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The motivation it affects our needs, desires, and actions. It exists on a spectrum that it goes from zero interest to a great desire to get things done. And that usually happens naturally. After all, nobody needs extra motivation to run out of a burning building.
However, in lower risk scenarios, a delay can win the game. Should you start the conversation that you don’t want to have or wait for things to work out by themselves over time? And what if you hit the gym today or start your wellness routine next week?
“At some point the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it,” wrote Steven Pressfield in “The art war”. After all, it is worse to avoid your angry partner than to take a deep breath and knock on the door to resolve the conflict.
The success does not necessarily require motivation or a Steel willpower. And you don’t have to get up before the sun comes up to have coffee, meditate, journal, or do sit-ups before you can come up with wonderful ideas.
By creating systems and habits, internal vulnerabilities can be removed from the equation. When routines are the most weighty, it doesn’t matter how you feel about things. You just have to do it. Established and efficient processes not only benefit your company, but also improve your personal productivity and that of your team.
Systems are not exactly a popular topic in business circles, but they work. Clear, repetitive routines fueled my business trip for over 12 years. Without these almost automatic steps I would be lost and I keep refining my habits over time as this has helped JotForm, my company, have more than 4 million users.
Two types of motivation
Image: Fab Lentz via Unsplash
In the book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Makes Us Motivated”Author Daniel Pink explained the different forms that motivation can take: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation depends on external wins like money, recognition, the biggest office or winning a 5K race. The intrinsic motivation only comes from within. If you run this 5 km because you like the feeling of movement or because you feel like you’ve achieved something on a personal level, the medal takes a back seat.
In her book, Pink suggests that extrinsic motivation (the sausage on a stick) is ineffective and suggests that people can obtain better, long-term satisfaction by addressing the “deep human need to direct our lives.” “. To learn and create things and be better for ourselves and for the world ”.
But even the intrinsic motivation wears off as you satiate it. Starting a business takes courage and determination, but you will still have times when it will be difficult to move forward. Perhaps you are scared or bored with the task at hand, and right at this moment systems can help you cross the finish line.
Three strategies for creating reliable systems
Image: Ian Schneider via Unsplash
1. Focus on your real priorities
Motivation and attention are closely related. Imagine you have three business priorities this year: grow your team, develop a social media strategy, and review a key feature of your product.
These priorities should inform everything you do. If a project or opportunity doesn’t make sense with any of these goals, it doesn’t make sense. The distractions will go away and you will be better prepared to make significant progress.
I reaffirm my priorities by spending the first 30 to 90 minutes in the office creating morning pages. This daily practice begins with writing a conscious stream and inevitably turns into a concrete plan, email, or presentation. It’s a routine that stimulates creativity and strategic thinking.
When I come to work confused or tired, I allow myself to do something different to reach my concentration ranges. I can meet someone on the team or read about a related topic. Soon my mind begins to connect and the flow of new ideas inspires me to move on. Before I knew it, the 90 minutes passed … and so did the tiredness.
Motivation comes from concentration. Once you get started, a powerful feedback loop is almost always activated to keep you engaged even on days when you don’t feel as motivated.
2. Understand that motivation is optional
Motivation and enthusiasm don’t always accompany you when you arrive at the office. Journalist Melissa Dahl gave very simple and straightforward advice in an article published on the website. The cut 2016: “You don’t have to feel like doing things to do them”.
Its point is surprisingly bright. People often think that “being motivated” means having inspiration or excitement before starting to do something. But feelings don’t always coincide with our activities. You don’t feel motivated, but you keep moving forward. For example, instead of watching a Netflix series, stop this presentation.
Oliver Burkeman, another journalist, spoke about motivation in his book “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking”. “Who said you had to wait until you wanted to do things in order to do them?” Burkeman wrote. “From that perspective, the problem isn’t that you don’t feel motivated. but you think you need to feel motivated “
Routines can outweigh feelings because they don’t take into account your interest in the cause. If you just stick to the routine you will get to work right away. It’s that simple. You don’t need to take your emotional temperature as it doesn’t matter. The results add up if you repeat the system without thinking about your feelings.
3. Learn to delegate
I had an inspiring moment the other day while working out in the morning. I even asked my teacher if I could lower the weight to write my idea. But as I drove to the office, I realized that my big idea had nothing to do with my three priorities. I really wanted to spend time with this idea and develop it myself, but I asked the COO of JotForm to do so.
Obviously, delegating isn’t always an option, especially if your business is just getting started or when budgets are tight. But delegating when possible, even when it comes to hiring an advisor or asking for a favor, can pay off. It is best to pass this burden on to someone else when you can divert your time, energy, and attention to higher-level activities that only you can do.
As a founder, your job is to grow your business, not work for it. According to author Ray Silverstein, “there is a bridge that every entrepreneur must cross in order to grow their business after a certain point, the point at which they have to move from“ doing ”to“ leading ”. This means taking a step back from daily work and taking on the role of overseer. “
Delegation also makes sense when someone else is willing to do things. If you are hiring marketers, designers, developers, managers, and researchers for their work experience, it is important that you trust those skills. Most businesses and products get more complex as they grow, and there is usually someone who can get better results in less time. So you can focus on your priorities.
Remember to enjoy the trip
Image: Fab Lentz via Unsplash
Routines can eliminate the need to feel motivated every day. But how do you keep your momentum and focus in the long term? While there is no simple, universal answer, the truth is that most of us want to be happy and feel like we have a purpose.
In 2010, Buddhist teacher Susan Piver wrote a fascinating blog about her personal motivational struggles. After struggling to achieve her daily goals and feeling like she had little discipline, she decided to change her focus. He decided to remove motivation from the pilot’s seat and focus on the joy of work.
“When I remembered that my motivation was based on genuine curiosity and that my activities were totally focused on me and what I wanted to be, my office felt more like a playground than a workspace,” he wrote to Piver .
He shattered his terrible calendar and prioritized activities that he enjoyed. Soon, Piver realized that her days looked almost the same, but the experience was effortless.
Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of all the things that do not give you pleasure. Someone has to clean the litter box and pay the bills. “But I suggest that instead of being very disciplined, you hate yourself until you do things, try to be disciplined in doing the activities that make you happy,” Piver wrote.
Setting a priority for your work that you enjoy is an interesting change of perspective. There will be times when pleasure or bliss is not easy to come by, but when your intrinsic motivation is aligned with your external path, it has a powerful resource that you can use with great results. Focus on the essentials, create systems that support and support your mission, and motivation will come to you without even realizing it.