Getting inspiration can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially for creatives. It is normal to look for inspiration from others or seek enlightenment from those who have experienced things that we have not. There’s nothing wrong in that. This helps us to be better rounded individuals with a more diverse perspective. We should not ignore a source of inspiration much closer to home though – our past.
Entrepreneurs, new business owners and even bloggers often pop up on the scene with vigour and motivation. Driven by determination to see our projects succeed we invest time, money and effort in the project or business. We strive to ensure that it has the best chance of success. This may include working extra hours or sacrificing other things to tend to our new endeavour. While this may be necessary, how we handle the inevitable slowdown may decide how successful we really are.
Everyone has down times and every business has slow periods. It can be very difficult to go through these rough times and maintain your zeal and passion. There are times when I am swamped with work and don’t know where to start. On the other hand, there are times when I wish I had more clients and that I could be more productive. I have compiled a list of things which help me to stay motivated and inspired even when things are slow and my mood is not the best.
1. Focus on your goals
Nothing can motivate you to put your best foot forward today than the promise of a better tomorrow. Keep your goals in mind when things look down and remember that sacrifices today may pay dividends in the future. Align your actions to your goals and the tasks that you perform may seem a bit more bearable since you have an idea of the benefits they can accomplish.
2. Use Time Management Aids
Time management is often touted during busy times when we are overwhelmed but can also help in slow times as well. The stress of not knowing what to do or what to prioritize can be combated with simple time management tools. I regularly use ToDoist as a task manager to schedule tasks and remind me of what I need to get done. I can schedule recurring tasks and get reminders on my phone. You can also use a simple calendar and task list from Google Calendar or Outlook. These tools can help you to plan in advance for slow periods and get those tasks you are normally to busy to perform accomplished.
3. Diversify your efforts
Monotony is a main cause of boredom because we get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. This problem is amplified when things are slow and there are not many obvious alternatives. This may be a perfect opportunity to try something different or try doing ordinary tasks in a different way. This may not come naturally so you may have to do some research and some learning before you can master new techniques and skills. Ultimately you may find a more efficient way of doing an everyday task or at least learn different approaches to solving a problem.
4. Find Productive Distractions
We all need to get away sometimes and taking a break can be relaxing as well as a surprisingly inspirational experience. If you have ever had a great idea in the shower, through a dream or while taking a walk you can relate. The key to this tip though is that the distraction must be productive. Reading a book may offer inspiration or relax you as would taking a walk. Gossiping at the water cooler would not really be productive. Talking to someone about a task at hand may over some new insight though.
5. Help someone else
Helping someone else may not directly help your problem at hand but the benefits of your altruism may indirectly affect your mood and open you up to reciprocal assistance. This does not mean that you should help others with the hope of getting something in return though. Just helping someone else allows you to accomplish a task regardless of how minuscule it may seem. The more tasks you accomplish the more confident and fulfilled you become allowing you to tackle your own problems with more enthusiasm. Not to mention, you may just make someone else’s day that much better.
What are your own tips for staying motivated in slow times? Let me know in the comments.