It happens. We all lose our motivation at some point. We aren't robots who never get sick, tired, or even just bored. The key is to get your motivation back ASAP.
Ever have one of those days where you’re just like… “I can’t even…”? Me too. We can all fall into periods where we are just not productive. Between life, kids, partners, and trying to build a business it can all just end up being overwhelming and exhausting.
In fact, the other day my husband and I had an epic fight. (ugh!) It’s been brewing for a while. Our entire relationship has been nonstop major life event after life event. From engagement, to the death of my father, to our wedding, to moving (twice!), to buying a new home, to having our first baby, to losing jobs, to starting businesses and more, it’s been an intense few years. All of that bubbled up into a massive rolling boil that spilled over, and needless to say, afterwards I felt super disconnected from my work.
I absolutely love my work.
It makes me excited every single day! (at least 99% of them) But there are still days where I’m burned out, overwhelmed, emotional, distracted, sick, whatever. I would love it, but the truth is I'm not Wonder Woman and can’t be on point 24/7. I also don’t have as cool of accessories or as gorgeous flowing locks as her. Bummer.
However, I do need to be able to find a balance between giving myself the space to not be perfect while also not losing productivity or focus. How do prepare yourself for when the breakup, your period, or a teething baby happens? Well… ya don’t. BUT, you can try a few tactics to minimize the damage and keep your head in the game. To get your motivation back, try this:
1. Take a break
Dude, if you’re burned out. Can’t think straight. Have no energy. It’s time to just take a break! You don’t have to go all, “Eat Pray Love,” and travel for months and try to find yourself. But maybe you just book a cheap Airbnb for a couple of nights and catch up on sleep. Or get your mother-in-law to watch the baby for a few hours while you get a mani/pedi.
My favorite thing to do when I’m feeling burnt out is to take a two hour nap while my mother-in-law watches my daughter, Carolyn. A two-hour nap in the afternoon once every few weeks doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you’re a mom of a toddler, you know the rarity and utter nirvana of an afternoon nap!
Sometimes the break isn’t about needing to regain energy, but rather just changing your mindset. If you’re having writer’s block or stuck on one task, walk away and do something different. Go for a walk in nature. Listen to music and doodle. Have sex! Whatever you’re doing that has you stumped, change your scenery and change your action. Creativity gets killed by overworking and overwhelm.
2. Think about how you can relate this to your audience.
After this epic fight with my husband I felt like... “I'm not the only one who goes through this with their partner, right?” And, I had a little epiphany that I can do anything because if I am a mother who grew a tiny human inside of me, birthed her and kept her alive just by feeding her from my body, then I am seriously a rockstar! Business should be no big deal after that!
That little snippet of insight is something that came from my fight with my husband.
Well, I'm not sure..but I was able to use the "I can't even" funk that I was in to relate to my peeps by sharing a personal story that can also give them inspiration. It didn't feel that calculated as I was sharing it, but it's something I'm going to keep in mind any time I'm faced with a difficulty in life or business.
How can I use this story to teach others a valuable lesson? Is there insight or inspiration here I can share? If so, you bet I will do it!
3. Are you forcing a square peg into a round hole?
Sometimes when we are super frustrated and things aren't going well we just need to take a step back see if we are trying to make something work that just isn't meant to be. Are we rushing the process? Is what we are doing in alignment with ourselves and our purpose?
If you are consistently feeling unenthusiastic, bored or burned out by your work, maybe it's just not for you. I have totally been there. I spent eight years in a job that was sometimes fulfilling but far too often it just left me feeling frustrated, bored, overworked or not enthused. I learned so much there, but I wasn't truly happy. When I ended up getting fired, because my work was crap at the end because I lost my drive for it, it was the best thing they ever could have done for me. It freed me and allowed me to pursue my true passion!
So take a minute to assess. Am I happy? Is this just a lull or is there a bigger underlying issue I need to address.
Most of all, don't be too hard on yourself. You are a person. We all have bad days, bad weeks, or even years. Give yourself the grace to have the bad times and the care you deserve so you can get your motivation back a little bit faster.