Tips to get yourself motivated when you just don’t feel like it!
How do you get over the fear? Or how do you find the time to do X, Y, and Z?
I find that oftentimes, there are layers to this question. Sometimes people are asking, “How do you finally just take action when you’re afraid?” sometimes people are asking, “What do you do when you’re really busy?” or “How is it that you keep going when you’re not motivated or when things are tough?”
Now, I’m going to share this, and I don’t talk about it a lot only because I just feel like so many people are more qualified to talk about this than me in particular. And that is, a lot of times, people are surprised to learn that I have ADHD. I have had to find different ways to trick myself into taking action, continually motivate myself, and get things done. I don’t share that to make anyone feel like, “Oh, she gets so much done. She has ADHD. I must have no excuses. No!” Different circumstances in many people’s lives can affect our ability to continually create and put stuff out there.
Plus, usually, the question that we’re asking isn’t taking into account all of the different layers. For example, sometimes people will say, “it’s easy to film a video!” Well, yes and no! Is it simple to pull up a camera and film a video? Yes, it is. Absolutely. However, we forget that there are layers, including fear of the unknown, what people think, what people will say, what the comments will be, and what if someone challenges my expertise? These fears all come into the equation, and it’s very interesting because if we don’t recognize that there are sometimes layers to the different reasons why we don’t get things done, it can be really challenging to take action. So I want to say, first and foremost, make sure you give yourself some grace.
Now I’m going to share some of the different things that have been super helpful for me. And keep in mind some of these might work for you, and some of these might not, so feel free to take what does and say “no thanks”– or Marie Kondo style, “Thank you” to the things that don’t, but these are some of the things that really really support me with just getting stuff done.
The first thing I use is a free app or software called Todoist. What I love about Todoist is on their free account, you can set up recurring tasks such as one TikTok per day and then repeat that task every day, so it’s going to repopulate to my list over and over. When I check something off my list, it disappears from the list until the next time it’s set to occur. Now I do really well. A lot of people actually do really well with gamification of things. So when there’s gamification, if you can see progress visually happening, that can be super helpful! And this pushes me to do a lot, and I’ve categorized my tasks every day based on the things that are easy wins in the morning.
We’ve got our MVP tasks, which means tasks for clients I do every day that I really try not to miss. Category two is Consistent Tasks, which means I will show up in all those areas each day. The last category is kind of interesting, and I call it Stretch Goals. During the day, I (and many people, I know I’m not the only one) hit this kind of slump at different points. It usually kicks in between 2 and 4 pm Central Time. And so I have these Stretch Goals on my Todoist. Let me give you an example of some of my Stretch Goals.
A stretch is to record one YouTube video per day. Now, do I get to this every day? No. Right now, we’re at like two or three a week. Another Stretch Goal is to record 20 TikToks, post 10 TikToks, post 10 IG reels, and post 10 YouTube shorts. So that kind of gamification is really helpful. I learned that gamification really highly motivated me from the app Duolingo. Their gamification is so next level, it truly creates this incredible visual experience when you’re learning, and I was like, I want to replicate that in our business. It helps so much.
Define Your Why
The second big thing that’s been helpful for me is to get super clear on my “why.” I know that this comes in waves, and we don’t always have a clear vision of why we do the things that we do. But for me, it’s been really helpful to remind myself, “okay, you’re doing this because you already know your family is taken care of. What if you can support more people to do something similar or support more people on their journey?” And, as soon as I start feeling like I don’t want to create any more or the harshness of social media starts getting to me, I’ll get that one message that reminds me instantly of my why! Someone will say, “I watched your video, and it motivated me, and I got a new client!” It gives me the motivation I need to keep going.
Number three, there are two different kinds of timers that I really like. The first is a cube timer with 1,3,5, and 10-minute increments. The way it works is that you turn the cube, and the timer will be set for that amount of time. I do like this one quite a bit in theory, but I will say that I don’t like that you can’t see the time ticking down, which I really like.
The second timer I like is my Pomodoro timer. It helps me a lot because it’s a pentagon-shaped timer, and each side has five minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes. When you turn it to the side, you’ll hear this little beep and in the middle of the clock is a little LED screen that counts down for you so you can feel that little bit of intentional internal motivation and pressure. It is so helpful for me when I’m like, “I only have five minutes. What can I do? And I look at my list and realize I can create one TikTok in that time. Or I can send out an email to my list in five minutes.” It also motivates me to work in more of a Sprint style.
