Sunday, January 6, 2008

4 Tips to Help You Motivate Yourself to Work When You Just Don't Feel Like Working

For some people, working from home is the ideal situation. But for others, especially those who work for themselves, working from home can be a constant battle. With all of the distractions at home (snacks, internet, housework, kids…) you might find it's really hard to motivate yourself to actually get down to work. If you are self-employed, then take into account the fact that you aren't accountable to anybody for how you spend your time - it can make matters even worse! If you are like the majority of people who are self-employed and work from home, then you know you could use some extra motivating factors in your life to help boost your productivity! This article will help you find what works for you, to help you make the most out of your stay-at-home job or business!

Tip #1 - Set Goals Set daily, achievable goals. Sometimes when we work from home, it can be quite overwhelming. You need to decide exactly what needs to be accomplished each day in order to reach your ultimate goal. Think about why you are working from home. Is it to spend more time with your family? Is it to purchase a new car or dream vacation? Dream big, and then work backwards. If you need to make $10,000 in 6 months, break it down - how much do I need to earn every work day to meet this goal? Figure out what tasks will get you to that goal. Write down your "big" goal, and then your daily goals. Next, make yourself a daily task list. If you have a plan to achieve your dreams, and you can see yourself making progress towards an ultimate goal, then you are more likely to stick to daily plans. Not knowing what you need to do every day is a recipe for disaster and procrastination!

Tip #2 - Be Accountable Make yourself accountable! Set up a system where you are accountable to someone (even yourself!). If you have a friend that you can check in with daily, that is ideal. Either over the phone or through e-mail, share your plans for the day (in a few short minutes) then check in at the end of the day to report to each other. You can even hold a contest with fun prizes for the one who accomplishes their daily goals. Often, though, even the thought of having to report to somebody is enough to push us to do the things we said we would do. If you don't have someone to report to, or if you can trust yourself, then set up your own reward system of accountability. For example, if I accomplish my task list, then at the end of the day I can do something I really enjoy (watch a favorite TV show, enjoy a favorite snack, have a bubble bath etc.). If you don't complete the work you were planning to do, then you have to forfeit your favorite show, snack, etc.

Tip #3 - Visualize Getting back to your goals/dreams, decorate your work space with things that remind you of your big goal. Are you hoping to go on a holiday to Hawaii? Cut out pictures and post them around so you can remind yourself what you are doing is worthwhile - a means toward a fabulous end! Anything worth having takes time and effort, and the satisfaction of a well-earned reward is unlike any other! When you have constant reminders of your goals, it is easier to visualize yourself accomplishing these goals, and thus easier to motivate yourself each day!

Tip #4 - Clear Your Mind Have healthy, delicious snacks prepared in your house so you don't have to go far to boost your energy. Keep some washed, cut-up fruit, whole-grain crackers, cheese and cut up veggies and dip handy, so when you need a snack, you can easily eat something that is delicious and healthy. Healthy snacks will help you to be more alert, and have more energy! It's much easier to work when you have energy and a sharp mind! If you find your mind wandering and are finding it hard to focus, go outside for a 5 minute walk. A little fresh air and a change of scenery for a few minutes does wonders to clear your mind! Don't forget about getting enough sleep too!

To summarize, the best way to get yourself to work when you don't feel like working, is to have a plan and then make yourself accountable (usually with a buddy). Set up your workspace so that you are constantly reminded of why you are doing this, and don't forget to take short breaks to clear your mind. When you include these components in your daily business activities, your success will skyrocket! Be prepared to review and revise your goals and plans as needed.

Ultimately, when you have moments when you just can't bring yourself to work, take your 5 minute break, grab a healthy snack, and imagine that you are going to make the right choice for today. Picture yourself at the end of the day, having put in the kind of effort that you wish you did every day. Remind yourself that this day is going to end, whether you have put the effort in or not. As you finish your snack or break, remember the good feeling of a day's work well done, and get back to work!

By Jill Mowser

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