Willpower is overrated.
As dedicated entrepreneurs and professionals, we're resisting temptations everywhere. The temptation to go on Facebook instead of finishing this article. The temptation to eat junk food instead of going to the gym.
While delaying gratification has always known to be beneficial, at what point does too much self-control become damaging? Research from psychologists have shown that willpower is not only overrated, but it's limited.
If you're lacking motivation in your business, career, or life in general, here are some easy ways to get your groove back in no time.
1. Prioritize your sleep quality (not quantity)
A big misconception about sleep is the difference between quality versus quantity. Many swear by the notion that the number of hours you sleep is critical for rest. However, how many times have you slept for 9-10 hours, only to feel groggy?
That's because the quality of your sleep is more important.
Two actionable things you can do, particularly for entrepreneurs and freelancers, are to:
- Reduce blue light - Blue light is a major factor in reducing our melatonin, the sleep hormone in our bodies. Research shows that we spend over 10 hours a day in front of a digital screen, which emits harmful blue light. The best way to cure this is to wear computer glasses (also known as blue light blocking eyewear) to prevent blue light from entering your eyes.
- 90 minute rule - Instead of trying to estimate how many hours you sleep, use the sleep calculator. Studies show that your REM sleep is in 90 minute cycles, which means that if you want wake up at 6am, you'll need to be in bed by 12 am or 10:30 pm to meet the 90 minute rule.
2. Reward yourself
Nothing lasts without a little celebration. According to Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize winner, powerful habits are formed in 3 stages:
That means that our brains can easily be wired to repeat a behavior if a meaningful enough reward is involved in the process. The reward could be as easy as getting up every hour to stretch your body, going out with friends after a long days of work, or even opening up that bottle of red wine at night!
3. Find a tribe
If you're hacking away in your own corner, hoping to succeed by yourself, stop. Not only is it going to be unsustainable to build something great alone, but it's also less motivating. Humans are social creatures, and we need to find a tribe that understands our lifestyle, goals, and needs.
For entrepreneurs, this could be as easy as:
- Joining an online or in-person mastermind
- Working at a co-working office instead of alone in your room
- Spending more time with your co-workers/employees (and doing something fun!)
4. Talk to your happy customers
Despite the everyday issues that we get bombarded with, the easiest way I've found to rekindle the passion you originally had is to speak with your happy customers.
Chances are, you have real customers that are absolutely in love with your product or service. Most people won't bother sharing that with you unless you ask.
Reach out to your customers via email or even call them to ask how they're doing, why they bought your service/product, and how you can improve. This will help you realize the wonderful parts about what you're doing and also give you an actionable step to improve upon.
5. Learn a new skill
Learning something new can be directly applied to your business/career, such as Photoshop or coding, or it can be a general life skill that helps you expand as a human, like a foreign language.
When your entire mood is dependent on the health of your business, you're setting yourself up for failure. The reason is, there are so many variables that are outside of. your control. Instead, if you focus on learning a new skill for yourself, it's something that is directly within your control, as long as you have the right resources.