I hear lots of complaints lately from folks who just feel…stale.
A long hot summer, or the long gray winter, or the (you name it) has drained their energy. Their get-up-and-go has got up and went.
So below you’ll get five simple ideas for rediscovering some motivation.
1. The paper clip habit
So you want to start clearing your voicemail box at the end of every day? Here’s how to build this new habit with paper clips.
First, clear out your voicemail today.
Then, thumbtack a paper clip to your office wall.
Add another clip to the chain tomorrow, when you clear out your voicemail at the end of the day.
There’s just something compelling about this extremely simple and tangible visual proof that you’re following through on your plan to create a new habit.
2. Start your day with a success
Plan every day so that you start with a base hit, if not an actual home run. Choose an activity that you know you can count on yourself to accomplish.
For example, one of our clients hops on her treadmill for 10 minutes. It’s not an “official” workout. What works for her is that she knows she’ll do it without fail – and it guarantees that her day starts with some positive momentum.
3. Delete your inbox
So you’ve got hundreds (even thousands) of emails in your inbox.
Delete everything that’s more than a week old.
You and I both know that the freshness date is long gone on everything else.
If it’s important, it’ll show up again.
4. Daily rituals
Make a checklist of the personal and work activities that you want to do every single day. Mine’s on an index card with one column for every day of the week.
Your activities may be mundane – or much bigger-picture. For example:
Spend time with kids after supper. Create tomorrow’s to-do list. Spend at least 30 minutes brainstorming new ideas. Take a multivitamin. And so on.
It’s a great feeling to see yourself following through consistently. And if you’re not, this simple list of rituals won’t let you kid yourself for very long.
5. Time-shift your work day
Start an hour later. Or an hour earlier. Switch to a four-day week. Or a six-day week. Take two hours for lunch. Or fifteen minutes.
This idea combines two principles:
First, shake things up a bit. Force yourself to step out of your usual routine.
Second, try matching your workday to your natural highs and lows throughout a 24-hour period.
You may find that your current schedule is almost guaranteed to leave you feeling listless and unproductive.
Why? Because you’re consistently planning important activities when your energy level is at its lowest.