A positive attitude and a lot of passion are absolutely necessary to running a successful business over the long term. Your passion and dream will be your motivation during this process. However, the daily ups and downs of running a business, along with the occasional misstep, will often diminish your motivation. This can have severe consequences. Without proper and long lasting motivation the odds of your business surviving for years to come will be reduced. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help maintain your own motivation and to help motivate your staff. Positive Thoughts Again, so much of running your own business comes down to positive thoughts. Staying positive and changing how you think about life can help ensure that you stay motivated during difficult times. Seek out support. Being an entrepreneur is difficult work. Sometimes it can help to reach out to others, especially if they are also entrepreneurs. Seeking out support from other people who are facing similar challenges can help you retain your motivation and find new innovative ways to solve your problems. Support from others can also help you have a little fun and remember why you wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place. Believe in your ability to accomplish your dreams. However you go about achieving this, it is important to replenish your belief in yourself on a regular basis. Some people accomplish this by creating a motivation wall, while others have regular meetings with a mentor or life coach. Even just taking a few minutes each day to tell yourself that you have what it takes to succeed can motivate you to keep going. Get away from work for a while. Every mind needs a little rest. It is important to get away from your business and your entrepreneurial mindset every now and then, simply to allow your brain to rest and recuperate. This is a great time to engage in a hobby and get some exercise. Exercise is vital to a healthy mind and by taking some time to relax and refresh you will find that you are able to return to work with more motivation. Learning How to Manage Your Time Properly managing your time will help you not only to be more productive, it will also help ensure that you remain motivated. Every successful entrepreneur has good time management skills. Forget ‘clock time’. Traditional time management wisdom is designed to help you manage your ‘clock time’, or actual minutes on the clock. This is not really how you spend your day however. You may want to consider forgetting about ‘clock time’ and focus on real time. Real time is how much of your day you spend on each activity, both in work and at home. Real time is relative. Choose how much time you want to spend on specific things. Since real time is relevant, you have the power to choose how much of your time you spend on specific activities. As a business owner you may not be able to stop interruptions and problems, but you can choose how much time you want to spend dealing with them. Decide how much time you want to spend thinking about things, conversing about things and acting on things, then match your available time appropriately. Working When You Are Most Productive Part of learning how to better manage your time means learning to organize your efforts so that you are working when you are likely to be the most productive. This process helps to eliminate wasted time, or when you are working but not being particularly productive. Record your activities for a week. To learn how to work when you are the most productive you can start by carrying a schedule book with you and recording all of your thoughts, conversations and actions for a period of one week. This will give you a clear understanding how much time you spend on each activity, which will allow you to determine which activities are productive and which are less than productive. Create a schedule for only the most productive activities. Once you understand which activities are productive and which are wasting your time you can go about ensuring that you only schedule your time around the productive activities. Create blocks of time for yourself for activities that are high-priority and make sure that you determine how much time is appropriate to spend on each activity. Have discipline. Once you understand where and when you are spending your time, on both productive and unproductive activities, have enough discipline to appropriately schedule your time. Plan your day. Take 30 minutes or so at the beginning of each day to make detailed plans of what you plan to do and what you plan to accomplish. Make sure to plan out at least 50% of your daily time towards your most productive activities. Also plan for interruptions, or times when you will be pulled away from your work. Decide what you want to accomplish before every meeting or telephone call to make each more productive. Don’t be afraid of the ‘do not disturb’ sign. There should be a certain part of your day where you really need to get work done and a ‘do not disturb’ sign can help ensure that you are actually able to get work done. Watch for distractions. Your cell phone, social media services and e-mail services are all great ways to stay in touch with employees and customers, but they are also extremely distracting. Plan some time to answer your e-mails, texts and calls, but avoid answering a text or call just because it is coming in. Constantly communicating is a drain of your valuable time. Understand when a text or call is critical to business and when it is not so important. Remember that not everything will get done. It is simply impossible to get everything you want done. You are never going to get it all done and you will drive yourself crazy if you attempt to do so. Also remember that about 80% of the results you produce are done with about 20% of your time. By learning how to work when you are most productive and by making the most of your productive time you will be able to get what really needs to be done completed. Tips for Maintaining Motivation There are other things you can do to make sure that you stay motivated to keep working towards success on a daily basis. #70- Alter your routine. Routines often become depressing reminders of the daily grind. By altering your routine, even the slightest bit, you may be able to create a fresh new feeling. This could mean having a meeting outdoors or in a coffee shop. Anything that represents something different from your everyday life can have a very refreshing effect on you and your employees. Move around. This one may sound simple, and that’s because it is. But walking or moving around often can help break up the day and keep you motivated. It is also better for your physical and mental health to move around every 30 minutes or so. Offer incentives for productivity. Offering incentives for yourself and your employees in exchange for reaching certain goals helps with motivation. Incentives are fun ways to keep everyone focused on the company and its goals. These incentives don’t have to be related to money. They can be fun things like lunches, massages, prizes, promotions and even trips. Even the smallest incentive can have a big effect. Learn more about your market. Constantly expanding your knowledge about your business’s market will help fuel new ideas and new concepts. This in turn will keep you motivated to expand your company and to keep up with the modern trends of the business. This will help keep your business always moving in the right direction and will allow you to better your understanding of what your customers want. There is always tomorrow. As an entrepreneur there are going to be days when you don’t get it right. It is important to remember that there is always tomorrow. Think of tomorrow as a time to get it right and succeed. So if today doesn’t go well there is always the chance that tomorrow will be amazing. Try to have some fun. Adding a little bit of fun to your everyday life will make your daily tasks more enjoyable and easier to deal with. Treat the motivation process like a daily task. Every business has daily and weekly tasks that need to be completed so the business can remain operational. This includes the process of motivating yourself and your workers, so make sure that you treat it as such. Finding ways to stay motivated is essential to keeping your company operational, so make this process part of your everyday tasks.