Body Doubling/ Co-Working
Now number four, this one really helps me get things done! Body Doubling is a term that comes from the ADHD community, and essentially it means that you bring someone into either your space physically or virtually to work alongside you. I will bring a couple of people on and say, ” Hey, do you guys want to co-work for an hour.” We’ll all hop on with no video, no audio, but we’ll share in the chat what we’re working on and then share updates as we get it done. I personally have found it super motivating and super helpful. If I get stuck, I just say, “Hey guys, I just lost my focus. I’m going to try to refocus,” People are always very encouraging and supportive, which helps so much!
Carrot or Stick
The fifth major strategy will be kind of custom to what works for you. That is the carrot or the stick. Everybody reacts differently to motivation to get something done. For example, some people do best with reward-based motivation, and others do best with punishment-based motivation. I do best with a little bit of both, but mostly I go with the stick. I like a little bit of a pending punishment. I know that sounds so weird! However, for example, if I have something that’s urgent and is due Friday, my team will say, “Okay, Rachel, if this doesn’t get finished, we are going to change the password on your TikTok until it’s finished.” And I never have gotten work done as quickly as when I’ve done that. So it helps me a lot, but I also find that sometimes the carrot works just as well, which brings me to strategy number six.
Produce Before You Consume
I use this motto to reward myself for getting work done. So, for example, if I want to watch YouTube videos, that’s fine, but first, I’m going to record a YouTube video. If I’m going to watch Tiktoks for two hours while I lay in bed, awesome, but first, I just have to record and post the TikToks according to my goals for the day. So that has been a really helpful strategy for me. So each and every platform I think I need to produce before I consume and it just helps me get a little bit extra done every day.
Rethink Tasks You Hate
Number seven is interesting because this may go against a lot of the advice you’ve gotten from other people, but there are some things that we’ll never be motivated to do. For example, I could hire the best fitness coaches in the whole world. And if they told me that I had to do 100 burpees a day, I would fire them on the spot. But what’s funny is if I hire a coach who says the only way to grow according to your fitness goals is to do 100 burpees per day, that’s simply not true. So some of us have platforms, content, or tasks that honestly work against our identity. We don’t like them. We just straight-up hate them. And I will say there’s a fine line between pushing yourself, challenging yourself, and trying to do something new.
It’s kind of like my journey with Instagram. I go through seasons where I love it and seasons where I’m just kind of frustrated, and I don’t really like this, and I’m not enjoying it. So what I like to do is if I’m going to remove that from my commitments, I’m going to find a different way. So I might not love creating content for Instagram, but I love creating TikToks, and TikToks can be repurposed as reels. And you know what, that feels like a win-win because now we get to reach a lot of people on twice as many platforms (three times as many if you also include YouTube shorts).
Number eight, this one’s interesting, and it’s also a little bit loaded. I’ve dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety in my life, and sometimes those struggles kick in, and I don’t feel like doing anything for weeks. Then there does come the point for me (I can’t speak for anyone else here because you alone are the captain of your ship), but there are times when I have to make a decision, and this is my self-talk. I have to say, “Alright, Rachel, it’s time just to suck it up and get it done. Because this funk, this season, this particular struggle isn’t going to go away, and we still need to keep progress and momentum happening.” So as much as you can motivate yourself, I’ve personally found that there comes the point where you want to say, “Alright, it is time just to take action. No more excuses.”
That’s when I’ll set a timer and say, “I have five minutes to post the TikTok. Let’s go”. And that’s been really helpful in those seasons where I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m trying to be a lot more open about that. Because I think, sometimes there’s this perception that people with platforms like mine don’t have hard times. So I want to share some more of that behind the scenes.
If you want to learn more about time-saving strategies, head to rachelpedersen.com/podcast/. I also have a YouTube video with 20 time-saving strategies, most of which are completely different from what I shared today. I know you’re going to enjoy it. Bye for now, Friends!
Check Out These Youtube Videos on this Topic!
How To Get Things Done When You’re Not Motivated
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