Find yourself working from home more and more these days? Most of the world is going through this right now. Trying to work, run businesses, scale, pivot — all from what used to be your sacred work-free zone. Getting yourself in an entrepreneurial mindset was never easy, but it’s much harder when you start working by flopping from your bed onto the comfy chair on the other side of the room. And with all the gloomy news around us, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and get stuck in one gear, sometimes in reverse — in other words, to become lazy. With business models upturned and whole industries shattered, human movements have shifted with more people looking online for most, if not all, of their needs. Now is not the time to be lazy, procrastinate, and be tempted into being idle. How do you say NO to laziness, and kick yourself into gear to take advantage of a rapidly changing economic landscape?
Can You Beat Laziness?
Remember being a kid, and thinking grown-ups liked doing chores? We all expected to reach a certain age when motivating yourself to work all day, come home to do the cooking and cleaning, and still remember to floss regularly would magically become easy. The fact is, it never does, and we shouldn’t hold ourselves to unattainable ideals. We’ll all have times when we’re lazier than others, and that’s okay. Teach yourself to celebrate the small things without either beating yourself up or resting on your laurels. Whatever you can get yourself to do, think of it as a foundation to build on. It’s going to give you activation energy.
What is Activation Energy?
An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. It’s true of the planets in their courses and those red rubber balls every high school physics teacher seems to have, but it’s equally true of human minds. We fight stress by shutting down when we have nothing to do, conserving energy by resting. That’s fine when there really is nothing to do, but it means you sometimes have to persuade your mind and your body that it’s time to get to work. Some days, it’s going to be harder than others, and that’s fine, too! But it means you’ll have to know how to negotiate with yourself when it’s time to be productive.
How to Self-activate
So how do you get over that initial hump and into a productive workday? Especially when you’re facing a big task and don’t know where to begin?
Start by breaking that big task down into smaller parts. If you have a big task ahead of you, like creating a new content strategy, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But it’s easy to face a smaller, relatively fun task like making a buyer persona. After that, it’s easy to face the task of auditing the content you’ve created in the past year. You don’t have to face up to the macro-task of building a new strategy until it’s already done.
Does that sound like deception? Well, you’re only tricking yourself. And why would you be mad about it? You’ve got a brand new content strategy now.
Make It a Routine
The last step in self-activating is making it a habit. Start every morning with a small, productive task. Clear out your emails. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Set up your work station. See if it doesn’t give you the energy you need to start a healthy, productive day.
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