I’m going to admit, sometimes it is very hard to get motivated to work. Especially when you’re pregnant or have kids, and working from home – it only gets tougher.
Take today, for example. I’m writing this blog post from my bed. Why?
Because my back hurts, my head hurts, and I ache all over – and getting out of bed this morning just wasn’t something I felt like doing. Thank heaven for laptops.
So as part of my lack of motivation to get off my butt (although I am technically still working, albeit in relative comfort for my back compared to my old office chair), I thought I would post some ways that I use to get motivated, when work is the last thing I want to do.
1. Remove distractions from the equation. Sure, it would be easy to sit down in front of the TV and do nothing all day. Don’t think I’ve never considered it on a slow work day. But if you remove yourself from the living room, and work at the kitchen table or in a dedicated office, you’ll find that the temptation to sit in front of the TV all day instead of working is almost gone. Because it isn’t directly in front of you anymore!
2. Reward yourself for working, with more work. Hey, it is completely true that as part of any career, there are going to be things you have to do that you don’t enjoy. But there are also things that you have to do that you’ll REALLY enjoy.
For me, for example, that is working on a new whitepaper I’ll be offering to clients when it is done. It is on a topic that I’m really passionate about, and it will help spruce up my marketing a little bit.So today, when I’m done my baby shower guest list, all of my blogging, and a few lessons in a course I’m taking, I’m rewarding myself by working on the free report.
Rewards don’t have to come from outside of work, sometimes just rewarding yourself with a fun work task can do the trick!
3. Don’t forget your health and happiness. I know of thousands of freelancers and business owners (I’d venture to say that all of them do this, in fact) who have, at some point, completely neglected themselves for their business. Whether that means pulling an all nighter instead of spending time with hubby and the kids, forgetting to eat/drink/sleep/relax, or not getting in any “you” time, we all do it. And we need to stop!
If your body hurts, your mind is frozen, your stomach is empty and your work calendar is full – take a 10 minute break. Stretch, grab a bite to eat, and clear your mind for a few. 10 minutes will NOT make or break your deadline, I assure you – but the consequences of NOT taking that 10 minute break could include a missed deadline, shoddy workmanship, complete and total lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and worse. Take care of yourself!
4. Do something you love, to begin with. I know, like I said above – every career has its [email protected] parts. It does. You can’t love everything about your work, and still call it work. There is a reason we don’t call it “super happy fun-time” anyway.
But if you make what you love the central idea of your career – in my case, it is writing – you won’t lack motivation nearly as often. Sure, it will still happen. It happens to the best of us. But you won’t wake up every morning dreading what you have to do for the day.
Figure out what it is you love to do, and then see if you can make money incorporating that into a career or a business. If you can, you’ve struck gold.
5. Ignore all the advice you read on the internet about getting motivated. Really! Even this post. Because motivation is a completely unique and individual thing. The things I’ve posted here worked great for me, yes. Does that mean they’ll work great for you? Nope – it just means you can give them a try, and find out.
You may need more organization in your day to stay motivated – so keep to a schedule. Or you might need bigger rewards for your work – so start planning a vacation that you have to save up for with the earnings of your business. You may even need a business partner to hold you accountable. Get your spouse involved in your work, and let them make sure you follow through on deadlines.
The bottom line is, motivation is always going to be a problem. Everyone wants to lay around doing nothing sometimes, and that is OK. What you need to remember is that instead of fighting that urge, you should take a 10 minute break and figure out WHY you’re lacking motivation.
Do you not enjoy the task you’re trying to complete? Are there better things to do, and you’re getting distracted? Do you need a nap, a meal, or a drink? There is always a reason why you’re lacking motivation. And once you figure it out, you can solve it – instead of just spinning your wheels, procrastinating, and getting yourself into more trouble.