3 Counter-Intuitive Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work on Your Creative Projects


Creation is hard. Even God took the 7th day off.

But as internet entrepreneurs we need to constantly be creating something. Whether it’s making jewelry to sell on Etsy, writing erotica to publish on Kindle, or uploading t shirt designs to Merch.

Growing up I never saw myself as a creative person. That’s because my one idea of creativity involved drawing and painting, and I’m still a horrible artist.

But humans are meant to be creative. After all, we’ve been making art for tens of thousands of years:

Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 2.24.14 PM.png
This statue is at least 10,000 old

A lot of modern art seems to be surrounded by pretentiousness. How can you be an artist unless you’re a hipster living in Brooklyn, or went to art school?!

Whether you consider an artist or not, working on creative projects everyday requires hustle and a long term vision.

And the best way to work on your creative projects is to do a little bit each day.

Although internet marketers talk about how to create a 6 figure business in a month!! it’s likely going to take longer than that.

But sometimes the last thing I want to do is write, list clothing on eBay, or find books to sell on Amazon. Here are a few counter-intuitive ways I’ve developed over the last couple years to motivate myself to hustle everyday.

   1. Self-Compassion

I’m intense- I love to get things done. Currently I’m at my brothers college graduation and I drunkenly made myself a to-do list before I went to bed last night.

But, sometimes this intensity and drive costs me my peace of mind- it’s easy to see fall into the trap of seeing people as distractions when your singular focus is getting things done.

I think connection with other humans is the meaning of life, so I don’t want to see people as distractions.

Recently I’ve been finding that cultivating a sense of compassion for myself and other people softens this obsessive drive. This doesn’t mean I lose my vision or energy, it just means I can enjoy myself and not feel guilty when I’m not working on things.

  2. Time Blocks


I’m a fan of using downtime in my day to list a few things online, answer some customer questions, or upload a t-shirt design to Amazon Merch (a print on demand service like cafepress).

Listing things online doesn’t require a lot of mental capacity. I work part time at a health food store, and in between customers I try to list a couple things- this way I can usually list at least 10 things while I’m at work.

But, if I tried to write in between customers I would get nothing done. I don’t think it’s possible to make progress on most creative endeavors in 5 minute time blocks.

This is because humans can only focus on one activity at a time- there’s always lost time when you’re switching activities because it takes a while to get into the flow.

This is why most corporate environments aren’t great places to be productive- not only are the drab gray, windowless walls and harsh fluorescent lighting unnatural to human beings. There’s also constant distractions- emails and phone calls along with the constant stream of coworkers almost ensures you’re going to get interuppted and distracted every few minutes.

I’ve found I’m most efficient when I block out a specific amount of time to write or work on projects- usually an hour to 90 minutes. This way I can set an intention of working the whole time and then force myself to sit there.

Sometimes I stare at a blank screen for 15 minutes before I start typing. And a lot of the times I automatically find myself browsing Youtube mindlessly. But by setting the intention I remind myself that I’m here to hustle and work and achieve my goals, not watch videos- this mindset makes it easier to be compassionate and gentle with myself while I exit out and get back to writing.

3. Workout

You already know how important it is to move your body. Especially if you’re dealing with depression, anxiety and/or other mental difficulties.

I find that getting out of breath by doing things like sprints, interval training, hill running, or other vigorous exercise is the most powerful way to boost my mood. I feel like it’s oxygenating my brain.

And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also feel more motivated and creative when I’m done working out- I just got back from a run, and now I’m typing this!

Sometimes my brain feels like lead and I feel stuck in depressive rumination. When I’m in this unhelpful mindset it’s better for me to workout instead of trying to be productive. Then I usually feel better, and want to work.


Creating anything is hard- especially when it’s a long term project like a blog, publishing on Kindle, or a product idea.

These are 3 counter-intuitive ways I use to motivate myself everyday. Maybe one of them will work for you.




Leave a Reply