Hacking Motivation With Curation

Writer's block. Unmotivated. Uninspired. Procrastinating.

It happens to the best of us.

As an entrepreneur, it's your responsibility to stay motivated, to keep going, to “get over” any sort of creative block. Your clients, colleagues and family expect it of you.

What can you do to get out of a slump? Prepare for the unexpected.

The Challenge

Here's the challenge. As an entrepreneur, working alone in your home office, in your car, at a local café or anywhere else means you're often alone.

Building and creating alone in your bubble, your island, or a vacuum. This vortex that is called entrepreneurship.

You have this “fire in your belly,” and this fire has the power to take us a long way—to get us through some rough patches.

Your ambition and drive as an entrepreneur means you're doing a whole lot of things many others are just not willing to.

We take risks. We do things like get on Periscope and Blab. We spend hours on social media platforms, connecting with people—folks we've never met in person. Things like this makes you, me and fellow entrepreneurs crazy awesome!

But sometimes we lose our awesome. Sometimes we lose our mojo. Sometimes we lack the drive or motivation.

What makes this situation even more challenging is once you're in that state of “stuckness” you start losing momentum. And that is a rabbit hole you want to avoid at all costs.

The solution? Hack your motivation by becoming a Motivational Curator.

How To Curate Motivation

You know yourself better than anyone else. You know what gets you going.

For example, if I'm stuck doing a tedious repetitive task, like data entry (anything to do with manipulating data), I turn on rockin' music. It motivates me to get it done, it keeps me moving and it helps me forget the pain that is having to do mindless copy and pasting.

What gets you going when you're feeling stuck? What things, that after doing them, really stoke that fire inside you?

Come up with a list of your top 5 inspirational sources.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • music
  • inspiring quotes
  • podcasts or audio books
  • client testimonials
  • tough love
  • biographies
  • exercise or dancing
  • conferences
  • your coach or mentor
  • YouTube videos
  • practicing a craft or hobby
  • mastermind, advisory board or networking group
  • affirmations
  • volunteering
  • napping
  • drawing, painting or doodling
  • movies
  • confiding in someone you trust
  • reading fiction
  • composing a song, poem or music
  • powerful images

(the top 5 on the list above are mine)

Now that you have your list, come up with a way of curating all these sources. The ideal is to collect as many, if not all, sources into one place.

My Motivation Hack System

I used to save screenshot inspirational images on my hard drive. Or copy motivational quotes in a Notepad doc.

I've recently come up with a better system, using Evernote. [IMAGE COMING SOON]

I have a notebook stack, called CRISTINA'S BIZ STACK, that is just for my business stuff.

In that stack, I have a notebook called MOTIVATION CURATION.

That notebook contains notes, separated by categories.

Current categories are:

  • Quotes that motivate me
  • Music that motivates me
  • People that motivate me
  • Movies that motivate me
  • Hacking Motivation (doodle)
  • Other online sources that motivate me
  • Images that motivate me

The categories will undoubtedly evolve as I build a larger collection, but for now, it works.

The next time I see an inspiring image, read a quote that incites me to take action, watch a YouTube video that I'd like to save for future viewing or find something else that moves me to take action, I'll just click on the Evernote Web Clipper extension in Chrome and save it to my Evernote notebook.

If I read a book (a physical book) with a passage I feel needs to be part of my collection of motivational material, I could either scan the page or take a picture of it, and insert that image in Evernote. (Ain't that just the coolest?!)

Whenever I need a boost or if I'm feeling stuck, I just need to open Evernote and look through my collection.

Another reason I like this system, is that I can share my entire notebook by email. That means I don't have to keep my collection to myself, I can share it to someone start or build their own.

Your Turn

Now it's your turn to create a personalized and highly customized curated collection of your most powerful sources of motivation.

Remember, you're responsible for your own motivation. No one can take action for you, no one can create a success plan for you.

It's your responsibility to find what works for you, to find the what grabs you from the inside, sparks the flame and breathes new life into your entrepreneurial soul.

I encourage you to hack your motivation. Come up with a curation system that works for you. You'll know it's the right system when it's the system you use consistently.

Some systems to consider:

  • Google Docs
  • word processor
  • a folder on your hard drive or DropBox
  • a Pinterest board (public or secret)
  • scrapbooking
  • doodling
  • Moleskin or other paper journal
  • voice recordings

As I come up with better ideas, I'll add them to this list.

Don't wait until you're in a situation where you're scrambling to tap back into your creativity. Don't wait until the loss of momentum has fully set it, making it hard to get going again. Having quick access to sources of motivation that move you deeply will help you pick back up quickly.

Start preparing your collection today. You can thank me later!

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