A Word from Robbin

Robbin Orbison


noun: the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something

Well, it feels like it’s been a hundred years since my last Word. A lot has changed – some for better, some for scarier. Unfortunately, the continuing adventures of coronavirus leave us still with reasons to stay at home.

We have all gotten a full dose of the great work-from-home experiment and we’re adapting to it in different ways. And a lot has been written about the disadvantages of working from home, usually focusing on home distractions, team productivity losses, and lack of social interaction. Those all have their remedies (not least of which is getting out of the house and working at a coworking center!), but the one I want to address today is motivation – or, rather, lack thereof.

You just got up, took a shower, poured yourself a cup of coffee, and you’re staring at your computer, waiting for the motivation to start that project you need to get done today, or make those phone calls, or attend that webinar.  And you just don’t feel like doing any of it.  How can we motivate ourselves out of that mode?

These are the things that have worked for me. They require minimal effort, and they work like magic. Yes, not kidding, magic.

1. Moving!

“Motivation” is derived from the Latin word “movere,” which means “to move.” And believe it or not, simply moving is motivating. There is actual brain science behind this, as explained in this article, which refers to the phenomenon as “the coffee shop effect.”

I would obviously like you to do all your moving right on over to CapeSpace, but it really can be as simple as moving to another room in your house, or even another chair. Although the farther you go the bigger the results.

2. Accountability

I guess none of us are spending too much time at the gym these days, but when we did – remember having a workout partner? Letting down another person is a lot harder than rationalizing a procrastination to yourself. A few months ago, I wrote a Word about the benefits of sprinting.  Sprinting is an easy way to establish accountability, but there are other ways too. The key is in the commitment and the report-out.

3. Writing it Down

As my good friends at BNI are fond of saying, “that gets done which is written down.” I start each morning with a list of the things I want to get done that day. I even have a special notepad that I like to make my list on.  Shopping for the right notepad is lots of fun. OK, maybe that’s a little nerdy, but, nevertheless.  Here’s a nice blog on the full benefits of writing things down.


Any of these three strategies will work wonders on your to-do list, and each has additional benefits. Moving will not only motivate you, it will also increase your creativity. You will find value in your relationships with your accountability partners beyond being able to cross a task off your list. And based on the referenced blog, there are at least eight benefits of writing things down.

If you try any of these tips, please let us know about your experience! You can email me at robbin@capespace.com.

Wishing you all a season of great motivation as we head into February, that longest short month of the year.