligning with your mindset—what exists and what has been accomplished aligning with what you know will be accomplished. It’s a matter of believing it. I like to think of it as a movie. You know this movie has a happy ending but in the middle of the movie, characters go through troubles or there’s a twist in the story. You’re in that story emotionally but you don’t ever lose hope. You’re excited about how they get out of the troubles and come out on the other side.
  • 33:10 Ben: It works the opposite way too. When there’s a character you really like but you know is going to die, you’re hoping something will happen to where they won’t but ultimately, they do. In movies, the reason you’re having a powerful experience with your emotions is because of the visualization of it. This is going to sound weird but, Sean, I think I have stronger visualization for your goal of getting a Lamborghini than I do of my own personal goals. I can see your goal in my mind’s eye. The more I visualize it, the stronger the impression I have in my mind that it’s going to happen.
  • 34:50 Sean: That’s exactly what Matt and I were doing when we recorded our latest Lambo Goal show. I said, “Matt, we’re going to accomplish this. We’re going to get to the point where we’re sitting in a parking lot with our Lambos facing opposite directions, driver’s side window to driver’s side window. Some guy is going to walk through the parking lot and he’ll come up wondering what’s going on. We’ll tell him to go to LamboGoal.com to see the weekly podcasts recording our journey.”
  • 35:30 The podcast is like rolling back the clock to see what went into accomplishing this goal and taking people along for the journey, while sharing real numbers like revenue and taxes. We already know it’s going to happen because we’re visualizing it. We’re waiting for reality to align with our mindsets. It’s something that’s just going to happen for us because we think of it that way, anything that happens along the way is like a movie. It’s the part of the story where they experience a challenge and you wonder how they’ll overcome it. If we lose all our money before we get there, it’s just going to be part of the crazy story.
  • 36:14 Ben: It makes the story that much more interesting. Instead of seeing it as a setback or like the goal isn’t going to happen, you see it as something that will make the story more interesting. When you tell this story later, after you have the Lamborghinis, people are going to be on the edge of their seats because of that plot twist.

4. Get Around Positive People

  • 37:01 Sean: You want to find someone to be accountable to. Someone who will be excited for your goals and who will say, “I can’t wait for you to accomplish this. I know you will!” Meet with them regularly and you’ll get that instilled in you (Related: e107 Why You Need an Accountability Partner & How to Find One). There’s accountability and there’s who you position yourself around in general. Recently, someone in the Community said, “I think Sean and Ben are one of the top 5 people I hang out with,” in terms of time spent with people, just because they listen to the podcast so much! We’re happy to be those positive people in your life through this podcast.
  • 40:19 Ben: Agata, in the chat room says, “I agree with Ben Toalson. For me, it’s easier to fix design problems for my clients than do it for myself.” Maybe you’re the type of person who has a hard time visualizing your own goals because of the things you believe about yourself or issues from your past. Getting around someone who can be excited with you is extremely valuable because they might be able to hold more belief for your goals than you do and can pull you out of feeling like you won’t accomplish the goal.
  • 42:05 Sean: We’ve always got great people in the seanwes Community who are ready to encourage you. We had someone earlier today saying they almost decided to quit because they felt what they’re making isn’t great and people are just being nice about it. He was ready to throw in the towel and everyone in the Community chimed in and they encouraged him by saying how much they enjoyed reading what he’s written and being subscribed to his newsletter. Laci, my wife, wants to write a blog and she doesn’t go into the Community chat very often but she was telling me that every time she has gone in there, she’s overwhelmed with encouragement to write from the people in there. She said it made her want to cry that there were this many people so excited for her and believing in what she wanted to do, even more than she felt she was believing in herself.
  • 44:55 Ben: You need to find that. Some people have an easy time believing in themselves but like most people, it’s difficult for me to envision the kind of accomplishment and success I want to see for myself. I need somebody to believe for me.
  • 45:49 Sean: Even if it’s not the Community, find people in your local area who will give you that. Maybe you’re around people who are sucking the life out of you and don’t believe in themselves or don’t believe in you.
  • You’ve got to get around people that think positively because they’re going to hold you up when you don’t feel like you have it in you.

  • 46:09 Ben: You can’t underestimate the power your thoughts have over your actions. If you think negatively or that you won’t accomplish your goals, your thoughts will drive your actions. That’s why it’s so important to get around people who think positively and can influence the way you think about yourself. Your actions—the way you live and the way you work—become a reflection of those positive thoughts.

5. Celebrate Victories Rather Than Comparing

  • 46:48 Sean: Did you start a blog and write 5 blog posts? That’s awesome! That’s an accomplishment right there. Did you start a podcast? That’s great! You’ve started something most people haven’t done. Did you sell a product? Did you make a shirt? Did you put up a website? Did you start a newsletter? This is stuff that most people don’t do.
  • You have accomplished things and you need to acknowledge that for yourself.

