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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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7 Great Ways to Get Motivated When You Are in a Slump

Have you ever lacked motivation and wondered how to activate? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, this is a normal part of the being human. Would you like to discover some wonderful strategies for getting motivated, especially when you’re in a slump? I was curious about the ways my colleagues’ handled their motivation challenges, so I reached out to this generous group – Sarah Soboleski, Diane Quintana, Jill Robson, Autumn Leopold, Ingrid Jansen, Deb Lee, and Seana Turner. I asked them,“What is the one thing you do to get motivated when you’re in a slump?” Their responses are personal, intelligent, and inspiring. My deepest gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their wisdom with us.


What is the one thing you do to get motivated when you’re in a slump? . . .


Motivation From Playing

When I’m in a rut I think it’s helpful to play! I’m a mother to a 4-year-old little boy so it’s easy for me to take a break and connect with my playful side when I’m in a slump. I love reading a silly book, coloring a picture, or squishing some play-doh with him. These are all great ways to give my brain a rest, remember not to take things too seriously and get back to basics. When I tap into my inner child I see things through a different lens and am better able to refocus my efforts. Play jumpstarts my productivity!” 

Sarah Soboleski, LCSWProfessional Organizer, Speaker & Blogger



Motivation From Envisioning

“When I need to get motivated to begin a project I start by envisioning the result. Then I make a master list of everything that must be done to bring this project to a successful conclusion. I take the time to create a timeline, scheduling steps to take into my calendar. Then I focus on the end result. Knowing that each small incremental step brings me closer to finishing my project helps keep me motivated.”

Diane N. QuintanaCertified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, Author & Speaker 



Motivation From Doing Mundane Tasks

“I take a step back, sometimes a BIG step back when I am lacking motivation. Nothing is worse than trying to flog a dead horse; the ideas will not come no matter how much you will them to. I always get the best ideas and flow of inspiration when I am doing the mundane, things that are rote, procedures done by muscle memory allowing the inactive parts of your mind to reboot themselves.”

Jill RobsonProfessional Home Organizer & Blogger



Motivation From Brainstorming 

"When I'm in a slump I have to disconnect. I have to let go of whatever I have been working on and get out of my element. Whether that means take a few days off and work on a home project, or take a week off and go on an RV trip with my family. I love to brainstorm creative ideas with my peers! A brainstorming weekend in the mountains goes a long way for your soul! Sometimes switching around my normal routine can shake things up and as well." 

Autumn Leopold – Professional Organizer & Blogger



Motivation From List Making

“The one thing I do to get into action is to start making a LIST of what needs to be done. People get in a slump because the task at hand seems too big or too hard to do. Creating a list and breaking up the project in small chunks helps me to get an overview of the task and also to decide what needs to be done first to make a start. Also getting some extra sleep helps to get more energy to tackle the project you have in mind!”

Ingrid JansenProfessional Organizer 



Motivation From Talking

“I talk to myself. Yes, this is a real conversation about how AMAZING I will feel when I follow through on a goal or habit. That feeling is ridiculously wonderful and gives me a huge boost. So, the short, but serious talks with myself work like a charm. I sometimes experience the real feeling of just by visualizing.” 

Deb Lee, CPO®Digital Business Coach, Productivity Consultant, Speaker & Appaholic



Motivation From Disconnecting

Motivation frequently comes in spurts. Sometimes it appears as a gift, while other times it burrows like hidden treasure. For me, the best solution to a slump is to disconnect completely from the pressure to perform. This can be as simple as taking a day off to sit on the beach, or as significant as suspending an activity for a month to work on something else. Redirecting my focus awakens my brain to a new challenge while replenishing those parts of my mind and spirit that have run dry.”

Seana TurnerProfessional Organizer, Blogger & Speaker


Getting motivated, especially when you’re in a slump is possible. With the creative ideas that my colleagues shared, you now have some new strategies to experiment with. Whether you choose to play, disconnect, brainstorm or make lists, renewed motivation is possible for you. For me, when my motivation has waned, I will often force myself to get going anyway. If that doesn’t work, I’ll give myself a self-care break. That can include getting some fresh air, taking a walk by the river, running an errand, having a snack break, or getting some sleep and restarting the next day. 

Which ideas resonate with you? How do you get motivated when you’re in a slump? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (20)

What a great round-up, and thanks for including me Linda! I love the idea of having fun, and I definitely talk to myself as Deb mentioned. Visioning could be a whole post of it's own.. that one has me thinking. Sometimes the best way to beat is a slump is to try something completely new, so a list like this could be the springboard to success!

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Great collection of ways to get motivated again, Linda. I especially like Seana's statement that motivation comes in spurts. It's important to not judge oneself when the motivation isn't there. It happens to everyone and it's a part of life.Stay open to the opportunity to get motivated again. Judging yourself can be the one thing that is stopping you. Thanks for sharing.

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

What a great collections of solutions to get motivated. Like Deb i talk to myself as well, and i love Sarah's idea of connecting with your inner child.

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Such great contributions on this post, Linda! I appreciate being included. I agree with Jill that sometimes when we're on autopilot doing an everyday chore, for me its vacuuming, inspiration and motivation can strike. When your brain is at rest good things can happen!

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Soboleski

Thank you for including me in this group, Linda. I love all the ideas shared. Particularly Deb's idea of having conversations with yourself to pump yourself up! I agree with Seana, it's always good to have new things to try.

