Hi everybody, welcome back. A lot of you work from home. A lot of you are consultants or freelancers, and you may work alone. So in this blog post, I’m going to talk about nine ways that you can stay motivated when you work from home.
1: Dress for work.
I recommend that you actually get dressed for work, that you dress up just like you would be dressing to go to an office, and working with other people, or that you dress just like you were going to have a video conference with an important client, and you are going to have to stand up in your whole body would be seen by dressing up, it sets you up in a mental state where you are going to be more productive, and you’re going to be on point for work.
2: Setup Daily Goal
You want to set three top goals, and of those three goals, you want to choose one that if you move the ball forward just a little bit on that one goal today that you would feel like today’s is a success. And you take that one goal and you start with that one goal. Before you open the email, before you go on social, before you go on the web, you address that one goal for one solid hour at least. And make some progress on it, because the thing is when you start off productive in a day, it’s much easier to stay productive through the rest of the day. When you start off answering email and going on the web and you’re easing into the slow-motion aspect of getting productive, it’s harder to be motivated.
3: Calendar your day.
I like to say, “If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t get done.” I also use a software as a service app online. It’s called Toggle. It also has a desktop version, but it’s a timer that I set when I’m starting on a project, so I know I’m on the clock, and being on the clock is really motivational. Also, setting specific times for specific tasks on my calendar throughout the day makes me realize that I’ve got to move from one thing to another, and I set specific time limits on a particular activity or a particular project. And if I run out of time, I move on to the next one. You can always come back to the project that you didn’t finish, and a lot of times when you do that, you come back with fresh eyes, or you may come back with a little more energy to that project. But I guarantee you that setting your goals on a calendar for the day and also using a timer is going to keep you motivated and keep you moving forward.
4: Get an accountability partner.
It’s a proven fact that when you share your goals with someone when you share what your plans are for what you’re going to get done, you feel more accountability, and you feel more motivated to get it done. So I suggest getting an accountability partner. You take those three goals that you’ve set out for the day, and you have a very quick Zoom call five minutes, a quick phone call, a quick Skype, whatever it is, and you share your goals for that day. By sharing your goals with another person, you will stay motivated to get it done. Because here’s the second part, and that is that you check-in at the end of the day for another five minutes, and you report back on what you got done, and that person is also reporting back to you.
So number one, it’s a great relationship builder, and number two it’s super motivational and will keep you on point when you know that you’ve got to report back to someone else at the end of the day about what you got done. Now mastermind groups are also great for accountability in that regard of having an accountability partner. They tend to be a little longer-term, meaning you might only meet with your mastermind group once every week, or once every two weeks. So that can be motivational, but having an accountability partner for a particular day really keeps you motivated for that day.
5: Another person involved, and that is to make a promise publicly.
Put it out there on social media, what you’re going to do that day. Now, no one may be really paying that much attention to it, but for you just know that it’s out there, it’s a psychological thing. Just knowing that it’s out there is going to be motivational to you, that you’ve put it out there saying, “This is what I’m going to do.” It’s psychological for you. And also you have put it out there to the public in a public way that sets up this level of accountability.
6: Change the scenery.
When you’re working from home, or you work alone, whether that’s in a coworking space or somewhere else, just changing your scenery can be really motivating, and get your energy and your juices flowing again. So if you work from home, go to the public library, go to a coworking space, go out on your patio. Sometimes even going to a different room in your house, or sitting in a different part of the room can establish a new point of view, and can be motivational, and can re-energize you in your work.
7: Take breaks.
Now taking a break may feel a little counterintuitive in terms of being productive or being motivated, but in truth, it’s not. Whenever I take a break, when I take a breather, want to get away from what I’m doing, I always come back with an avid level of motivation and energy to solving that problem. The trick is to just get away from it, to go take a walk, to relax, to think. You want to give your brain a rest, and what happens when you do that is your brain actually keeps working on the problem that you were just working on. A lot of times if you’re looking for inspiration or you’re looking for an idea, just resting your brain and bringing it into a quiet place, your brain will go into those machinations, and a lot of times it solves the problem on its own. So when you come back to it, you may be sparked with a new idea, or a new approach, or added energy for how to deal with what you are working on.
8: The eighth way to stay motivated is to stay inspired.
You want to look at what other people are doing, and I don’t mean compare yourself to others, because that can lead to a de-motivational kind of mindset. But would you want to look at what other people are doing, what they’re writing, what they’re designing, what they’re posting, what they’re sharing, what they’re doing for their clients, and use that as inspiration? New ideas for your business, for your products, for your services can come through looking at what other people are doing. Find in it what inspires you. What could you do better? What could you do differently? Staying inspired can be really motivational.
9: Carrot on a stick.
This is the easy one. You want to set up a reward for yourself. Say to yourself, “If I get X done, I’m going to get X.” So, if I finish this project by midnight, I get to go out and have a burger and fries, whatever that is. I get to watch a Netflix movie tonight. Set up a reward for yourself that establishes a goal that’s going to be congratulations for your staying motivated, for your staying on task, for your getting the work done. And the bonus is, make it not about you. By making it not about you. It takes it out of an aspect of being self-centered, your motivation being self-driven. Think about who it is you’re helping in your work, who it is you’re helping with your products and your services. What are you doing for them? What value are you creating for them? How are you helping them succeed to move their businesses forward? I know that when I think about the people I’m helping, it’s really motivational to me. It happens to me when I d write blog posts. All the posts I do, I do to help people, and I give without expectation of return, and I find that it’s really motivational for me to do that. Make it about the people that you’re helping.