7 Ways To Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up
Have you ever felt like giving up when there seemed to be no progress in your work? You started with enthusiasm and things seemed to be going well. Suddenly, things are not going according your plan. You have to switch plans and didn't seem to have any results. You got so tired and you simply just want to throw the towel. Sometimes your brain just simply refused to work with you. Familiar?
I do feel like that many times, especially when I am doing my own coaching business now. There are 7 things that I learned how to stay motivated when I feel like giving up.
1. Writing on a piece of paper
This is one of the techniques that I used in my coaching which is known as Meditation Journaling. Yes, write with your pen on a piece of paper (ok, you can write on iPad, but I am not a big fan of writing electronically).
I would write my frustration with a black pen on a piece of paper - my feelings of frustration, why am I frustrated, who am I frustrated with, what is the thing that I am frustrated, why it happened and how could it happen. I will not censor anything that I write. Sometimes, I have to write in point form as my thoughts are running too fast. Also, don't worry about grammar mistakes as no one is going to ready it.
After writing, I would use another coloured pen to write over what I have previously written. I would write what I can do about the matter and how I can choose to feel about it. I can also write down how it may affect me and weigh if it is worth the amount of my time. After that, I would tear the papers into bits and throw them into the bin. Some of my friends like to burn it. Well, whichever works.
When we are in a process of writing, we are forced to slow down the thought process and watch the problems turning into words. It helps us to come up with solutions better. In a way, it's a self coaching process.
2. Do other things
Instead of doing the same thing, give yourself a break and concentrate on other parts of the project.
I make a point to put up a blog every week. Sometimes, I get stuck with my writings and that can get really frustrating. What I did was to plan my next video to put up online or refine my slides for my workshops. By doing this, I am still working on my project, but I take a break from writing. If not, I will sit and stare at the laptop for hours and nothing comes out of it. This gets me even more frustrated.
3. Schedule breaks
Don't underestimate the power of taking breaks. Just as the Chinese saying "Resting enables us to walk a further journey". It helps to break away from monotony of work. You can also break away from the chain of frustration that is building up.
While I am doing my work, I use the Pomodoro Technique to manage my time. It is time management method by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s. I will set the timer at 25 minutes and work on what I need to do during this time frame. Once it is up, I will rest for 5 minutes. Then I will start the next cycle after the break. This can help me on my momentum during my work time.
It is also important to schedule breaks during the week. Friday is normally my day off where I will meet up my cousin to go for nature walk in the morning and have breakfast after that. I will chill at the nearby cafe and meet a friend in the evening to have dinner.
4. Schedule your to-do list
Planning and scheduling is the most important part of preventing a burnout. I like to plan my work on a Saturday evening for the coming week. This way, I can schedule work, play and rest time. It is important to prioritise what can be compromised and what cannot. I will put in my "me" time - meditation, reading, exercise and sleep, into my schedule first as these are what I would not compromise as it is important for my overall well-being. Then I will put in time for work and socialisation. This is especially important when I am self-employed and it is easy for me to stray off from my to-do list. As for the rest of the empty slots, I will keep them open for other things that may pop in.
5. Personal development
Never miss any opportunities to upgrade yourself. Whenever I attend any courses, I will gain some new know-hows. Sometimes, when we got stuck in what we are doing is because of certain skills gap or we keep using the methods that we know. We will never fully know everything. Hence, by upgrading through courses or reading, you will always be able to find new ways of doing things and even with more efficiency. That also stimulate my curiosity to do my work in a different way without getting bored.
6. Celebrate even if it is a small progress
The kindest thing that we can do for ourselves is never forget to give ourselves a pat on the back.
We often celebrate when there is a huge breakthrough. Yet, when we are stuck, we tend to be hard to ourselves. I was like that too. In the end, I find it so discouraging especially in the beginning of the business, there are so many things to fine tune. It can be very discouraging when many things do not seem to turn out the way I would like it to be.
I have a habit of writing things down on my bullet journal. I created a page called "Yeah!" to jot down daily what are the things that I have done to deserve a pat on the back. Everyday, I will write down one thing that I have done that deserves celebration. For example, if I have posted something on my Facebook, and even there is no "likes", I will put in my "Yeah!" page to remind myself that I did something for the business to move forward. When I look back at the end of the week, or a month, I would be so delighted that I have actually achieved so much things already.
Give yourself a reason to give a pat on your back because you deserve it.
7. Meet like-minded people
Meeting like-minded people helps me to remember the reasons why I am doing this business whenever I feel down. They would understand the challenges that I am going through and we often would encourage one another during tough period. We will share our success and how we can do better in things that aren't doing well.
Recently, I met some friends who do live videos on Facebook. I am super camera shy when I do live videos and have lots of worries of me stuttering, looking at the wrong side of the camera They shared their know-hows and asked me to watch how they do their live videos. From our conversations, they got me interested into doing live videos. This is a great option when I am tired of writing.
Remember, we may not be popping champagne everyday, but keeping ourselves motivated towards the champagne popping moment is still important.