You’re so excited about your new project, you can’t sleep. Millions of ideas whirl in your head. Your little fingers can’t type fast enough to keep up with the brilliance spilling out of your brain.
OMG this is going to be the best product/service/book/class in the entire woooorld!
And then, just as quickly as your rush of brilliance came, your creativity deflates.
Suddenly, you find yourself staring at your piles of notes, scribbles and half-finished segments of this and that, feeling overwhelmed, stuck…or just bored out of your skull.
Friends check in to ask, “So, how’s it going? You done yet? You seemed so excited last week!” and you hang your head in shame. “Ugggnh. I don’t wanna talk about it.”
You still feel like your concept is a brilliant idea that will be totally amazing…uh, once it’s done. But no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get your mojo back and FINISH it. Whyyyy?
If that’s your current state, I feel for you. It’s incredibly frustrating when you start a new project feeling like an Olympic sprinter, only to draaaag to a halt just a few days or weeks later. But it is totally possible to reignite your motivation for that thing you were SO EXCITED ABOUT.
For starters, try these three mojo-boosters:
1) Go shopping (or browsing).
This may seem like bizarre “productivity” advice, but it’s a trick I learned back in my advertising days: head to a local store with a variety of gorgeous, enticing products, like Sephora or Paper Source or even your local bookstore.
Which packages pop out at you? Which titles or product descriptions grip your attention? What kinds of wording or style choices make you lean closer? What do you gravitate towards? Why?
This is a great way to study marketing in a real-world setting and feel out what might be appealing to a consumer.
Wander through the aisles and jot down any fresh ideas that pop into your head.
Oh, and you can totally indulge in some new lipgloss while you’re at it. Hellooo? It’s very important market research!
2) Go to the ABSURD.
In my ad agency days, we’d have creative brainstorming sessions where we’d all toss a bunch of random marketing ideas into the room. We were always encouraged to go bold, go wild, go extreme, even go to the realm of the absurd!
In that initial brainstorming stage, the question was not “Is this realistic?” or “Is this within our budget?” but rather, “What would be FREAKING AMAZING?”
Having permission to think ABSURDLY led to some pretty incredible ad campaigns!
So, if you’re feeling bored and low-energy about your project, let yourself go a little crazy. How could you weave some more excitement, even absurdity, into the process?
Do you want a parade of half naked Magic Mike-stylez men to dance across the world promoting your new life coaching program? Maybe that’s “too big” for reality, but you might be able to take a shade of that concept and use it in your promotional language — like a “strip away your inhibitions” free challenge where you invite curious customers to shed their insecurities and channel their inner stud or vixen!
Going to the absurd can inject new energy (and never-before-seen, industry-shattering twists!) into a project that’s feeling dull and ho-hum.
3) Go somewhere ELSE.
I recently wrote about the power of getting out of your home (or office, or wherever you usually work) and going off on a “working vacation”—aka: work-cation —somewhere else!
I do this a few times a year, and these work-cations are always my MOST productive times of the year. There’s something about being away from all of your usual routines and distractions that uncorks your energy in a huge way.
Whether it’s one weekend at a local hotel in your own city, a trip outta town with a few of your business BFFs, or just a hop ’n skip down to a coffee shop you’ve never visited before, going somewhere else can revive your motivation, big time.
If you try all three of these moves — and you’re still finding it totally impossible to get any mojo back — that could mean that there’s a deeper lesson here for you to learn.
Maybe you got STOKED about your concept, initially, because you thought, “Ooh, this will be easy money for me!”…only to realize, later, that you don’t actually care about the concept for any other reason other than cash. (Lesson: Check your real motivations before you begin a new project in the future.)
Or maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of obsessing over what your peers are up to, to an unhealthy degree. You’ve noticed other people doing similar projects and they all seem so much better than yours. Now you’re feeling like you have nothing to offer. So why even bother? (Lesson: Keep your eyes on your own paper. There’s always going to be someone who is “more polished” or “more experienced” than you. If you continually obsess over what others are doing, you will never create anything of your own.)
It’s totally OK if you decide to “retire” your partly-finished concept and brush it into the waste bin, rather that “force” yourself to finish it when you’re just not feelin’ it.
But if that’s ultimately what you choose to do, try to learn the deeper lesson from this experience —whatever your lesson may be — to prevent yourself from having to re-learn it again. And again. And again.
Wishing you a happy shopping trip, an absurd brainstorming sesh, a fab work-cation, and a HUGE SURGE of motivation!