Don’t be a victim of your momentum…

Authentic Business is not a hobby...

In this video, I get real about what it takes to build a thriving authentic business. I share my own struggles with skills like video creation and writing, and how I had to push past my resistance to develop those muscles. I emphasize the need to treat your business as a serious endeavor, not just a hobby, and to commit to consistent practice and skill development. I also introduce the idea of being a joyful productivity athlete, embracing the challenges and putting in the work required for success.

Posted by George Kao, Authentic Business Coach on Friday, March 8, 2024

For many of us, the way that the brain works is counter to our work-rest balance…

First — we often resist work.

Then — when we get settled enough (or nervous enough about a deadline!) — we finally get down to work.

And then — it takes us a while to get into flow…

Once we get into flow — we then become entranced. It feels natural (sometimes compelled) to keep going, which then leads to overwork…

You essentially become a victim of your momentum.

You’re like a large rock being pushed up a hill at first (tons of resistance!) and then… you barrel down the hill…

…out of control, likely to crash and burn.

Working the way most of us do, the natural result is a lot of angst-filled procrastination …and then overwork!

This is an imbalanced and unsustainable way.

Think of yourself as a JoyPro athlete…

Starting today, I encourage you to think of yourself as a work-athlete-in-training. You are learning how to work with joyful productivity. A JoyPro athlete :)

One of the keys is to practice pausing your flow so that you can take frequent creative rest.

This brings balance to body and mind.

Frequent breaks allow you to work with more personal sustainability — over years and decades — instead of burning out soon. This is why I’m still around, working actively in my industry since 2009, and with a better business today than ever before, when most of my original peers are no longer in business.

Frequent breaks also help with creativity. During “time off” (no matter how short) is when your brain is relaxing in ways that allow for creative ideas that aren’t likely to occur when you are efforting.

Of course, both modes are needed — the “diffuse” as well as focused modes of your brain.

After a planned break is over, be strict about showing up, yet lenient with results, and gentle about refocusing.

What’s your get-into-flow method?

Remember that it’s not normal to quickly and easily get into flow when working on something challenging — and almost all valuable work is challenging.

It takes conscious practice. If you don’t practice getting into flow, you won’t ever get better and quicker at it.

The way that each of us generates flow is going to be different. Here is what works for me:

  1. Start a Focusmate session or join a virtual work retreat.

  2. Do an energy reboot.

  3. Write down what I’m going to do during this work session. Make sure the steps are small enough so that I feel reassured at how possible — even easy — it can be to move forward.

  4. Start a 10-minute timer, then gently but actively start doing the steps I wrote down. Again, lenient with results and gentle with refocusing.

  5. Throughout the hour, whenever my timer goes off, do an energy reboot again, and then restart the timer.

Flow is in your control

I always encourage my clients to practice breaking flow… and then practice re-creating flow.

Remember — it won’t feel natural at first. It’s a skill, a muscle, to develop. You are an athlete, with tons of potential for strength and fitness, but your muscles are still flabby.

Almost nobody learns joyful productivity growing up, so most of us are pretty bad at it. However, as you start to master this skill, it will bring you many years of sustainable and fulfilling work!

It can be really helpful to practice alongside others. For my clients and students I offer weekly George Kao Work Retreats for this kind of structure and JoyPro practice.

Always remember — You are a creator.

You have the potential within you to generate creative momentum at will.