Have you ever experienced a situation when you were working on something and you got into this flow, and your efficiency and productivity just exploded?
Getting into that state allowed you to get all your tasks done easily and without any unnecessary stress. Have you ever experienced that?
I know I have, and in those moments, I lost track of time and I was amazed by how much I got done in a day. That is the power of momentum!
I remember when I was writing a chapter for an upcoming book titled, “Ignite Your Leadership,” I had a target of 4,000 words to write for my chapter. Typically, I can write anywhere between 2,000 to 2,500 words per day, but on this occasion, I wrote 4,000 words in one sitting.
When I reflected on why I almost doubled my output, I realised I had done a few things leading up to it and also on the day, that built up momentum.
A key lesson I have learnt is that momentum isn’t something that just happens — it has to be cultivated or generated!
5 Things to Know to Take Advantage of the Power of Momentum
Here are five things that are essential if we want to take advantage of the power of momentum consistently. While these things are not difficult, they will require disciplined and sustained attention to fully reap the benefits of momentum.
- Be clear on what you want. When we have a clear objective or outcome in mind, it becomes easier to work towards it. This may involve creating a working plan which should be flexible enough to change as needed. Before I wrote my chapter for the book I mentioned earlier, I had created a rough outline of what I wanted to cover and created a structure that would allow me to easily expand the concepts I had outlined.
- Make the intangible, tangible. Often, we have an idea or a vague concept of what we want, but we do not quantify it or break it down into tangible action steps. This is a big reason why momentum is not generated consistently when we’re working. Creating a plan is often a good starting point for converting vague ideas into practical actions. Taking consistent action builds momentum.
- Give yourself a daily dose of motivation. It’s no surprise anytime we feel motivated, it only lasts for a certain period of time. This is why we must have ways to consistently motivate ourselves to do the things we know we should do and also the things we want to do.
Ways to get motivated can include reading or watching something educational or uplifting, surrounding ourselves with positive people, having a mentor or coach, creating a list of successes we have experienced in life, to name a few.
- Always challenge your beliefs about what is possible for you. All too often, the outputs we achieve are dictated by the limits we place on ourselves. As an example, I initially believed that if I had two to three hours to write, achieving 2,000 to 2,500 words was a good outcome.
While I consistently achieved that, I had never challenged myself to go to another level. When I wrote the chapter for my book, increasing my output made me re-evaluate how much I could write in one sitting. It’s often said our results are a reflection of our beliefs.
- Focus on what you want, not on what you fear. This ties in with the point that we must always focus on what we want. The challenge is when we encounter obstacles or experience temporary failure, it makes us question our abilities. It may even bring up different fears that could prevent us from generating any momentum. The way to move past our fears is to focus on what we want and why we want it.
Being able to experience momentum consistently will make us more efficient and effective, and allow us to get more done in less time, which means we will have the choice to do whatever we want with the time we save.
If we don’t diligently do the things mentioned above, it’s highly unlikely we’ll generate any momentum, which can easily lead to frustration and overwhelm.
Action Step: Before starting any new project or task, first get clear on what the end result is. Once you have a clear mental picture of what you want, create a working plan to keep you on track and build momentum as to move towards the end result you want.
Question: What have you done in the past to harness the power of momentum?