  • 47:26 You should feel good about what you’ve accomplished and celebrate those things. You should celebrate how far you’ve come and don’t compare it to someone else who’s further, or done more, or started sooner. Celebrate what you have accomplished.
  • 47:40 Ben: It’s not like if you’re not doing a twice a week podcast with live streaming video and a Community, you shouldn’t be doing a podcast at all. Gosh, if I compared myself to you, Sean, I would not accomplish anything. From the outside, it does look like a lot but you make it look easy. That’s because you’re really good at it and you devote an insane amount of time to doing what you do. For someone on the outside thinking, “He makes it look so easy. Why am I having a hard time doing a once a week podcast?”—a once a week podcast is a tremendous accomplishment! Don’t discount that because of the output you see from someone else.
  • 48:54 Sean: Committing to anything consistently, for whatever period of time, is hard. Anyone that’s doing more than that has figured out how to do something hard consistently. It doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is any less admirable. There’s something to worry about at every level, no matter what. For instance, with your email list:
    • Just starting out: “Nobody cares. I’m showing up for nothing.”
    • 100 people: “Why not 1,000?”
    • 1,000 people: “Am I a fake? Did I just trick all of these people into signing up? I’m an imposter!”
    • 10,000 people: “Holy crap, I actually need to provide value every week.” It becomes a responsibility. People have expectations on you and your reputation is at stake.
    • 20,000 people: “31% open rate, are you even serious? What am I doing? People don’t care about this stuff anymore. What’s the point?”
    • 30,000 people: “MailChimp costs more than my rent?!”

    There will always be problems.

    What matters is your perspective.

  • 50:48 Don’t think of it as 100 subscribers, think of it as 100 humans. 100 humans are interested in what you’re doing! The 6 views you have are 6 people viewing what you’re doing and one of those people could be really important. That one person could eventually be someone who’s influential.
  • 51:11 Ben: Each of those individuals is someone who’s very important.
  • 51:19 Sean: People think, “6 views. How poor is that?” But those 6 views are 6 people who cared about what you’re doing. Don’t compare those metrics to someone else. Compare it to the value of each and every view. What’s popular isn’t always good and what’s good isn’t always popular. We want both—we want to make good work and we want people to see it. We put effort into making it so of course we want people to see it. We end up stuck in a bunch of feelings because we want our work to be seen but we don’t want to be vulnerable. At the same time, we want to make good stuff and we want it to spread.
  • 52:24 Along with that comes the tendency to compare metrics. We tend to think, “My video isn’t as cool as this other person’s because it didn’t get 20 million views,” but what if it went viral for some weird reason? Does a video with 20 million views mean it’s more valuable than a video with 20,000 views? What if every single one of those 20,000 people got something out of it that changed their lives and they went on to each change another 100 peoples’ lives? Maybe that’s more valuable. It’s not about how many subscribers you have, how fast you’re growing, how many views you’re accumulating on a week-by-week basis, or if it’s growing at an exponential curve. Those numbers are people. The question becomes: are you creating good work?
  • It doesn’t matter if your work goes viral.

    The depth of the engagement with each person who encounters it is what matters.

  • 53:16 Ben: It can be discouraging when you look at your work and other work that’s out there, and you think yours is just as good, if not better. “But why is mine not getting as much attention?” The thing you should feel fantastic about is you did your very best. You put as much value as you possibly could into this thing and that value is going to trickle down to each person who views that content. I don’t think we can say enough that the numbers just don’t matter.
  • 54:08 Sean: If you’re adopting the mindset of it being 100 humans, when someone unsubscribes it can really hurt. We all care about that. If I go on Instagram and haven’t posted in a week, it says I have 56k followers. 56k, alright! Then, I check it again the next day and it says 55.9k and I’m like, “What is this?!” It doesn’t matter what scale, we’re all worried about it. If we’re thinking of it as 100 humans subscribed, when one of them unsubscribes, it hurts because it’s a human. I want to encourage you to think of people unsubscribing as the browser “Back” button. How many people land on your website for one reason or another and it’s not what they were interested in at the moment and they hit the “Back” button? It happens all the time and you don’t even know! It’s normal. You don’t understand what’s going on in their life and inbox so don’t take it personally.
  • 55:52 Ben: If you have a ton of followers, you’d be surprised at the percentage of those people who are actually engaged audience members and are fully on your side of the fence. The people on the other side of the fence aren’t getting the benefit of the value you’re providing because they’re not engaging with you. That could make you think you should shape your message differently or change your style to get those people but don’t! Focus on the ones on your side of the fence. Those are the ones you’re already providing value for and who identify with your message. The more you focus on them, the more they will bring people who also identify with your message and style. If you wanted to be hard-core about it, can’t you take people off your MailChimp list? You’re paying for each of those people on your list, right? You can find a way to nicely say, “If you’re not getting value out of this, please leave. You’re costing me money.”
  • 57:38 Sean: I removed 5,000 people from my list a few months back.
  • 57:45 Ben: Did anyone write in and ask why they were taken off the list?
  • 57:48 Sean: I gave them a warning. I said, “I’ve noticed you haven’t opened any campaigns in the last 6 months. Sometimes the open rates aren’t accurate so if you do want to continue receiving these to your inbox, please click this button.” I think there was 150-200 people out of the 5,000 that clicked. I kept those people on and I kicked the rest off. Nobody emailed me after that. Open rates aren’t always accurate because different email clients report differently but click rates are virtually always accurate. If someone clicks a link, it triggers the track. If someone opens an email for the first time and it’s been 6 months since they signed up and it doesn’t report, they certainly haven’t clicked in the last 6 months. They’re less engaged but I did give them a warning.
  • 58:55 Ben: The important thing is the mindset that allows you to do that. It’s a mindset that you’re going to be the truest version of yourself, provide as much value as possible, and not worry if it reaches the hearts and minds of the entire world because all you need is one person who gets what you’re about.
  • 59:19 Sean: It’s focusing on the people who care and are engaged—providing value to them and not caring about the metrics. I could have had the bragging rights of having a list of 20,000 subscribers but I don’t care about that so I went down to 15,000. The numbers don’t matter to me, the people matter to me. I want to make sure those people are the ones that care. All together, including other lists I have, it’s over 30,000 now but it’s not about a number. I don’t even put that number on my site. I’m not morally opposed to sharing that number (I know some people think it’s good for social proof) I just choose not to.

