We all wear different ‘hats’ depending on the situation. And as a therapist, mental health blogger, and human being, I am no stranger to wearing each of these different hats throughout a single day. For myself, it can be important to organize my day and my thoughts so that I can maximize the time spent in each of my roles.
For this article, I will primarily focus on the entrepreneurial hat I wear as a mental health blogger, and how I am able to gain motivation to get stuff done for my blog or even write guest posts like this one. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to feel motivated, so be sure to identify the tips that work best in your situation, depending on the hat that you have on at the time.
We all have an inner critic just waiting to spring to life as soon as we come up with an interesting idea or goal that we would like to achieve. As a therapist, I am certainly not immune to this inner critic and can find myself in the trap of questioning my intentions, wondering if my work will be good enough, or even succumbing to the comparison game, which is very common in the blogging world.
As soon as I realize that my inner critic has emerged and is undoubtedly interfering with my motivation to even get started a project, I take a moment to close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and allow the negative thoughts and critical thinking to surface. Acknowledging the negativity inside myself is important so that I not only know that it is there, but so that I can also choose to now include positive self-talk into my stream of consciousness.
I actively replace phrases that are coming to my mind such as “You’re not good enough” with the phrase “You have the skills, ambition, and passion to bring this project to life”. Taking these mindful moments for myself has increased my productivity and also helped me to feel more positive as I work through each task.
Having a Plan
How many times have you had a brilliant idea or project in mind, opened your blank word document, and stared at it for 15 minutes, unsure of how to start? I have been there many times! I have found that it can be overwhelming to try to create a project from the beginning without any preparation so the very first task that I start with is to free write every single thought, idea, hope, fear, and anything else that comes to mind about this project. I often us a journal and handwrite but you can also use that same word document for this free writing exercise.
Free writing is simply pouring out your thoughts and ideas without worrying about spelling or grammar, or anything else for that matter. If it’s in your brain, write it down! This can help me to break through the need to have a finished project right away. Next, I highlight the main ideas that I have discovered from this free writing exercise and this creates the structure or outline for my idea. Breaking these main ideas or tasks into even smaller tasks can help form the plan for my project, and now I have a manageable task list to work through so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed.
This might sound counterintuitive to getting tasks done, but taking breaks and having some downtime is extremely important for the creative process to happen. For example, even if there are times during my entrepreneurial work week that I have carved out specifically to work on a task or project, but I notice that I am feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or even burnt out, this is usually not the time that I am going to be at my most productive.
So instead, I make the intention to slow things down and take a break. Often times this means taking a short walk around the block, preparing a healthy snack to eat, or taking some time to stretch or practice yoga if I have the time. Even when I feel like I don’t have the time to take a break, I make sure that I do. After slowing things down and taking this break I always feel re-energized, less tense, and ready to get back to my project with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of motivation.
Too often I can be very tough on myself, and even after putting the final touches on a project, blog post, or other task, I can forget to take a moment or actually do something to reward my hard work and dedication. Sound familiar? It can be way too easy to think about what I want to create next, or have another idea pop into my mind that I want to get started on. At our core, humans are creative beings, and having the passion and drive to bring our creativity to light is something that should absolutely be rewarded.
Some examples of showing myself some love and appreciation after finishing a project include buying myself a treat like a delicious coffee beverage or my favourite meal. If I want to feel extra special I might book in a spa treatment or create an at-home spa day for myself. Other rewards might include taking a break and doing something with friends or family and taking off my entrepreneurial work hat for the moment to really enjoy life.
Did you enjoy hearing about my tips and tricks to gain motivation and get stuff done? Grab my free printable 10 Steps to Feel Motivated & Get Stuff Done to learn more about the system that I use to organize and feel motivated to help bring my ideas to life!
Heather is a therapist and mental health blogger from British Columbia, Canada, who is passionate about sharing her knowledge about mental health, wellness, and health-related topics. Heather provides professional clinical and freelancing services in a range of settings such as articles on her blog and other health and wellness sites, and by creating digital mental health products. Heather can be reached via email or through her website and is very active on Pinterest