Go When You're 'On,' Rest When You're Not.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to get really caught up in the idea that if we’re not 100% productive, 100% of the time - that we’re just not giving it our all or not really working as hard as we could be.
I have one thing to say about that:
Cut it out!
We need to really embrace the fact that we are HUMAN and that there comes a time (sometimes often, sometimes not) when we're just not feelin’ so hot. In those moments, we need to calm ourselves down and realize that it’s not always necessary to force ourselves to be so ‘ON,’ when all we really crave is some serious downtime, rest, and TLC.
This post is about helping you forgive yourself for takin’ a little break when you most need it, only to come back and totally hit your goals outta the park upon your return.
1. When You’re On, Double Down
This idea circles back to the fact that when we really feel on our game, we’re essentially unstoppable. We're unstoppable and we hardly ever feel side-tracked by the never-ending abyss of social media or other distractions.
When you're 'on,' the best thing you can do is to be aware of it and to really harness your momentum. Make a plan of all the creative things you're wanting to do (that require lots of creative energy) and get down to business on implementing them.
I love creating actionable checklists for myself by breaking down my tasks into small, bite-sized actions that are a lot easier to swallow than the entire process of something.
For example, let's say I want to work on a new email marketing sequence. Honestly, the thought of that entire task makes me want to post up with some Netflix and not move until next year. So, instead of handling the entire task at any given moment, feeling discouraged, and then inevitably tabling the discussion for another time, I break it up.
Big, scary, intimidating task: Create new automated email marketing sequence.
New, actionable (dare I say...fun) task:
- Sit myself down for an hour or two at a time over a period of time (say a week or two)
- Write down exactly what I'd like to accomplish during those smaller segments
- Write one themed email at a time to add it to the entire marketing sequence over time.
- After two weeks or so, I should expect to have a fully-automated email marketing sequence that I won't have to think about again for a long time.
Note: this is also where batching all your content comes in reeeeeal clutch - by creating and scheduling your content when you're 'on,' you don't have to worry about writer's block or grasping for inspiration in more 'off' moments. Here are some of my past blog posts on batching certain items of your business:
- How I Schedule My Instagram Posts without Third-Party Apps
- Why You NEED to Start Batching Your Blog Posts
- Squarespace: How to Schedule Blog Posts to Publish at a Later Date
2. When You’re Off (You’re Feeling Resistant) - Validate Those Feelings
When you hit a moment when you're inevitably feeling a lil' less motivated than you were before (and it will happen one day or another), this all comes back again to being self-aware.
Don't push yourself into the ground trying to get back into #grind mode. That will only lead you to full-on burnout, which you really, really don't want. Instead, intentionally decide that you're going to take a bit of a pause.
This type of pause can be different for everyone. Maybe you really push aside your work or creative project and put it completely out of your mind for a designated amount of time. That's okay.
Or maybe you become really intentional about the content you put out into the world, or how much time you spend around it each day or week. That's okay, too.
The biggest thing to remember in these moments, is that it's absolutely essential to be patient with yourself. Take care of yourself, mentally as well as physically, and you'll find that your creative motivation will come back ten-fold once it's ready to!
3. Learn to Balance It Out with Designated Tasks that Align with Different Settings
If you decide to just simply scale it back a little bit by not going full-throttle forward creative-energy-wise, that works too. Maybe you take care of some much-needed administrative tasks that don't require as much creative output as your more forward-moving tasks.
I know that when I'm feeling a little bit in need of a creative break, I intuitively gravitate toward the more mundane but necessary parts of running a business. Organizing my folders. Cleaning things up around the old desktop. Getting my work calendar in order. Responding to non-urgent emails that I've been putting off a little bit (guilty!).
This all comes down to self-awareness and being intuitive about what your body and mind most need at any given point. With time, you'll be able to recognize certain patterns around these ebb and flows of your creative energy and output. From there, it will get easier for you to arrange your day-to-day and week-to-week tasks and functions.
I'll admit, it's taken a while and I'm by no means an expert at it yet, but I am getting better and better at recognizing these patterns within myself and my business and I never get down on myself. I know the power of my creativity and I also know that it's important for it to take a rest every now and then.
So I welcome it when it's here, I wine and dine it, and make sure we have a wonderful and amazing run together - and then, when it gets tired, I wave, tell it I'll see it on the flip side, and get down to other parts of my business in the meantime!