Can a procrastinator even build momentum?
If you’re a procrastinator like me, the most difficult part about not putting things off is getting started. But when I have the time, and I’m really ‘into’ working on a project, there’s not much that I’ll stop for.
The trick then is finding what motivates you, because once you’ve built momentum, there should be no stopping you.
In his Nonstop Awesomeness blog, Nathan Agin shares How 58 Creative, Positive and Productive Dynamos Build Momentum.
I’ve collected the tips that spoke to me (see excerpts below), but you can also click here to read Nathan’s post (and the complete list) to hopefully discover some pointers that reach you.
The daily practice that has helped me maintain momentum with Tiny Buddha is reflecting and meditating on my “why.” Lori Deschene - Tiny Buddha
I learn from everything. When I do something right, I learn from that and apply it to the next thing I try. When I fail, that’s the best learning opportunity of all. Leo Babauta – Zen Habits
I build momentum in my life by taking time each day to remember why I am doing this work and the impact it will have on people I care about. Taking time to answer the “Why” about my work helps me with the “How.” Pamela Slim – Escape from Cubicle Nation
I’ve learned that I have to do the hard stuff and the important stuff first. That is, I start the day by tackling the things that matter most. Then, no matter what happens the rest of day, I know I’ve accomplished something worthwhile. JD Roth – Get Rich Slowly, Awesome People
In life, I talk to my family about our goals, where we are and where we are headed. I even talk to my 17 month old son about the future, and although he probably can’t understand most of the words I’m saying to him, it’s a huge momentum builder because I don’t want to let him down. Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income
The one thing that I do every day that many might say is the anti-thesis of building momentum is that I answer as much email as a I can. For example, your email! Many people believe that answering email is inefficient and ineffective. I believe it’s very hard and very effective. Few people do this. That’s what makes the people who do answer email enchanting. Guy Kawasaki – site, Enchantment
I write down one awesome thing every night. It doesn’t matter if it’s the smell of gasoline, high fiving a baby, or fixing electronics by smacking them — just remembering that we’ve always got something to be thankful for helps me feel good about my day. Neil Pasricha – 1000 Awesome Things
Simple: connecting with people daily. Genuinely connecting with people – and looking for ways to help them – had paid so many wonderful dividends back to me (business and personal). Baker – Man vs. Debt
A big part of momentum, in my personal experience, is convincing your mind that what you’re doing is potentially valuable. If you’re pursuing something random, or something you’re not really in a good position to succeed at, your mind has a way of recognizing this and reacting with procrastination. One of the best defenses against this type of mental road block is start by getting good at something valuable. From this foundation it’s easy to build momentum. Many people avoid this foundation construction stage, however, because getting good at something is not always fun and exciting on the day to day scale. Cal Newport – Study Hacks
Here’s my own primary ritual: begin each day by doing the most important activity — the one’s that most challenging and has the most power to add value — first. Choose the activity before you go to sleep the night before, so you won’t waste time thinking about it when you sit down the next morning. Tony Schwartz – The Power of Full Engagement, The Energy Project
My one simple daily practice is walking around the block. It puts me back in my body and changes my perspective every time… My best ideas come to me (often fully formed) on walks or in the shower. Andrea Scher – Mondo Beyondo, Superhero Journal
The one thing I do each day to help me build momentum is reiterate confidence. I’ve learned that the more confident I am, the better everything is around me, both from work to my personal life. So each day I find a way to engrain my confidence in my head even more. Sean Ogle – Location 180, Location Rebel
As for “building momentum” this is assuming that direction has been determined. Otherwise it’s simply spinning wheels. And yet sometimes we’ve got to simply start where we are. Here’s what I’ve done in the past.
Get curious — What am I interested in? Where does my curiosity go? What sounds fun? Open this channel of communication within yourself. Be wiling to acknowledge that you want to learn and explore things. Sometimes we shut down our curiosity if doesn’t seem like we’ll make money doing it or it’ll change our life in some way. Screw it. Open up the flow of curiosity.
Identify one thing you can do today/this week that will be a step in that direction — Keep it simple. It might be edgy. It might be a little boring. It should not be terrifying. If it’s terrifying, make the step smaller. Make sure it’s measurable. Give it a deadline. Follow through. Get it done.
Repeat — keep identifying the next steps based on what you’re curious about. Keep following through. Step by step. Hire a coach to accelerate your process. Tell friends what you’re doing. They’ll ask you about it and this will inspire you to continue to make progress. Make the process fun and you’ll want to stay engaged. When you fall off, get back on. Tripp Lanier – The New Man Podcast
There are two daily things that really help me build momentum in my life and various careers.
First of all, I have a google doc in which I write down what I did every day towards my career. This helps me ensure that I do at least one thing every day towards my goals, even it’s small. It’s stunning how quickly these little things add up.
I also make sure that when I wake up before checking my email, phone, or even opening my computer, that I do one thing that I want to do. It’s so easy to start reacting to the things other people are throwing at you, that taking even 10 minutes to stretch, write in your journal, read, whatever…makes all the difference in the world. Starting the day on your terms has a profound effect. Ben Whitehair – actor, Playbills vs. Paying Bills
A practice that I do on a daily basis to keep myself focused and continue to build momentum towards my goals is I take a few minutes to just sit down and concentrate on nothing but my breathing in and out. I often do this several times a day. It helps me to relax and also to clear my mind of unnecessary worries, which puts my focus on things that are actually important. Nate Damm – Nate Walks America
Maybe not a staple for some but I’ve found it to be of great value for me and that is daily prayer. Prayer in the morning (and night if I’m especially proactive) allows me to focus on the 3 most important things in my life, taking care of my family, taking care of my family, taking care of my family. Take that away and I’d be a man without a purpose but focus on it and it has a ripple effect across all other facets of my life, helping me to set a better sail toward all of my goals. Josh Roa – 80-Day Millionaire
Hands down, I pray. It keeps me grateful for what I have, focused on what’s important, and inspired to make a difference. It reminds me that I’m neither as important or terrible as I think I am sometimes, and that I’m not in this alone. Jason Kotecki – Escape Adulthood
The one thing I do each day to build momentum is reaching out- every day I find even small ways to connect with others and it totally energizes me. I either make it a point to shoot a text to an old friend to check in, or I’ll take a few minutes to write to someone I find online to build connections. Every nugget of wisdom or word of encouragement from another person (no matter how it arrives) seems to lead to even greater connection and inspiration and builds a strong network I adore. Shannyn Allan – Frugal Beautiful