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What happens the moment BEFORE we get motivated? What occurs the instant before our focus and productivity kicks into overdrive? What if we could activate that whatever-it-is whenever we wanted?

What might we be able to accomplish THEN, I wonder?

  • Procrastination? Goodbye
  • Lack of motivation? Adios
  • Sluggishness? Gone
  • Boredom? Irrelevant

The very IDEA of being able to return, quickly and easily, from the depths of a funk is making me…giddy, actually! Work to be done? Upcoming deadline? Not in the mood? Who cares – just flip the Motivation Switch and, “easy, peasy, lemon squeezy,” we’re rockin’ and rollin’ and On…Our…Way.

But where IS that switch? How do we find it? And how do we even recognize it when we’re getting close TO finding it?!

I’ve been thinking about it, but no light bulbs are turning on for me. You?

Enter Joshua Gross, a freelance web designer and developer based out of NYC, who wrote an amazing blog post that I happened to find – as I happen to find most things on the Internet…on the way to/from somewhere else.

Titled, The Productivity Catalyst, it captured the very essence of my elusive Motivation Switch:

“A productivity catalyst is simply something you do each and every time before you begin working. It puts you in the right mindset because it is what you always do immediately before you start working.”

Yes, that’s it. That’s. Exactly. It!!!!

“Without a catalyst, it is so easy to procrastinate because nothing acts as a “signal” that you’re going to start working. You’re stuck, trying to drive uphill when you haven’t even started the car.”

Or in my case, mindlessly rolling DOWN hill because I’m too disengaged to bother pushing the brake!

Turns out, Hemingway “sharpened pencils before he started writing.” Charles Dickens “arranged trinkets on his desk.” And Joshua’s own productivity catalyst?

“My catalyst is preparing a cup of tea. Because there are several steps—heating the water, select the tea, scooping and packing the loose tea into a tea ball, pouring the water over the tea, and watching as it steeps—it becomes a short ritual that I carry out with my full attention. I can then sit down and, say, write this article.”

So I’ve been quietly sitting here for a bit, pondering all this, but still haven’t identified MY productivity catalyst – still haven’t found MY Motivation Switch.

But I can’t help realize that I’ve been very productive since finding Joshua’s article. Coincidence?

What’s also becoming increasingly clear is that my Motivation Switch is naturally activated by new and intriguing stuff – a mental lubricant, if you will, that gets all the gears turning – effortlessly – sans gnashing.

It’s the same feeling I get whenever I coach someone – or am coached by someone, for that matter. Hmmm. Excuse me…I’ve gotta make a phone call about this! (Coaching = Clarity!)

But while I’m gone, why don’t YOU start thinking about YOUR Motivation Switch, or productivity catalyst, or whatever else you might want to call it.

And feel free to share whatever YOU find.


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