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Stuff to motivate you (plus scripts to accomplish them)!

Sometimes writers or remote workers can get a little lonely. Here's a few ideas you can use to create motivation for yourself or your team.

#1.) Tough Love

Some people need a drill sergeant to drag them through the process as directly as possible. This type of environment is transparent, honest, and intense, and it’s highly motivating for the right kind of person.

Here’s an example of some tough love:

Hi Bob,

The article you submitted doesn’t meet the standards we set out in the brief and on our call. 

Here’s how I’d like you to rescue it:

#1) Add a specific example for each of your 3 sections.
#2) Replace the stock photos with your own versions. 
#3) Include a cheatsheet PDF that we can use as a lead magnet. 

If you can get this done by Friday, we’ll post it immediately.

If you can’t - we can’t use this material and we’ll consider the project off. I’m a little surprised at the quality here because I’ve seen your other work and we were definitely on the same page after you read the brief. 

Reply back and let me know if you’re going to be able to get the edit done by Friday. 

Thanks. 

#2.) Gentle Hand

Other people need a much gentler approach with feedback. You need to keep things positive and soft in order to keep them engaged and committed. Here’s the same idea as #1, but delivered with a “gentle hand”.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for submitting the article on time yesterday. 

It’s not ready to go yet, but I think we can rescue it together.

Here’s what I’d like you to do, please:

#1) Add a specific example for each of your 3 sections.
#2) Replace the stock photos with your own versions. 
#3) Include a cheatsheet PDF that we can use as a lead magnet. 

If you need help with this, please shoot me a message and I can get our graphic designer to help. And if you’re really stuck, I can jump in and clarify the edits.

Sound good?

#3.) Work in public

One of the best ways to get work done is to work around other people (even if they’re not working). That’s why some people love working from cafes - a little bit of ambient noise and the presence of other people is highly motivating. 

You can recreate a version of this by livestreaming yourself working, like this:
Youtube.com/watch?v=2O8_WE4Eeg0

Here’s how to announce it and put some healthy pressure on yourself.

Hey LinkedIn friends! 

I’m going to live stream 1 hour of me working tomorrow at noon. 

It’s not a webinar, not a training session, not a chat party - just me working. 

If you need a virtual work buddy, just come to the live stream and work alongside me!

Boring? Yup.

Productive? BIG yup!

WHERE: Attend here (link).
WHEN: Tomorrow at noon. 

#4.) Co-work with a friend

This is a great way to link up with a buddy and get a ton of work done. It’s the same idea as #3, just tweaked so that it’s you and a friend instead of you and a bunch of anonymous viewers. 

Hey Josh,

You free for a coworking session this week? 

Here’s how I’ve done these in the past (they’re highly productive!): 

1-2 pm on Wednesday.
We share screens on Zoom. 
We each work on 1-2 tasks, tops. 
We start by telling each other what those tasks are.
We end by checking in on the status at the end of the hour. 

What do you think?

#5.) Pay someone to slap you

Back in 2012, Maneesh Sethi hired someone from Craigslist to slap him every time he got distracted from work and started messing around on social media instead. 

Here’s how you can recreate the same idea by hiring someone from Craigslist. 

Title: Slap me if I get off task 
Pay: $8/hr

Job Description: 

I’m a writer with a busy 2 weeks coming up, and I can’t afford to get distracted by social media. 

I’m looking to hire someone to sit next to me at my home office, coworking space, and coffeeshop (the 3 places I work from). 

If you catch me on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, IG, TikTok, or any other social platform….I want you to slap the hell out of me and tell me to get back to work. 

Here’s what this would look like in action:

Youtube.com/watch?v=OHGt0_t7Heo&feature=emb_imp_woyt

youtube-screenshot.png

#6.) The 2-hour sprint

Working in a focused sprint is the best way to get things done. Shut off all distractions, set a timer, and do the work! You can do this solo or with a friend. 

Hey Leah,

Have you got a 2-hr block free on Friday afternoon? 

I’m looking for a friend to join me on a work sprint, and 120 minutes is the perfect amount of time imo. 

I know we’re both working on books, so I figured this’d be a great chance to get some similar work knocked out. 

Interested?

#7.) Use a Pomodoro timer

Pomodoro timers are great tools to keep you fresh. They get you to work in a combination of short shifts and ultra-short breaks. 

Here’s the setup I like to use:

– Go to Toptal.com/project-managers/tomato-timer 
– Set the timer for 25 minutes.
– Set the “short break” for 5 minutes.
– Set the “long break” for 15 minutes. 

Then, get to work! I like to keep the timer visible as I’m writing, but it’ll also make a little noise when time’s up. 

#8.) Post it publicly on social media

Ask the general public for accountability by announcing your work on social media! 

Here’s a template you can copy/paste: 

Accountability post!

I will be working on  _______ for the next _______ (time).

If I don’t comment back here in ____ (time), shame me in public!

Accountability-twitter-post.png=

#9.) Check in with an accountability partner

Sometimes you don’t need to actually do the work live with a partner. Instead, you can just do a daily check-in, like this:

Hey Laura - here’s my daily 7 pm check-in!

 ☑ Home page updated.
 ☑ Email series uploaded to ConvertKit.
 ☑ Job posted on Upwork.

Here’s my list for tomorrow:

☐ Schedule a week of posts on Hypefury.
☐ Draw 3 visuals for Twitter. 
☐ Update the “how this works” blog post.  

#10.) Create a group carrot + stick

Social pressure can be great! If you connect a project’s success to group rewards and punishments, it creates a special type of motivation!

Hey folks! Excited to kick off the project. 

I’m going to add a special bonus: 

If we publish the book by December 1st, everyone on the team will get a $1000 bonus. 

But, here’s the catch:

  • If anyone misses a single daily check-in, nobody gets the bonus. 
  • If anyone misses a single personal deadline, nobody gets the bonus.

Don’t let the team down!

Let’s do this!

#11.) Change where you’re working

Where you work matters! At home, try shifting locations - work from your kitchen, work from your couch, try anywhere other than your desk. It’s even more powerful to work from different physical locations outside your house, like a coffee shop, library, bar, or coworking space. 

Hey Bob, Sarah, and Luke! 

I’ve got cabin fever stuck at home over here….want to join me for a work session at a cafe? I’m thinking about the Starbucks on Main St @ 9 am tomorrow morning.

Last time we did this was really productive and I’d like to repeat it! 

You in?

 

#12.) Join a community

Having trouble finding a good work/accountability buddy? You should probably find a community of like-minded people with similar goals. If you’re a business owner, a writer, or a marketer, you’ll find plenty of “your” people here at Copywriting Course

  • I met Rob R. and we used each other as accountability buddies to finish our books.
  • I met Kyle V. and, after working together a few times, I joined his company. 
  • I met Mike M. and ended up working on several projects together. 
  • I met Kyle G. and ended up working together and meeting up IRL.
  • I met Rozy K. and introduced her to friends in different parts of the world. 
  • I met Shaggy E. and hired him for a couple of gigs (and coworked together).
  • I met Mitch B. and worked on a project together. 
  • I met Jeff G. and spent 2 months working on a project for his site.
  • I met Corwin S. and coworked on several writing sessions. 
  • I wrote 2 books.
  • I’ve posted 14,000 times and have a ton of practice editing copy.
  • I’ve participated in dozens of office hours sessions and workshops. 
  • I learned to price my services differently and 3x’d my revenue.
  • I went from being a freelancer to a consultant to a CMO. 

Hope this helps!
Neville Medhora - Constantly Co-Working

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