Saw this post on Instagram:
There will be days where you’re not motivated.
But the motivation comes after you show up.
Don’t start with the motivation – start with the doing.
– Sean McCabe @seanwes
I am such a fan of this line of thought. In the past I would let my thoughts and underlying fears create a state of paralysis by analysis. During the time at Grumble Games there were days where I had no clue whether we were doing the right thing and hours later, talking about adjustments or whole pivots to what we were doing we’d be in the exact same spot we were before but with hours gone.
If you’re having trouble starting, or finding the motivation to push through, just start doing something. For me that often is writing. As I wrote about yesterday, I approach problems through a flow of stream of consciousness and break things down from there. Sometimes that’s enough.
If it’s a design I’m struggling with, free sketching helps, or just building things in Photoshop with no real end goal in mind other than to get thoughts onto paper. Spending 20-30 minutes just playing is often times enough to kickstart the idea train and lead to an extremely successful day of work.
If it’s something I’ve never done before at all, which is the tallest order, setting aside a clear set of time to do research followed by a break and then digging in to first steps has been a very successful tactic for me. The first time I had to create a product roadmap I had no clue where to start and I avoided it until the very last minute, then spent a night throwing it all together. Since then I’ve used the research, break, first steps method and it always creates the momentum needed to drive me forward. Remember the best way to eat an elephant…one bite at a time.
One last thing, if you know deep down that you’re going to put it off until the last minute, don’t spend the hours fixated on the fact that you’re not working. All that will do is stress you out and kill the productivity you could be having later on. Go to the beach, or play video games, or read your book and let yourself be. It’s risky, but if all else fails creating misery for days leading into a cram session does you no good. And to be honest, sometimes that pressure creates amazing things.
In regards to the quote, I’m a big fan of the seanwes community and the information they provide about making a living online. I highly recommend checking out seanwes.com and the podcast (I listen on iTunes).
Follow me on Instagram @mspotten for posts about my life, my family and inspiration.