A Tip for Staying Motivated – Try Working For Cake

A Tip for Staying MotivatedTry Working For Cake

Imagine a cake. A big chocolate cake. All moist and rich with lots of fudgy icing.

Now imagine the cake is in front of you. It looks delicious. You really want to taste it. And you can. The only catch is that you have to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Now the greedy amongst us will now be licking our lips in anticipation (apologies to those who don’t like chocolate cake; imagine its something else instead – a big box of chocolates, a massive bag of nuts or a bowl of whatever your favourite food is).

You start to eat. The first few mouthfuls are delicious and exactly what you were expecting. But as you eat more and more, it becomes less of a treat and more of a chore and you wish you’d never started. By the time you’re finished, you’re probably feeling sick. If I now offer you another cake, I’ll probably get the reply “I never want to see another piece of cake as long as I live……..”

Sound familiar?

Now imagine a different scenario. The cake is just as big, but rather than give it to you all at once, I give you a decent-sized slice. You tuck in and enjoy. A few hours later, I bring you another piece, with the promise that, when the task you’re working on is done, I’ll be along with a cup of tea and, yes, another slice of cake. “What a good idea”, I hear you say.

If I repeated this process over the course of a week, bringing you a slice at a time, leaving you to enjoy it and only coming back with more after a decent time had elapsed, not only would the whole cake be gone in a matter of days, but you would also be positively watching the clock waiting for the next slice to arrive. And when, horror of horrors, the first cake is all gone, I’ll come along with a different cake (personally I’d have coffee and walnut, or carrot, or…. well, any cake, to be frank) and ask if you want a slice, I can imagine the answer would probably be “Yes please!!” or at least a “Go on then, if you insist”. Which I most certainly do!

Trying to develop your business is just like eating cake. Try to conquer it all in one sitting and you probably won’t enjoy it that much and, because you struggle to get everything done, you’ll get stressed and demoralised and your appetite for more tasks will wane. But when you break all the work down into smaller, manageable chunks, you’re more likely to finish every one of them and this will give you the drive and enthusiasm to tackle a new task the next day.

Everything we do can be broken down into smaller, “bits-sized” pieces. You can divide every task, every problem, into realistic chunks. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed and the sense of achievement you feel in crossing yet another thing off your list will spur you on. “But it will take longer” I hear you cry. Well, indeed it might, but at least you’ll get there in the end and feel much better for having done so. And the fact that you’ve done something positive to drive your business forwards will, hopefully, give you the boost you need to take it even further.

I once jokingly said to a client that I’d work for cake and you know, some days it’s a really attractive prospect. However, most of the time I simply imagine each task as yet another slice of my plan for world domination and then pick up a muffin on my way home to reward myself for a job well done.

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