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How To Record Your Podcast When You Don’t Feel Motivated

Have you ever had a dream that pushes you forward towards a lofty goal? Some would describe it as a “passion project”, or even a mission. Some would use weightier language and think of it as a vocation, or even a calling.  Have you ever had a dream to touch people’s lives with your ideas, your innovations, or your voice…only to be reminded that dreams are sometimes rudely interrupted by the realities of blaring alarm clocks, sinks full of dirty dishes, or that dreary 20 minute commute to that dreaded 30 minute gym workout! 

We’ve all been there – we’ve all experienced that intersection between the vibrant vision of the ideal, and the sometimes grey monotony of the daily grind.  

You started your podcast because you have a goal. It may be to grow the reach of your brand and, ultimately, the profitability of your business.  It may be to showcase your amazing theatrical skills and ability to entertain. Or it may be to create a community and forum of discussion around the latest tech innovations. Whatever your goal may be, there will be days when you don’t feel motivated to plug in the mic, put on the headphones, and record another episode.

What do you do when you’re having one of those days?  Hang with us in today’s article and we will discuss 5 pieces of advice on How To Record Your Podcast When You Don’t Feel Motivated.

So let’s dive in!

1. Discipline Trumps Motivation

This is a harsh reality that’s kinda jarring at first! But it is actually deeply liberating once you come to fully embrace it.  If we were allowed to go through life, let alone our podcasting careers, only acting when we feel the motivation to do so, we’d seldom brush our teeth, we’d rarely be out of bed before 10am, and a fresh vegetable would never take up real estate in your refrigerator!

Discipline is what gives structure and direction to our lives. You likely brush your teeth because you were disciplined to do so – it keeps your pearly whites clean, your gums healthy, and your “dentist” (read: the lucky person who has to kiss you) happy!  Very few people actively enjoy the process of brushing their teeth, but most everyone enjoys the benefits. You’re a teeth-brusher.  Simple. In the same way, you are a podcaster. Plain and simple.

Note, if you lock in your schedule:

  • For example: every Wednesday at 10am, I record my podcast.  I make sure nothing else is scheduled in my calendar at that time

And lock in your systems:

  • For instance: every Tuesday night I prep and plan for Wednesday’s recording. I make sure I get enough sleep, have contacted my guest, and notified my followers I even pick out my clothes the night before!

You will lock in your success! Creating healthy habits and routine rhythms around your podcast will make “falling off” much more difficult to do, even at times where you don’t feel motivated.  

Motivation can be fleeting. It may be based on emotions, subject to a chance moment of inspiration, or at the mercy of your blood sugar levels! Discipline is constant, concrete, and reliable.  Discipline yourself to simply follow a schedule – always.  Allow yourself to be aided by recurring structures that you’ve set in place. Make yourself accountable to your listeners and friends who take interest in your work by committing to a regular posting schedule.  

These things are not confines or restraints, they are actually liberating and freeing.  In becoming a disciplined podcaster you will invariably become a consistent podcaster, even when you don’t feel motivated. 

Now that you’ve carved out space in your schedule, let’s talk about carving out the perfect physical space…

2. Find The Right Physical Space

Putting yourself in the right physical space is a strategic way of tapping into sources of inspiration, creativity, and ultimately, motivation. 

Do you record at a studio? Choose a studio that you enjoy going to! It may be the cool, trendy coworking space frequented by forward-thinking innovators and entrepreneurs. Or it may be the grungy, downtown studio where the creatives that fill it have as much character as the space that surrounds them!  

Related read: Should I Use A Studio To Record My Podcast?

Do you record at your home studio? Make it distinct from the rest of your house, make it comfortable with soothing (or stimulating) colors, your favorite artwork on the wall – heck, throw a mini bar in the corner of the room stacked with your favourite drinks and snacks (just make sure to unplug the humbug before you hit record!).  

Related read: How To Create A Home Podcast Recording Studio

The goal here is to create and curate a space that you love being in. This will aid you on those days when your head is not in the game. When you step in the room, your surroundings will help to motivate you to step up to the plate and hit a home run.

