Screw motivation


You don’t feel like calling that client, writing that article, or researching that motion.

So what?

You don’t need to “feel” like doing anything to do it. You just do it.

You do it because you have to. Because bad things will happen if you don’t. Because as Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”

Ah, but what about all the optional stuff? The things you need to do to accomplish your goals that don’t have immediate negative consequences if you don’t do them?

Like marketing.

You know you have to do it because if you don’t, your income will shrink or you won’t achieve the goals you (say you) want. But you still procrastinate.

The answer–the way you get things done without motivation–is to establish systems and habits that align with getting those things done.

When you schedule 15 minutes a day on your calendar for marketing (or whatever) and commit to it, you will see progress. Even if you don’t feel like making the calls or scratching out the words, you’ll do it because the alternative is to sit quietly, thinking about what you’re not doing.

(Note, if 15 minutes is still too much for you to handle, start with 5 or ten.)

Checklists can play a part in your systems. It’s easier to do something you don’t want to do when you have a pre-determined sequence in front of you that leads off with easy tasks that help you start.

Breaking up tasks into bite-sized pieces can help. Ten minutes of assembling and organizing your notes and ideas (while you’re watching the game) will make it easier to take the next step.

Ask yourself, “What could I do to help me get [whatever] done?” Would coming in an hour early twice a week help? Would hiring someone to do the most difficult or disagreeable parts help?

There are answers. You can get things done without motivation. But only if you have enough internal motivation to do it.

15 minutes a day can help you get more referrals


How to make yourself do something you don’t want to do


I know about that thing you’re supposed to be doing. I also know it’s not getting done. No, I didn’t speak to your wife, I just know. You’re dilly dallying. Avoiding it. Procrastinating.

You know you should do it, but you don’t want to. So you don’t.

No worries. I’m here to help.

The first thing I want you to do is to write down this thing you don’t want to do. Former CEO and author Max de Pree said, “The first job of a leader is to define reality,” so get busy and put it in black and white. You don’t have to show it to anyone, but if we’re going to get this thing done, we need to know what it is.

Have you written it down? Good. Now look at it and imagine being able to put a check mark next to it, or crossing it off your list.

What’s next?

Well, you know it’s important, and you know you’d like to get it done. But you need some convincing to do it.

Maybe you should hire a lawyer.

Wait, you are a lawyer. How about hiring yourself to argue the case for “doing it”?

You’re an advocate, so advocate. Write a demand letter to your other side (the side that doesn’t want to to it) and demand that it be done.

Present the arguments, the facts, the logic. Describe all of the benefits of getting it done. Describe the negative outcomes if you don’t.

Make the case for going to a networking event once a week, starting a newsletter, or adding content to your website. Tell yourself why you should, and give it all you’ve got. Your client is depending on you.

If you think it will help, sweeten the deal by offering a bonus. Promise yourself the rest of the day off, for example, if you get this thing done. Put a deadline on accepting the deal, and a non-negotiable start date and time. Add liquidated damages in case of default.

This may sound silly, but it’s not. Not for something important. You already know the reasons why you should do this thing. You just have to talk it through. No more hiding from it, burying it on a to-do list and moving it from week to week. It’s time to do it.

So yeah, hire yourself to advocate and negotiate the deal. You’ll be the best client you’ve ever had, and if you win this case, you might earn the biggest fee you’ve ever received.