This is as much for my benefit as for anyone else! Why is it we have what we think are great ideas then find we have lost the motivation to act? For a few months now I have planned, studied and brainstormed new blog ideas. Have I launched them? No. Does this sound familiar?
I have mentioned this before but I suffer from “Analysis Paralysis”. It is like I can’t make a move until I have investigated every angle on an idea. It might be the Best. Idea. Evah. But you can count on me to kill it through just a little more thinking.
Of course while I am contemplating someone else is actually taking action and farming my niche.
Then there is procrastination. I’m a bit tired now, I will do it tomorrow. Oh look, Battlestar Galactica is on, I can’t miss that. Just read through my emails and catch up on my feeds first, then I am right on it…. and on and on.
What is it going to take? A gun to my head?
Here are some tips for getting off your butt and doing something!
- Away or Towards – there are two types of people, those who take action to try to avoid punishment or pain and those people who take action to acquire reward. Which type are you? Me, I avoid punishment so I tend to work really hard to make everyone else happy and avoid being shouted at, and end up leaving my own personal projects to rot. Try to frame your new blog in your mind in such a way that it fits with what motivates you. The way I got off my butt to launch my newest blog was to get friends involved (I saw it as letting my friends down if I didn’t get it done). If you are a rewards person, think of all the lovely adsense income, attention and popularity you will get from your new blog.
- Chunk it down – the bigger the project the more resistance you will create in starting. Take the Big Job and break it into manageable pieces then do some of the easy things first. By breaking it down and getting some stuff done (anything) you will build momentum and confidence, and by showing yourself you can do little bits and achieve something you will show yourself progress which will help with motivation.
- Have Faith – sometimes it is fear of failure that holds you back but you know with blogging you can’t really fail. So what if nobody visits? Who cares if you do not earn anything? What difference does it make of people don’t like what you write? Stuff them, do it for yourself. Feel the fear, do it anyway. You know you really can do it and do it well. You might stumble, we all do. Just do it and you will get better with practice. Don’t make any promises, just build it and enjoy it.
- Lower your expectations – partly because I write about professional blogging, partly my own perfectionism, I feel that every blog and every post has to kick ass! This is obviously far from realistic. If you think you are expecting too much of yourself chill out! It doesn’t have to be great right away, blogs are slow burn things anyway. Just make a start, anything else is gravy.
- Beat Boredom – some parts are boring, some bits are fun. Personally I like all aspects of building blogs but you might not. If there are things you find boring you can do little bits at a time with a reward for yourself at the end of each task or get someone else to do that part.
- Get Help – if you find some tasks hard to do get help! We have forums here, you can ask friends and family, or if you have the funds pay. Don’t think you have to do it all yourself.
- Take a break – don’t lock yourself away for hour after non-productive hour. Get away from it for a while, talk to someone, get some fresh air, then return refreshed and re-energised. Drink some strong coffee if you still can’t find the energy!
- Understand yourself – everyone has a body clock. We all have times where we are our most productive. That is when to schedule the tasks where you are most likely to procrastinate! My peak time is between 10am and 2pm (I am writing this at 11:40am). Nick seems to never ever sleep. Work out what your body clock is telling you and work with it rather than against it.
- Fix your environment – if you have a crap chair, a desk that folds away when it feels like it, a computer from the dark ages and drum and bass music blasting through the walls it is not surprising you have difficulty getting stuff done. If your environment is distracting you fix it.
- Prioritise – nobody would suggest you leave other important things to be left undone, like your day job, looking after your family, etc, but you can prioritise and you can manage your time better. I used to work with people who would spend hours out of the day taking smoking breaks, have two hour lunches, then would brag about how they always stay late in the office. Well, they wouldn’t need to if they worked during the day. Do you spend a lot of time on unnecessary tasks? Are there things you could put off till after as a reward for a job well done?
I am no expert, this is a daily struggle for me as much as any other blogger! How do you force yourself to get productive?
Author: Chris Garrett
Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.