This week we’re talking about hacking your own motivation to help you stick to your weekly schedule or really anything that you want to keep up with consistently.
I know lots of you (like me) love to make a plan, but aren’t always so in love when it comes to doing the work. But that is a big contributor to success – doing the things you planned to do even when it’s not fun.
So how can you use your inherent motivations to get your work done without taking a ride on the struggle bus? I’m sharing an example from a client that I think will help you out!
Give this episode a listen and then find me on Instagram @xosarahmorgan and let me know what you’ve discovered about your own motivations.
Resources + Links
My rad client who let me share her story: Roshida – @shidad on Instagram
I’m obsessed with figuring out why people do or don’t do things. And creating processes for making things easier. So I’m always thinking about what is the most simple, cost effective, least time consuming, easiest to implement and maintain, least energy sucking, and most enjoyable way to do something.
Whether that’s posting consistently to Instagram, sending emails, promoting products or services.
Adjusting your process might look like doing less research, changing platforms, combining steps, starting at a different point. Sometimes it may be hearing hiring someone else or not doing part of that task at all.
But what I’ve learned is that everyone needs a slightly different variation of the process. So it’s a lot like legos – you get the pack of Legos, it comes with instructions to say build a car, but you can put it together however you like once you have the basic building blocks.
Recently I was talking to my client Roshida and we were going over her content plan. She was posting like a rockstar – doing daily blogging, daily emails, daily Instagram, and daily YouTube which is awesome, but she said that after all of that posting she feels like she’s out of ideas.
As she was explaining her process she mentioned that she likes checking off things day after day because once she gets a streak going she doesn’t want to stop because she doesn’t want to break the streak.
The second thing she mentioned is that if she breaks the streak she kind of falls off the wagon and it takes time to get going again.
Understanding the incentive she’s created for herself is so important. If that is already keeping her on track then she can use that motivation trigger to keep herself on track for content creation and anything else in her life or business.
Here’s what we did to make sure that she could stick to that habit of checking the boxes every day, racking up a streak of tasks so she could stay motivated, but not spend so much time creating content. We changed it to a weekly streak where she is posting to one platform every day. So she’s making seven pieces of content a week instead of 35.
Instead of doing a blog post, a YouTube video, an Instagram post and an email all in one day we spread those out throughout the week. And we didn’t just choose randomly. Roshida was already going live on certain days, and she liked sending emails on other days, so we fit the content plan around when she liked to create and show up.
We also talked about having a day off where she doesn’t need to create or post anything, but she knows herself and knows that it doesn’t work to break her streak so she wants to be doing a piece of content every day. Totally fine. That’s why I always tell you to figure out what is going to fit into your schedule and work best for you. I don’t want to create content on the weekend, I don’t want to post or have to respond to messsages. So I take Saturday and Sunday off and I only create content for Monday through Friday. Both options are great because we’re each doing what works best for us.
I’m so glad I was able to work through that process with her (and that she allowed me to share this) because I know there are so many of you doing similar things. Creating a plan and either struggling to stick to it or burning out because you’ve put too much on your plate.
So how do you figure out your own motivations and use them to create a plan you can stick to?
First, figure out how you are tackling your tasks and your to-do list right now. What part of the process works and what is not working for you? If you are sitting down and spending hours writing your captions maybe that doesn’t feel like it’s fast enough for you. Or if you’re recording videos every day of the week maybe you’d prefer to only do video on Tuesdays.
Then look at your current process. Let’s say creating content – what steps do you take? Do you usually try to get this done all in one day? Or maybe it’s a daily habit and you try to check first thing in the morning? Where along the way do you get stuck? When does your mind start to wander? Where do you feel overwhelmed? And then adjust those pieces of the puzzle instead of scrapping the whole process or forcing yourself to do those steps in that order just because.
For example, I know that after about 3pm I’m not great at sitting down and writing. I like to finish anything creative earlier in the day and do admin tasks later. If I’m always forcing myself to write podcast episodes at the end of the day it’s always going to be a struggle and I’ll end up hating it.
The other thing to figure out is, where in your life do you have an easy time sticking to things. Maybe it’s your Thursday yoga class because you’ve already paid for it in advance and you don’t want that money to go to waste. Maybe it’s your morning cup of coffee – do you stick to it because it tastes so warm and delicious or because if you don’t have it by 10am you’ll be tired?
If your habit is going live every Friday how did you get that habit to stick? Is it by telling your audience in advance and showing up at the same time every Friday so that now they expect you to show up and you sort of have your audience holding you accountable.
Once you figure out how you stay motivated and accountable to the stuff that feels easy you can transfer those habits and routines into the stuff that feels difficult.
So maybe you pair that warm cup of coffee with talking to your audience on stories. Or you pay for an email platform because you’ll send email to your list just to not waste that money. (I have a feeling a bunch of you are going…oh shit sarah got me with that one)
If the task is generating the benefits or results you’re looking for, instead of ditching it altogether or always feeling annoyed that it’s on your to-do list, use your motivations and habits to adjust the process and make it work for you and your schedule.
Shout out to Roshida out for letting me share this on the podcast. She is a career break coach so if you are interested in taking a grown-up gap year or taking a sabbatical from work and you want to figure out how your life and your budget and your job fits around that go hang out with Roshida you can find her on Instagram @shidad tell her I sent ya!