You probably write notes all the time – to friends or family members or notes to remember to buy milk. Even your weekly or daily to-do list is a kind of note. But have you ever thought of using notes to yourself as a form of motivation?
When you are a small business owner or self-employed, it can be hard to keep motivated all the time. One way to help according to the author of this Trello blog post is by using validation and in particular self-validation.
Validation reinforces our belief in what is right
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about – validation is the recognition that your experience is valid, that what you are doing is something worthwhile. It means that honouring your internal experience and acknowledge your point of view.
You probably got a lot of validation, or its opposite invalidation, from other people during your childhood. For example, let’s imagine that as a child you said you wanted a drink because you felt thirsty. If your parents told you that you couldn’t be thirsty because you’d just had a drink, this is an example of invalidation. If however, your parents said, of course, you can get a drink this would be validation. They might even go further to explain why you might be thirsty – you might have exercised or it might be a hot day. This would reinforce that your decision was right.
As you get older your validation from others might decline. But if you are thoughtful, you can tap into your feelings, and validate your ideas and motivation. Of course, this can also work the other way. If you allow doubts to creep in or don’t listen carefully to your feelings and thoughts, then you may find yourself sabotaging your forward momentum.
Get writing to help you self-validate and make your thoughts clear
One way of helping to sort out your thoughts is to write notes to yourself. You could write about what inspired you to start your business, thoughts on how to work smarter not harder, ideas you have for new products or services, or ways to expand the business. You could also write about the challenges you are facing and how you might overcome them.
Writing notes to yourself might seem a little odd at first, and you might feel self-conscious writing down your thoughts. But putting pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard can help clarify things in your head and solidify ideas. Writing your problems down can also help you separate your feelings and think more clearly about practical solutions.
In time you might get so used to writing notes, that you could expand into more comprehensive journalling. Writing allows you to delve deeper into your thoughts and motivations if you want. You could also carry out regular reviews of your progress and your motivation and energy levels. Reviews will help you see where changes need to be made and potentially even avoid burnout or keep problems from escalating.
Being a business owner can be hard. But learning to trust your own intuition is one of the best skills you can develop.
I have appreciated Chris Croft’s courses on the topic of Time Management on Lynda.com
If you don’t have a subscription to Lynda.com, you can read his approach on his blog, here is an example: 21 Time Management Tips that are NOT obvious
Underlying good time management are two key skills (and they ARE learnable) – Self Discipline and Assertiveness