Get Motivated and Solve Problems

Running a small business can be a lonely job. So can working for a small business. We’ve talked about this before (read the post). The topic was brought fresh to mind last week when I had a problem I couldn’t solve; no one could solve it for me or even really help. I spent the better part of 2 days feeling frustrated, unproductive, and alone before forcing myself to DO SOMETHING ELSE.

And do you know what happened? Completing another task – being productive! – gave me the motivational boost I needed to tackle the original problem and actually make some progress.

Motivation is hard to come by when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. In light of my recent experience, I did a little research about tips and techniques to get motivated and solve problems at work (but really, these can apply to anything in life).


Majestic sunrise

1. Take a break from whatever you’re stuck on. Do something else – anything else: complete a different task, go for a run, clean your car. Give yourself a chance to feel productive and engage your brain in a positive way. (Source: personal experience. Also, Google and other tech companies have proven that this method leads to great problem-solving.)

2. Spotlight the positive. Take 2 minutes at the end of each day to make a list (mental or physical) of all the things you DID accomplish during the day, however small they might seem. This is part of my list from yesterday: balanced business accounts, emptied dishwasher, wrote emails, walked the dogs, got the car’s oil changed. As you can see, not everything is work-related. Your life motivation will impact your work motivation (and vice-versa), so feel free to include everything.

3. Break the problem/task/project into smaller pieces. This helps to clarify exactly what needs to be done so that you can develop a game plan AND gives you a checklist of achievable mini-goals.

Want more motivational ideas?

We talked a lot about motivations back in the spring with our posts about company branding. If you did the branding activities, go back and review your notes. If not, do it now! Get motivated to do the little things by reminding yourself of the big things.

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