Entrepreneurship and Productivity: 5 Easy Ways Trick Your Brain to Do Hard Things
Sarah Mae (SMae) |
Entrepreneurship and productivity seemingly go hand in hand, yet entrepreneurs are notoriously overextended and “busy”.
You have amazing work ethic, but sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop. Giving yourself permission to just do nothing and be “unproductive” is hard. There’s just so much to do!
In this post, I’m sharing 5 ways you can trick your brain to do hard things, whether it is stopping work and watching TV guilt-free, going for a walk every day, or just wearing pants to your home office.
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Entrepreneurship and Productivity
When I was first starting my businesses, I was a high school teacher with 210 students. My days were already filled with planning, marking, and reporting (not to mention actually teaching). So, in order to make any sort of headway as an entrepreneur, I had to figure out how to be as productive as possible with the little time I had.
Being productive with work is the easy part. The problem is, the more productive you become with work, the less productive your personal life becomes. Until one day you realize that you’re burning the candle at both ends and have no work+life balance at all.
As an entrepreneur, you need to learn to be productive with both. This is where being able to trick your brain to do hard things, as well as “easy” ones, becomes really useful.
5 Ways to Trick Your Brain to Do Hard Things (or Easy ones):
1) Don’t Make It Optional
If you give yourself the option to do something, you’re not going to do it. It is that simple. Not doing it is the path of least resistance, and your brain is hardwired to take the least resistant path.
No one ever struggles to do the easiest thing. You don’t hear people complaining that they really wanted to sit and watch TV but they accidentally ran a mile instead.
When you make a commitment to yourself make it non-negotiable, or don’t bother making it at all.
Maybe you’re thinking, but I’m trying to DO NOTHING shouldn’t that be EASY? Yes, it should be easy, but you, my dear friend, are an entrepreneur. Doing nothing is HARD.
So stop giving yourself the option.
2) Stop Waiting For Motivation
Motivation is overrated and if you keep waiting for it to hit you and somehow be a stronger force than the motivation you feel to make your business baby succeed, you’re gonna be waiting a looooong time.
The good news is that you can actually create your own motivation. How? By creating momentum.
If you want to trick your brain to do hard things, you gotta make it easy… so start small…
Want to finish work and have time for play in the evenings? Set a non-negotiable commitment to close your computer at 6pm and step away from your office.
Want to go for a walk every day? Set a non-negotiable commitment to put your shoes on after lunch.
Want to wear pants to your home office? Set a non-negotiable commitment to place the pants out the night before.
Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation, and motivation will follow.
3) Break it Down
When a task feels complicated you’re less likely to do it. Especially if you feel like it is going to take up a big chunk of your precious time. So the best way to trick your brain in these situations is to break big tasks into little ones.
Putting off creating a landing page for your offer because it’s going to take you four hours? Break it down like this instead:
- Make an outline (1hr) (I love starting with an outline, it’s great at creating momentum)
- Write all the copy (1hr)
- Create all the graphics (1hr)
- Put it all together (1hr)
Putting off exercising 20min a day? Split it into two segments of 10 minutes at first.
Not only is it easier to complete the smaller task, but you also get a nice dopamine hit as a reward.
4) Understand the Habit Loop
Habits all follow the same 4–step pattern: Cue > Craving > Response > Reward.
When you understand this you can use it to your advantage and easily trick your brain to do hard things.
In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear highlights how to utilize the Habit Loop to create new habits:
- Cue: How can I make it obvious?
- Craving: How can I make it attractive?
- Response: How can I make it easy?
- Reward: How can I make it satisfying?
Ask yourself these four questions every time you want to make it easy to start a new task.
5) Be Aware of Your ANTs
ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts.
“I don’t want to do squats”
“I don’t like going for a walk”
“I hate making dinner”
When you allow yourself to stick with these automatic thoughts, you make it so much harder to follow through. Yet, they are automatic, which means you have little control of them invading your mind. So how do you change them?
Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative, change it to a positive, say it out loud, and repeat it as many times as you need.
“I can’t wait to do squats!”
“I love going for walks!”
“Making dinner is SO much fun!”
The more you do this, the more you will rewire your brain to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. I love neuroscience!
Entrepreneurship and productivity go hand in hand. To improve your productivity you can use the above strategies and start to trick your brain to do hard things.
At the end of the day, doing hard things is a choice. It’s up to you to commit to the choices that will help you create the life and biz of your dreams.
If you’re ready to dive in deeper and Master Time like the BOSS you are, download your free Time Mastery Guidebook here!
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