That’s a good one, even though I personally almost always want to do them. Because I discovered writing as a passion. Maybe that’s the key. Make every effort to love what you do.
Disregard “do what you love”. If you do that, you will be productive in any situation.
One way to keep on going on days you really don’t want to is to announce on twitter that you are about to write down your ideas. Another way is having a buddy around.
Here is a list of 11 other ideas that could work for you to get you motivated to do anything. I hope they are useful for you! Workout, talking to people when you don’t feel like talking, gratitude habit…
#1 – Just focus on the first step.
Writing down one idea instead of 10 seems doable, right?
You can even come up with the first idea while you go into the bathroom to brush your teeth. Or whatever other errand you work on.
#2 – Warm up with freewriting.
Allow yourself to write down whatever comes to your mind first.
Sometimes the goal of 10 ideas right off the bat can seem intimidating.
So you warm up – in fact, every morning before I write the 10 ideas down, I freely write about anything that comes to my mind.
In that way, 10 ideas can be just an extension of the thoughts you already have in your mind.
I believe this also works because sometimes we have to purge our mind of the thoughts we were holding.
Maybe we can not want write down 10 ideas because there is another thought stuck in your mind. So we have to give ourselves the freedom to get it out.
This applies as well to thoughts and tangents that occur to you WHILE you write your ten ideas. Write everything down that comes to your mind. Always.
#3 – Allow yourself to have fun as a reward.
If you don’t feel like writing down your ten ideas, then you normally want to do something else. Reframe ‘having fun’ as a reward after you have written down your 10 ideas.
#4 – Take it easy.
Sometimes we are simply overwhelmed and not “up to the task”.
In that case, it helps reminding ourselves that our ideas are just ideas and don’t need to be earth shattering.
What if you just wrote some very simple ideas down?
Those that you think may be too obvious to be stated as ideas. Those that you think somebody else already did.
Sometimes great ideas are already to 99% in your mind, you only need to let them out!
#5 – Find your most productive time.
We all have times when we are more creative.
Maybe you are writing down ideas at a time of the day in which you are not very productive.
Try another time of the day.
#6 – Make sure you understand the reason for your unwillingness to write.
This is an extension of #2, and I believe it is an important realization.
Why don’t you “feel like it”? Maybe your mind is occupied with other stuff?
Maybe you had a fight with your significant other the day before. You think you have it solved, but it still lingers in your mind.
So ask yourself for the real reason that you don’t want to write down your ten ideas. Take care of that first.
Or define a time when you will take care of it. Just don’t let it linger in your mind.
#7 – Copy the mood in days where writing down 10 ideas was a breeze.
Instead of focusing on the reasons that something does not work, focus on your mood when it does work.
Mike Cernovich has great points on how to control your state.
In short, this is what I do:
(a) Step away from my computer, go to a separate room, or simply close your eyes.
(b) Remember at least one time I absolutely loved writing down my ideas.
(c) What happened before, while and after I was writing them? Allow yourself to feel the positive emotions.
(d) Think about ways I can incorporate the past happy situation into today.
If getting up at 5 am made me happy because I had enough time to do anything I wanted, then I can either get up at 5 am or reduce my general workload for today – so I get back into the feeling I have lots of time again.
When I loved the topic, I think about an aspect of today’s topic that I also love.
And when I am happy about having achieved something, then I allow myself a reward after I am done writing.
#8 – Outside motivational help.
Some people become motivated or at least happy (which can in turn motivate again) when they have something else around what they do best.
For example, maybe you really become inspired and creative if you listen to music.
Or – as strange as it may sound – have somebody talking on the radio or podcast or even the television!
Or… maybe you are always super motivated after you punish your body in the gym.
Maybe talking with other people brings you back into the state you need for writing down ideas.
#9 – Treat 10 ideas like a habit, a necessary part of the day.
You can actually completely switch off your thinking when doing the writing.
Just make writing down 10 ideas a daily habit, and don’t allow yourself any deviation from that.
Reserve time for your 10 ideas. Every day always the same time. Don’t squeeze them into your day between other activities. That makes it too easy to “forget” them.
In “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg talks about four common classes of triggers that induce our habits.
Find an environment that is most conducive to writing down 10 ideas.
Maybe that’s a café. Maybe you go on a walk and dictate those ideas into an audio recorder. Maybe it’s your kitchen.
As soon as you are in that environment, put your 10 ideas together. Over time, your mind will automatically come up with ideas once you are at the location.
Conversely, if you don’t “feel” like writing those ideas down, change the room.
Figure out the time that you come up most easily with your ideas.
Then always write them down at a specific time. Over time, that will become automatic.
(c) Social contacts.
Maybe you get inspired by other people being around.
Then, make it a rule to always talk to a friend and let that trigger your desire to write.
(d) The stuff you did before.
Maybe you are getting into the wrong mindset.
For example, if you watch Netflix or play computer games before you write, your mind could be on guard against developing its own creativity – it wants to continue consuming.
All of a sudden, writing down 10 ideas is tedious, so you rather watch another “Lost” rerun.
But maybe you are doing something repetitive before, something that is a little bit boring, like some household chores. So then “10 ideas” is a creative outlet that you like to reward yourself with.
Or maybe you are already writing something, as mentioned in #2 above, so 10 ideas are an easy extension of what you already do.
#10 – Change the way you create your ideas – handwriting, computer, audio
If you have always typed your ten ideas, write them out with your hand. Or type them if you have always used handwriting. Or record them.
Switch up your routines just a little bit. New ways of doing stuff can often be enormously motivating.
#11 – Think about putting them into a book.
Maybe you can put your ideas into an eBook and then sell it.
You can make your ideas public and earn a little on the side, which may add a boost of motivation.
If you want to check out “Become an Idea Machine”, you can do so here.
Last challenge: Click me!
What is this challenge about? This link will teach you more.
And to get back to the main page, you can click here.
Are these suggestions helping you?
What is the best way to motivate yourself?
Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments below!
(Images taken from Wikimedia Commons)