This source of motivation does not only have external, physical applications, but we can look internally and tap into that much needed drive to record…

3. Find the Right Headspace

Good vibes, positive vibrations, glowing energy…these aren’t just buzzwords reserved for new age practitioners or the beloved hippies among us!  There is something to be said for creating a positive mindset  that will serve to motivate you to record even on your toughest days.

Podcaster friends, you have to take care of you. The basics apply here, drink plenty of water, get daily exercise, eat well, surround yourself with friends and loved ones, do activities you enjoy, rest, relax, laugh, play. Then sleep (please, sleep!) and once you wake, try your best to do it over again.  This will set you up to be in a positive frame of mind with which you can attack even the most difficult tasks, the least of which being podcasting.

Strive to avoid stress, jealously guard your rest, work hard to play! This formula isn’t necessarily Einsteinian, but it is powerful: A happy you is a happy podcaster, and a happy podcaster is a motivated one.

4. Treat Yourself

Have you heard of the “carrot and stick” method? It describes an approach to behavioural management through the use of a punitive measure (stick), or an incentivising reward (carrot).  Self-flagellation really isn’t our type of thing at We Edit Podcasts, but we do wholeheartedly endorse treating yourself!

Try setting small, attainable, bite-sized goals with smaller rewards that are commensurate in size. At the end of your overall task, when the objective is accomplished, and you’ve crossed the big item off of your to-do list – celebrate! That’s where you reward yourself with a prize, treat, gift, or experience that you know you will enjoy.

Here’s an example of something you could try:

  • Plan your episode: sit down with your pad and paper, at your laptop, or vision board and write out the plan for this episode of your podcast (your main topic, questions for your guest, scripting for your intro and outro, who your featured sponsors will be, etc).  Once that’s done, it’s 20 minutes of Netflix or gaming!
  • Set up your recording gear – get everything in place: mics, seating, reference notes, audio interface and DAW cued up to hit record…then step away and grab your favorite coffee!
  • Come back and record the episode – tap into the energy from the caffeine and knock it out of the park.  Engage with your guest, bring your A-game with the jokes, and cruise to the finish line. Then chomp down on the big “carrot”, and reward yourself with a meal at your fave take out spot.

This template just goes to show it may be easier to attack an overall project in smaller steps, with small enjoyable treats interspersed throughout the process, followed by a much larger reward at the end. This is a sure-fire way to motivate yourself to record your podcast – even on your off days.

5. Remind Yourself of Your Why

Simon Sinek did a great job of pioneering this concept – go ahead and check out his virally viewed Ted Talk! The heart of this idea is to remind yourself of the reason behind why you are doing what you’re doing – why are you podcasting?  

In reminding yourself of your why, you will inevitably be brought back to the heart of your vision – the desire to grow the business you believe in, the goal of sharing your nutrition knowledge with suffering people whose lives will be improved, or the drive to make your voice heard on the those controversial topics that just need to be explored. These whys are beautiful, they’re grounding and they are deep sources of motivation.

A practical tip for you:

Write down your why on a cue card sized piece of paper – this could be a mission or vision statement, a personal affirmation, that big dream you hold dearly to your heart.  Post it in a prominent place like your recording desk, bathroom mirror, or daily journal.  You could even post it in a number of places!  Take out time to read this statement, and even read it out loud so you can hear this truth and be reminded of it, grounded in it, and motivated by it!

There’s nothing quite as personal and powerful as reminding yourself of why you started and continue podcasting. I’m confident you will find it to be a reliable source of motivation when it comes to recording time.

In Conclusion

There are a number of strategic ways to stick to recording, even on the days when it feels like the last thing you want to do. Lock in your schedule, your systems and your success by committing to discipline as the driving fuel of your engine, with motivation being that game changing added boost of NOS.  

Be intentional about putting yourself in the right space, both physically and mentally. Be  kind to yourself, and ensure that there is a reward for the hard work you put in.  And always remind yourself of the driving force behind your podcasting career – your why.  Friends, try to implement these 5 methods and motivation will be an ever-available resource for your podcasting adventures!

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