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdiane Quintana

Ahh so much good advice here! Thanks for putting this all together and including me Linda!

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAutumn Leopold

It's a party! How wonderful to have you all join the conversation! Thank you again for contributing to the post.

@Seana- Isn't it fun to learn from each another? I'm glad that some of the other strategies sparked new ideas for you.

@Sabrina- Thank you for the reminder about not "judging yourself." You're so right that we can be our own worst enemies.

@Jill- When we're in a slump, this post can be a great place to return for some other ideas to test out. When you talk to yourself, do you do it out loud or in your head? I do a bit of both.

@Sarah- Ahhh. Such a great phrase..."When your brain is at rest good things can happen!" I keep a pad of AquaNotes in the shower because you never know when inspiration can strike. :)

@Diane- The "conversations with yourself" can be great when the message is positive. It's amazing what our minds can do.

@Autumn- You're most welcome. Glad to have you with us.

July 19, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thanks for including me Linda! Do all organisers talk to themselves? I do that too hahaha!
Have a wonderful summer everyone!

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid Jansen

I can definitely relate to Diane and Ingrid!

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Having ADD, getting and staying motivated is super difficult. The thing that works best for me is to just begin whatever it is I'm not motivated to do because once I begin it, chances are I'll stay to finish it. Hyper-focus is often a blessing. :-) I talk to myself, I tell myself to remember how good it feels to finish a project. That first step is the hardest. Today I took the first step to work on a project and I finished it One Day Before Deadline -- a big, big accomplishment for someone with ADD. Thanks for posting the topic, Linda.

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary

@Ingrid- So happy that you were able to add to the post. Thank you. The talking to self may be a human thing...and maybe not exclusively an organizer thing. But who knows? We could do a poll :) Enjoy your summer too...and stay cool (avoid those heatwaves!)

@Janet- You love talking to yourself too? You're not alone.

@Rosemary- Thank you so much for sharing your experience and perspective. I know what you mean about the "blessing" of having hyper-focus. It's wonderful how well you understand's the getting started or activation piece that's most challenging. However, once you start, you're good to go. Congratulations for finishing your project ahead of the deadline! Go Rosemary!

July 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Ha ha! I was referring to Ingrid's comment in the post about making lists, and Diane's about envisioning the end result and breaking down the steps needed to get there.

I admit to talking to myself, but not for motivation. When I'm working on something mundane and repetitive, it helps me to say what I'm doing out loud so I don't forget where I am in the process.

July 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Oops. My apology for misinterpreting your comment. Thank you for clarifying. It's so interesting to see the individual ways that motivate us. I was thinking about this recently that for me, the action of pursuing a goal, project or dream is my motivator...more so than the actual achieving of it. I feel energized to be working towards something.

July 21, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Motivation is such a personal concept. I love hearing all these ideas and thinking about each person as they get started on a task or project. When I need motivation, I look to a new perspective and a baby step. What's the one little thing I can do? One step and then another and so forth gets me started.

July 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Not only do I particularly agree with Deb Lee about motivation from talking to oneself, but Deb will recall that I was once experiencing some writer's block and lack of motivation, called HER, and literally found my solution while telling her my problems, without her having to say a thing. (So, it's not just Deb's advice, but Deb, herself, for working that motivational magic. Now we just have to bottle her!)

The key, I think, is to notice when we're experiencing a dearth in motivation, name it, and then take action. It's too easy to let inertia take over. Great answers, one and all!

July 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Bestry

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who talks to herself. ;) And, like Ingrid, lists help me to focus. As I write, the lack of motivation seems to melt away. Love everyone's responses.

Thanks for including me in your roundup, Linda. =)


P.S. Thanks for the kind words, Julie, and for so graciously returning the favor of listening to me today. =)

July 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

@Ellen- Yes! Those baby steps are great for keeping us activated. Instead of overwhelming the starting point, you use the mini step to provide just enough motivation to get going. Love that!

@Julie- What a great story...and suggestion too for "bottling" her. You also bring up a great point that reminds me of the coaching concept, NCRW (naturally resourceful, creative and whole.) It suggests that we know ourselves best and have all the knowledge needed to solve our challenges. Your technique of talking out loud while another person listens is a testament to that. The other piece you mentioned is awareness...noticing when motivation is lacking so that before inertia takes over, you can exercise a strategy that will help lift and motivate.

@Deb- The talking to yourself seems to resonate with so many here, along with making lists. Thank you so much for sharing your insights and wisdom about motivation. I'm so enjoying this wonderful conversation!

July 21, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love these suggestions thank you! I tend to get moments of inspiration and motivation when I am on long walks or in the shower. It does hamper my pace when I frequently stop to jot notes in my phone, but well worth it not to lose a spark of brilliance. Now I need a way to get my thoughts down while showering so they don't trickle down the drain.

July 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSherri

@Sherri- So happy to have you join us and glad to know that you enjoyed the suggestions. There's nothing quite like walks and water to get those "sparks of brilliance" flowing. Have you heard of AquaNotes? It's a waterproof pad and pencil made exclusively for hanging in the shower when those ideas always seem to flow. It's a great way to capture them. I have one in my shower and it has helped me many times over.

July 28, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I get most motivated when I talk to myself and convince myself that I am in the right direction no matter what others say as they don't really care.

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHrithik

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