Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going

It’s a quote by entrepreneur Jim Rohn

I encounter far too many instances where people explain that they’re struggling to achieve anything because they’re ‘not feeling motivated’. While we all have off days it does feel rather like ‘the dog ate my homework’ if it becomes a common excuse. Employees and kids can expect some motivation from us but we are entirely responsible for motivating ourselves.

The real achievers have self-discipline and good habits that keep them going even on days when they don’t feel up to it. Start a list of things that can help you on such days.

Here are some of the things that I do:
1. Pomodoro method – I have explained this in other blogs or you can google it. You only have to motivate yourself for 25 minutes at a time.
2. Environment – I like a clear desk in my own space but you might like particular music to put you in work mode
3. Coaching – as a business coach who uses a business coach I find accountability helps to get a LOT done.
4. Deadlines – I dislike this as a motivator as it can encourage people to leave things until the last minute and then do sloppy work but some people find them useful. I prefer target dates as softer deadlines eg completing all self assessment tax returns by 30 November rather than 31 January.
5. Milestones – eg completing X% self assessment tax returns by certain dates ensures that we keep on track for both our internal deadline and the big external one. At Minerva Accountants we aim to complete a certain number of accounts and tax returns per week/month.
6. Eat the frog – this is a productivity method based on a quote from Mark Twain. ‘If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.’ Get the worst job done first then you will have achieved something today. (I actually hate this one but it can be useful some days when I’m procrastinating)
7. Just Do It – a short but simple slogan from Nike

Use the good times to develop good habits to keep you going on the tougher days but always get SOMETHING done.