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How to stay motivated as a creative entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, one of the hardest challenges we each face is staying motivated. And 7 weeks into 2024, that new year drive is probably dwindling, if even just a little.

Now staying motivated comes easy to some, but for others, it’s an incredible challenge. And the thing is, it’s impossible to be motivated all the time. 

But, there are ways to manage yourself effectively and to help you overcome periods where you’d rather do anything else than what you need to. And I get it because I’ve felt like this many times over my career. 

And yet, I credit a lot of the success I achieved with the ability to focus on the tasks that needed to be done, especially when I wasn’t feeling it.

Sometimes you’re just not feeling it, but with these 5 tips, you can effectively motivate yourself and do the things you should be doing.

  1. The 1-minute rule
  2. Set 1 must do task a day
  3. Create a daily routine
  4. Lie to yourself
  5. Celebrate your wins

The 1-minute rule

If a task will take you less than 1 minute to complete, do it immediately. This was a game-changer for me. Honestly, I’d put off the smallest tasks because they could be completed later, but when I prioritised them, efficiency happened and all of those around benefited also.

And this doesn’t just work in business. At home, I made sure that any small tasks were completed immediately. Putting the bins out, done. Folding the ironing. You bet. Frequent wins, no matter how small help compound to greater achievements.

Set 1 must do task a day

Without fail, I set myself a singular task to complete each day. Somedays it’s a relatively small task, others it’s significant. But this task is started early and completed every day. No matter what else the day throws at me, I have moved the needle forward in my business or personal life.

Today, for example, I’m updating a section on my website. I’ve scheduled 3 hours for this. When I was working, it could have been making 60 minutes of outbound sales calls.

Defining the task is personal to your needs and your plan. But writing it down and ticking it off daily is a huge motivator.

Create a daily routine

Now I talk a lot about the struggles business owners and entrepreneurs face with creating a daily routine. No two days are ever the same and a lot of our time is spent fighting the fires in front of us.

However, by creating a routine, we have a plan to return to at all times. There is no thinking required and by default, our status goes back to the things we know we should be doing.

Lie to yourself

Endless positivity and motivation are two of the things that set high achievers apart from others. But neither of these are natural states. Yes, there will be long moments where your energy levels are high, but this cannot be sustained indefinitely. 

Sometimes you need to lie to yourself and act as if you feel motivated. Like going to the gym, often the hardest part is not the exercise, but taking the first step into your gym gear.

This is where the daily routine supports your motivation. Ask yourself “What would I be doing right now if I felt motivated?”. The routine tells you this and provides an actionable output. Think about how you can overcome the first step and the others will follow.

Celebrate your wins 

Always celebrate your success, no matter how small. Complete a task, grab a coffee. Complete a week’s worth of tasks or finish a major project? Get a takeaway or dinner out. It could of course be as simple as patting yourself on the back, but keeping a note and recognising your progress is a huge motivator.

None of us are superhuman and sometimes we each need motivation to continue on our chosen path.

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