6. Set Aside Regular Time

  • 1:00:17 All of these seem obvious because you’ve probably heard them before but actually doing them really does make a difference if you’re not feeling motivated. I would be willing to bet that you don’t have set aside, regular time. What I’ve found is motivation comes after doing and you’ve got to get the doing on the calendar (Related: e119 How to Get an Extra Day a Week).
  • Schedule time to show up consistently.

  • 1:01:06 That probably means getting your family on board. It means everyone expects that 1 or 2 hours in the evenings or on certain days, you’ll be working on that project. Close the door to the bedroom or office and focus. Keep distractions away by having your spouse leaving you alone, have someone take care of the kids, and set your iPhone on airplane mode. Don’t allow distractions. Set aside that time to focus and eliminate distractions. There’s no question of whether or not you’re going to do it. “Well, I don’t think I really feel like it today…” No! You show up because that is what you do. In my case, I keep a list of things so when I show up, step #1 isn’t to think of something so I can think myself out of it. I’ve already got a list so showing up means being ready to go and doing it.
  • 1:02:02 Ben: Even if it’s not regular time, just the act of putting something in a time slot on your calendar and giving it an action is so much more powerful than getting to the set aside time and trying to decide what you’re going to do with that time. There’s huge benefit in looking at your list and looking at your week, and scheduling tasks based on an estimated amount of time they’ll take. When you look at your calendar, then you’ve actually got your day lined up and those time slots set aside. That way, when you get to the top of the hour, you’re not wondering what you’re going to do. Your calendar is telling you what you need to do. You remove the need to think about that and you can immediately go into the doing.
  • 1:03:20 Sean: I experienced this just this week. I think we all struggle with it. I have all these projects and I know I need to do these things but I don’t have set aside time for it. After figuring out a schedule with Cory yesterday, I know that this afternoon I’m going to work on getting the PDF completed. There’s a million things I could do and that’s usually what paralyzes me but today, I know I have one task. It’s on the schedule and there’s no question about it.

Bonus: Just Get Started

  • 1:03:59 I like the bonus way to stay motivated you alluded to earlier: just get started. You may not have it all figured it out and you may not know if doing these steps will actually help you but just get started anyway. Take the first step, create movement, and do it.
  • 1:04:22 Ben: It surprises me every time and it never fails, as soon as I stop thinking and start doing, I just keep going. Once I start doing something, I naturally have to keep going. I stop thinking and it drives me.
  • 1:04:53 Sean: That’s why I like the example of writing about the fact that you don’t have anything to write about. It sounds so cliché but it gets the movement going. If you don’t know how to start something or if you’re working on a problem and you don’t know what the solution is, start by doing something the wrong way. You know what you end up with won’t be that good but do it anyway because then you have that momentum. The wrong idea is stuck in your mind and it could be blocking you so get it out. Write it the wrong way and you can edit it out or delete it later but at least you can go on to the next thing. It will be easier to actually start. Whatever you can start on, start on that. If you’re having trouble writing but you feel that you can say verbally what you want to say, then record yourself and transcribe it.
  • Go with anything that gives you momentum.

  • 1:06:28 I liked what Aaron Dowd said in the chat room earlier, “I hit a point last night where I had no energy. I just couldn’t find motivation to do anything. Instead of feeling bad about it, I just allowed myself to be in the moment. To rest. To not think about everything. After about an hour, I got up, and wrote 500 words. Then I studied Ableton tutorials for a couple hours before bed. I made good progress towards goals.”
  • 1:07:00 Ben: Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is get yourself out of a bad mindset.