lost dog

How to hunt down your mojo

In this week’s guest post, Kathryn Hall of My Virtual Sidekick has been hunting down her missing mojo.

Here’s a little tale about yours truly.

Last week my mojo left me. Just upped and left. Not a word, not a whisper, not even a few scrawled words on a post-it stuck to the fridge. Nothing. Just gone.

As I stared dumbly at the TV clutching my mug of tea, I felt exhaustion sweep over me as the cogs in my brain seemed to literally slow down. What had I done to deserve this? Was it something I said? I just didn’t see it coming.

So now what?

I tried to get on with my day. Tried to pretend that nothing had happened, that this was just any other day. Got in the shower and just stood there, hopeful that the hot water would wash away the tiredness. It didn’t. Got dressed. Drunk more tea. Sat infront of computer. Stared at screen. Looked at Facebook. Looked at Twitter. Stared at screen. Took myself to sofa. Succumbed.

I succumbed to the feelings, the tiredness, the new pace of life I seemed to have found myself in, then closed my eyes and allowed the darkness of sleep to engulf me.

So, at this point you might be wondering why I’m telling you all this. Why am I revealing myself in this way? What good can possibly come of it?

Well, here’s why.

Because, every now and again, everyone loses their mojo. It doesn’t matter how successful, how energetic, how ambitious or confident you are – I’ll eat my hat if you can find someone who doesn’t have an ‘off’ day. A day when, for no particular reason, you simply cannot get going. We have all been there.

But do you know what?

My tale has a happy ending.

Because, here’s what happened next…

After waking up and realising it was a beautiful, bright, gorgeous day,

I grabbed my coat, stepped outside, blinked into the sunshine and walked down to the beach to let my mind wander. And wander it did… family, friends, loves, hates, work, business…

And, after a while of sitting there on the pebbles, with the warmth of the sun on my face, I realised that, without even trying, my mojo had come back. Just tip-toed back into my life without a word or a whisper.

And so I got up from that beach, I walked home, I switched on my computer and I worked. And then I worked some more. And then some more after that. Infact I worked until it was 3am and I was blury eyed, ready for bed but full to the brim with satisfaction with what I’d achieved.  I think it’s fair to say my mojo had well and truly returned.

But how about you? Does your mojo run off and leave you sometimes? Are there days you find yourself exhausted at the thought of even trying to work? Moments when fabulous ideas feel like mythical creatures that never existed?

It can be a lonely feeling when your mojo deserts you. But there are ways of coping. And here, just for you, are a few of my favourites.

1)   Listen to your body

I truly believe we all need to listen to our bodies more. If you start your day feeling exhausted and drained then think about what that means. You are only human so give yourself a break. If you feel like resting, then rest. It’s most likely what you need.

2)   Step away from the work.

If you’re feeling a bit like your brain cells have taken a holiday then stop trying to force work that’s just not going to happen. Go out into the fresh air, jump on your bike, browse the shops, pop into a cafe to watch the world go by. Whatever does it for you. Do it. Now is the time…

3)   Share and share alike.

One of the best things you can do when running a business is to build up a strong network of people who will support and encourage you. When you’re having an ‘off’ day, there’s nothing like sharing your experiences with others who know what you’re going through. So, don’t keep it all bottled up, dish it out so others can share the load.

4)   Write it down

If you don’t fancy spilling your woes to listening ears, then writing things down can be hugely therapeutic. Keep a diary of your business to contemplate your successes and failures. It’s a great tool for reflection and can help put the spring back in your step on those down days.

5)   Package up some va va voom

In my bookmarks I’ve got a folder called, inspiration. It consists of articles, videos, webinars and other little treasures that have simply made me go ‘wow!’ Start to build yourself a similar collection and when you need a bit of a kick, dig out something that you’ve not watched in a while. My go to heart-pumping bit of wow?! This video. Gets me every single time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siu6JYqOZ0g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

6)   Capture those lightbulb moments when they pop up.

You’re never going to be able to predict when your mojo leaves you, any more than you can predict those days when your brain feels like it’s going to explode with adrenalin. What you can do however is capture those ideas when they do show their faces. Keep an ‘ideas’ notebook to scribble down things as they arise. When you’re not feeling your best, just browsing through your ideas can help reignite that spark.

7)   Always keep a buffer in your diary

I’m a big advocate of less is more when it comes to planning your workload. Trying to pack in as much as possible which results in you running around like a headless chicken is only sustainable for so long before you hit breaking point. Try and keep your ‘to do’ list down to a reasonable 4 or 5 items a day and you’ll more have flexibility to ‘go with the flow’ on the days when you’re not quite your usual self.

Kathryn Hall is a Virtual Assistant with over 10 years administrative and event management experience both in Brighton and central London. Running My Virtual Sidekick, she specialises in helping female solopreneurs ditch the admin to gain time and freedom for the more creative aspects of their business.

You’ll find her website at : www.myvirtualsidekick.co.uk

On Twitter @myvirtualsk

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvirtualsidekickuk

 

 

 

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

  • Oh yes, the pesty escaped mojo. Great article Kathryn, bookmarking for next time mine vanishes without warning! 🙂

  • Kathryn Hall

    Thanks Carla!

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  • I’m wondering at what point does a case of missing mojo turn into something else. I would normally give the same advice to others, but I’ve been doing this and it didn’t help. It’s been over 2 months now and I’m getting worried. Everybody has “off days”, but this is taking way longer than I expected. Sadly I can’t just go to the beach every single day until it’s over 🙂

    • kindredhq

      That’s happened to me recently too Nela, and it’s as if a huge syringe has taken any all your enthusiasm and energy, and as you say, for many months. I stopped wanting to share it with friends because I thought they’d be fed up with me. Eventually, I admitted that I might be depressed.

      One day, I started to look for the things that do give me joy and concentrate on those and myself, rather than trying to be the all round hero. What worked for me in the end was to try and get some small successes under my belt that gave me back confidence, and then try and work up from there.

      But it is worth thinking about whether you have enough time to think through what you want? Might the loss of mojo mean that you want to do something new or different?
      I wish you all the very best Nela – you’re not on your own.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful answer and your kind words! I’m so glad to hear from someone else who’s been through it, and yes it’s exactly as you describe.

        You mention something that seems crucial – going for small successes. I’ll try that.

        I’ve been writing my gratitude journal, finding small things that give me joy, but while it did improve my mood (ie. I feel more content and not as anxious as I did before), I still didn’t get my motivation for creative work back.

        I’m kind of like a zen master now, sitting on my balcony sipping tea and watching the clouds with a big smile on my face, but that doesn’t pay the bills! 😀

        I’ve been journaling regularly about these questions, trying to find if “something else” might be the answer.
        The problem is that everything seems equally boring. Ideas that used to excite me no longer have any appeal. I suppose at this point thinking doesn’t help, and I should *do* something, anything, just to move forward from where I am.

        • kindredhq

          It’s a pleasure Nela. Chill out on the balcony for now and I hope it all comes your way.

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