It’s the age old question – how do we keep the momentum going with our blogs, and make sure we stay motivated enough to achieve everything we need to do, without letting our energies slip and becoming fed up with work? Motivation isn’t something that can be learned, and many of us are left floundering without inspiration, forgetting what gave us the drive and ambition to succeed when we first started our businesses.
The problem with motivation is it always seems dependent upon the environment and external circumstances. If we get bad feedback, our will to work disappears as quickly as you can say ‘loss of confidence.’ Similarly, when life is going brilliantly it can be hard to knuckle down to work, as we are keen to enjoy our circumstances while the going is good, and it feels tough to have to apply ourselves and stop having fun.
So, motivation can ebb and flow, but our businesses demand a constant stream of input in order to thrive. Blogging, of all the disciplines to do with work, is probably one of the most demanding jobs we can have. If we slack off, it’s immediately evident in the fact that we haven’t published anything for a while, or our readers’ comments lie unanswered for days on end. As a time critical and highly visible platform for marketing, blogging is relentless and requires the maximum input from us as site owners.
Given the amount of investment we need to make in our blogs, having the right amount of motivation is a really important element of our jobs. Without it, we’ll be left with an out of date site, and disgruntled customers. Additionally, it takes motivation to produce new products, post articles as a guest writer, commit to commenting on other people’s sites each day, and undertake the tasks necessary to do a great job on our sites. So, how do we get motivated, and what can we do to ensure that even when things are becoming stressful or we feel too jaded to make a great impact with our work, it doesn’t show in what we do?
Here are some ideas…
Manage your time
Nothing saps motivation more than feeling that things are getting on top of us. Instead of rallying when this happens, we tend instead to procrastinate, putting things off until the situation becomes even worse. For some reason, most business owners find that the more stressed they are with their work, the less work they can actually complete!
Because of this, time management is one of the most important elements which contribute to great motivation. Knowing you have a fantastic routine to tackle each day, which is proven to deliver results and produce a satisfactory outcome for your efforts is motivational in itself.
Don’t get distracted
Most of us who run a blogging business work from home, and this is a terrible breeding-ground for distractions. There will always be laundry that needs doing, someone popping in for a social call, and the television (that well-known attention vacuum which can suck away two hours of your life before you have the chance to say ‘Talk Show’). Because of this, it’s important not to let yourself get distracted from what your work, no matter how hard that may be at the time.
Another huge pull on our attention is the internet, which lures us away from our purpose at every turn with advertisements for online gaming, e-mails which pop in to our box and suck us in with tantalizing titles, and Skype chats from people whom you haven’t spoken to for at least two hours.
Distractions, then, are a hugely negative sap on motivation. The more we procrastinate and get sidetracked, the lower our motivation to get things done will become. Instead, we begin to feel stressed, disorganized and demotivated, as work piles up and we flounder in a sea of red e-mails and things to do.
Remind yourself of your goals
Motivation and ambition go hand in hand. This is because when we clearly identify what we want to achieve, and hold it in our minds at all times, it becomes easier to work towards this achievement with single-minded perseverance. Business owners who are not sure where they want to go, what they want to achieve nor how to set about achieving it will not have the motivation which is needed to
Speak to experts
Nothing sparks off the creative process and gets your motivational juices flowing quite like speaking with like-minded enthusiasts. These are the people who can show you where you want to be, and give you the advice which you need to achieve it.
Learn something new every day
Learning and acquiring new knowledge is one of the mainstays of business development and achievement. It also opens up new possibilities for your business, and starts off the ideas process which can lead to motivation. The more possibilities you can see, the easier it is to generate the energy and enthusiasm needed to do a kick-ass job with your blog and business, leaping out of bed each day to make your plans come to fruition.
Learning new things also stimulates our brains and makes us come alive. It sparks off new thought processes and wakes us up to new possibilities and potential for our blogs. Learning can also become a habit, as we waken up our brains and make them more receptive to picking up new concepts and stretching our capabilities.
As soon as the savvy blogger hits the books, a wealth of new ideas will start to flood in to your strategic plan for the business, and this is one of the most effective catalysts for keeping you enthusiastic, motivated and raring to go. Don’t believe me? Try it. Pick a subject close to both your heart and your industry, read up on it, and see where it leads. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Being tired and jaded saps motivation quicker than an SUV drinks gas. The surefire way of combating the miserable feeling of being tired and de-motivated is to have a good solid belly-laugh. This could be at someone else’s expense, at your own, or simply for the heck of it. Find a way to laugh off your worries and think more positively about your business, and you’ll be more motivated than Bill Gates when he looks at a particularly sexy microchip.