Are you trying to build a business while working full time or parenting? Are you struggling to find the motivation, time (and energy) after a full day to move things along?
You’re not alone.
Creating and committing to those creative spaces is hard
Especially when there are so many things which can keep you from moving forward.
I’m with you. At the moment I’m trying to complete a big project (my PhD) while running my business and caring for my two small children. And I know how frustrating and disheartening it can be when you feel like you’re not making progress fast enough.
So here is an idea that can help you increase your motivation so that you can stay focused and keep moving forward to accomplishing your goal, even when you have limited time.
It comes from the great book The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done by Piers Steel, one of the leading researchers in the science of motivation.
The Procrastination Equation
So here it is -the equation which according to the research conducted by Steel accounts for all instances of procrastination.
EXPECTANCY x VALUE/
IMPULSIVITY x DELAY = MOTIVATION
Let’s break it down.
At the top we have expectancy and value. We want both of these to be high if we’re to feel motivated.
Expectancy: Do you expect yourself to succeed at creating a successful business? Chances are that if you’re procrastinating, that you have doubts about whether it’s possible. If you knew with absolute certainty that the time you invested would bring about the results that you wanted, you would make it happen.
In the next post I’ll be sharing with you an idea to help you increase your expectancy but for today think about what you could do to feel more confident in your ability to make this happen.
Value: Do you value what you’re working on? If your goal has meaning for you, you’re likely to be more motivated. Here it can help to frame your goal in terms of your values (for example it may be that you want to work for yourself because you value contribution, health and connection).
You can also frame it in terms of your VIA Character Strengths (this is a free assessment which will help you realize which character strengths you most value as a pathway to feeling more energized and alive. I’ll be writing more about this in an upcoming post.
One way to increase the perceived value is by connecting your goal to your Via Character Strengths (you can see what your top strengths are here for FREE). When you link your activity to the things that you value the most, you’re likely to experience more energy.
For example, writing is something that I have a tendency to put off. Mostly that’s when I’m framing it in terms of the potential downside (like not being able to express myself clearly or not being able to write something that feels good enough). When I’m able to think about it in terms of two of my top 5 strengths Love of Learning and Gratitude I think about how much I love learning and how grateful I am for what I’ve been able to learn which motivates me to want to share that with other people.
Then on the bottom we have impulsiveness and delay. We need both of these to be low.
Impulsiveness: This is the number one factor connected to procrastination and is about our need for immediate gratification. This is probably something that I struggle with the most. If I’m working on something that I’m struggling with it’s so easy to get up and do something else that feels better.
Again, I’ll be sharing more strategies to help you decrease your impulsiveness but for today, brainstorm how you can be less impulsive. For me this often means switching off my wifi before starting to work. Practicing strategies that help you manage fear will also be key in helping decrease your need to avoid when what you’re doing make you worry about whether you’re good enough.
Delay: The longer we have until our goal needs to be completed, the lower our motivation to act. So having a goal to build your business can lower your motivation if the completion date is far in the future. See if you can set yourself mini goals that are closer that can help increase your motivation. The benefit of accomplishing small wins also help increase your expectancy, your belief that what you’re trying to create is possible.
Let me know what you’re working on in the comments below and what one small step you’re going to take today to increase your motivation.