Have you heard of my five-minute rule? There are times we all need moments of activation, and the first tip I’d like to share is one of my favorite go-to’s when I feel more like procrastinating than motivating. But you wouldn’t think this would work.
The five-minute rule is something I tell myself to get started on whatever it is I feel like putting off. For instance, if I know I need to exercise, but don’t want to, I say to myself, Just do it for five minutes. You can quit after that.
But in nearly every instance, once I start, I keep going for much longer—often, until I finish what I began.
I’ve discovered that the root of much procrastination for me comes from assuming a project or action will take longer or be more difficult than what it turns out to be. But the start is the hardest part, so once I get going, I typically find whatever I accomplished took far less time and energy than I anticipated. Pushing past the hard start helps you hit your sweet spot.
Another great motivation tool when I don’t feel like working my dreams comes from self-evaluating. The simplest way I’ve found to do this effectively is to go through a simple process I created, called the Facts/Feelings exercise.
All I do is take a piece of notebook paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. On one side I write Facts and on the other Feelings.
Then I ask myself what are the facts regarding whatever it is I’m facing. What can be proven by supporting evidence? What can I substantiate? Those items are listed under the Facts heading.
On the other side, I review all of the emotions I’m feeling about the situation, and I write those down under Feelings. What are my true emotions? Why do I feel this way? These are great questions to provide clarity.
By putting these factors down in black and white, you get a clear and more objective visual, that often frees you up and releases you to progress forward. It uncluttered the soul, and keeps emotions from lying to you.
Another natural motivator is gratitude. Focusing thankfulness in an intentional way makes a huge difference. I’ve been doing this for years, and it’s change my life in wonderful ways.
Work hard to be at your peak. Exercise intentionality in taking care of you. Self-care is not a cliche, it’s a crucial piece to success.
- Are you a “have to” person, or do you remind yourself of how much you “get to” do?
- Are you taking care of your mind, body, and spirit?
- Do you pay attention to the finer details of life?
When you notice life all around you, especially when you take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually, it increases your inner drive. Are you paying attention to the birds, leaves, flowers, and clouds? What about the people whose paths you cross?
This episode’s Dream Tending Tips:
- Brainstorm dream ideas on a regular basis to increase your energy and keep you motivated. Think freestyle.
- Don’t stifle your creativity or hold yourself back. Allow yourself to entertain fresh ideas.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique developed by Francesco Cirillo, working in 25 minute increments, then giving yourself a scheduled break. Or do what I’ve done, modify it to a time that works optimally for you—my best productivity seems to come from 40 minute focused work periods.
- Remember what Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
- Fight the urge to do anything except taking advantage of the opportunity you have to be productive in this moment. (Scrubbing toilets or washing the car can wait.)
- Make your work fun—compete with yourself or secretly with someone else.
- Create some kind of game out of the mundane.
- Take a moment to breathe in and enjoy a sense of accomplishment after you’ve completed something.
- Grab the Tending Your Dreams’ free giveaways and discounts from every episode. Go to tendyourdreams.com/freebie15 for your gift, just for tuning in. Don’t forget our product discount—20% off on all autographed books. Enter the coupon code TYD20 to snatch your deal.
Host Anita Agers Brooks can be found on various social media platforms, and you can discover additional dream tending tips at tendyourdreams.com.