How Do I Motivate Myself?

Last Update: January 31, 2019

Often, when you are your own boss, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get started each day. I have found that myself, and it is obviously important to motivate yourself if you want to succeed at anything, but particularly if you want to succeed at being your own boss. So, how do I motivate myself?

I motivate myself in several different ways.

But I would say the most important thing to be aware of is that motivation does not normally come before you start doing something, it comes as a result of doing something.

So, for me, the most important thing isn't feeling motivated to get a whole project done, or a year's worth of work, or a month's worth of work, or a week's worth of work, or even a day's worth of work.

For me, the most important thing is simply getting started doing anything at all toward my goal.

How Do I Motivate Myself?

The first thing I do is I don't wait to feel motivated. I just start. But in order to not feel too overwhelmed to start, I use a little secret called the Pomodoro Method.

What is the Pomodoro Method?

The pomodoro method is a very simple method to focus yourself on the task at had for at least a breif period of time. Traditionally, this period of time is 25 minutes. You can set it to whatever amount of time you with, but 25 minutes works perfectly for me.

All you do is set a timer (perhaps on your phone) for 25 minutes and focus on nothing but the task at hand for that 25 minutes. No facebook, no twitter, no checking your texts, no tv. Nothing but the task at hand.

Once that 25 minutes is over, you set your timer for 5 minutes. During this 5 minutes, you can do any of that other stuff you put off while you were focussing. Check facebook, check twitter, check your texts. Whatever you want. But just for 5 minutes. Then you move on to another 25 minutes of focus time, and another 5 minute break. Wash, rinse, repeat.

What if I still don't feel motivated?

If you still don't feel motivated, you might not be doing the right thing with your time. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate how you want to spend your time.

If you want to be your own boss, you are going to need to make sure that the work you do is something you are interested in for its own sake. Especially because this is no get-rich-quick scheme.

What about you? What do you do to motivate yourself? Please answer in the comments below.

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bill808 Premium Plus
Pomodoro hasn't worked well for me. When I'm writing I don't like interruptions. I need to work until I find a natural stopping place. It is usually when the words stop coming. Then I'll get up. Take a walk and the next chapter comes to life while I walk.

When I complete a project I usually meditate. I may even take a nap.

Dome to think about it, I may be using my version of Pomodoro. It is just that my periods of intense work vary depending on the situation.
Allen-W Premium
Pomodoro also recommends taking a longer break after you complete a series of pomodoro (poms). You also track the poms that were interrupted, and at the end of the day, set aside 1 pom to review that day's accomplishments and failures, and think about how you can avoid those same interruptions tomorrow. :) It's so simple, but takes a while to master it. A lot of software shops like where I work teach their teams to use the pomodoro method in conjunction with a more overall structure like scrum, or my favorite: kanban.
Allen-W Premium
I use Pomodoro extensively, and also use Trello to organize my daily poms. That way I can happily move my poms into the done column and call it a day. I get a lot of work done that way. Nice article.
SnazzyIT Premium
Thanks for the share, I used your Pomodoro Method today, and it works like a gem...30 minutes of pure unadulterated focus and boom! without my thinking about it, I have written over 2000 words and still going...just giving my brain a small rest and letting you know. before I disappear to my content again :)
All the best :)