It seems like it should be a simple thing, inspiration. Especially when it comes to money, you know what you want. You know why you want it. But sometimes there’s an invisible fence holding you back, like your neighbor’s dog.
Over my career, I’ve felt completely drained and uninspired countless times. I’ll be sitting in front of a client’s financial paperwork and I just don’t want to look at it…or I’m sitting with an empty page in front of me and nothing comes to mind to write.
I used to worry about this. A piece of me thought of inspiration as a nectar and somehow I’d drained all that I’d been allotted. What I’ve learned is that it’s exactly the opposite:
As I go to the well more often, there’s another layer of good stuff.
How did I learn this? Partly from reading. David Allen (Getting Things Done) comes to mind, as someone who believes that as you clear away the small tasks you open your mind for much bigger concerns.
The rest I’ve learned from time in the trenches. I’ve always been a high achiever. When everyone else is stopping for the day, I’m going back for more. How?
Here are five things I think about to stay inspired:
1) I don’t have to finish the next task, I just have to start it. The act of starting is usually enough to get me rolling through to completion.
2) Just puke something out and clean it up later. Having SOMETHING to work with is better than the blank screen/no notes situation.
3) Make the phone call and it’ll come to you. I hate calling people and asking favors. But if the phone is ringing, my mood completely changes and I figure out a way to make it a successful call.
4) Think about Friday and work harder today so there’s less to do then. I hate working long hours on Friday. If I bust my butt now I can decide on Friday whether I play around or spend extra time.
5) Take a break with a timer. I’ll get burnt out from focusing too hard. If I don’t set a timer on work and spend some time at play, I find that every few weeks I need a complete mental break. I used to avoid breaks because I didn’t think I deserved them. Let’s be clear: I don’t deserve them. I NEED them to keep moving toward my objective. It’s a marathon. I also use the timer for breaks. Once I start playing I rarely want to get back to work. The timer works both ways.
Those are my five. I’m sure you have more. Let’s have some weekend fun: What do you use to stay motivated and inspired?
Photo credit: xJason.Rogersx