HOW I STAY MOTIVATED.
Staying motivated at a time like this can be incredibly difficult. ‘Working from home’ always seemed like such an inviting prospect, until it was forced upon such a huge percentage of people. And staying motivated when you’re out of your comfort zone isn’t easy for all of us.
So whether you’re working, on furlough, are self-employed or one of those incredible key workers doing all you can to keep us going – I hope this might help some, even if it’s just a smidge.
I’ve been working from home as a self-employed content creator for five years this summer. And you’ll be alarmed to learn, that I absolutely do not have my shit together.
‘Why are you offering us advice then, you plonker?’
I hear you say. Well, to quote Bryan Adams, everything I do, I do it for you. And whilst I may not be perfect at it, I am pretty well practiced. So these are the things I’ve found that help keep me motivated to keep on keeping on.
Okay that might sound super simple. But when your usual routine is full on out the window, creating a new one ain’t all that easy, is it? So whether you’re working or not, setting yourself some new rules is going to be key to feeling a little more settled.
If you were working outside of your home you would (probably) have a set routine, right? I.e. when you wake up, when you start work, lunchtime etc. etc. Well, get yourself a new one.
Mine looks a little something like this:
- BED TIME – yes this comes first, because the day ahead will pretty much always be dictated by how well you slept. Start with your nighttime rituals and work out a routine that ensures you get enough sleep. (This is a whole subject in itself, one of which I will be talking about it depth in another post!)
- Wake Up – whatever is on your schedule, try to stick to a wake up time. Let your body clock get itself adjusted and it will make getting up that little bit easier.
- Tea (or beverage of your choice) – I try my best to get up and make myself a drink before I look at my phone. Starting the day with the intention of focusing on myself rather than what everyone else has been up to whilst I’ve been asleep, makes me feel good.
- Yoga – I do yoga at 10am most mornings (sometimes I’ll have an evening class). But I’ve found that doing exercise before I start my working day has helped my concentration and inspiration levels no end. It doesn’t have to be yoga, it can be anything you want (and obviously earlier than 10am if it needs to be) – remember this is your schedule!
- Breakfast – Power up your body, even if you’re eating it at your laptop, give it some fuel.
To be continued….
I mean, everyone loves a list don’t they? It’s a sure fire way to make you feel rather accomplished and we all need a bit of that right now.
Your lists don’t have to be complicated, and lets remember that there might be some of us reading this who don’t have any work to do. Still make lists!!! There’s so much you can do. Perhaps this time is opening doors to opportunities you didn’t have space for before. Write that shit down.
And they don’t have to have hundreds of bullet points to tick off, either. In fact, that can sometimes be the worst thing to do.
As you settle into your new way of working, you’ll quickly realise how much you’re capable of. So when you put pen to paper for your to-do list, be realistic. Set yourself goals that are achievable but will still hold a challenge. It’s up to you to determine what that looks like.
Ticking them off will undoubtedly make you feel good.
I can’t stress this one enough. For someone who struggles with their mental health – working from home, isolating myself (through choice) has been something I’m quite good at. Getting my dogs gave me a reason to get out in the fresh air, every, single day.
I’m sure whilst we’re all ‘stuck’ at home, all you’re really craving is being outside. And I know that’s not possible in the way it once was right now – but before all this happened, getting fresh air was key to keeping me motivated.
Every afternoon, I take the girls out for an hour long walk. I have my iPhone in my pocket so it counts my steps and I let that air fill up my lungs and get some peace and quiet from my own brain.
Time outside can be whatever you want. My favourite thing is a walk. But taking a break away from whatever you’re doing (even if it feels like the last thing you want to do) will help to blow away the cobwebs.
- Tasks – Get shit done, whatever it is. Completing the assignment you’ve been set, making the calls, doing the paperwork, cleaning the house, baking a cake. Get productive, tick it off the list.
- Lunch – Food is always the most important part of my day.
- Walk it off – see fresh air.
- Tasks – You’ve cleared your mind, now clear that to-do list.
- Breathe – finish your day and unwind. Start that bed time routine whenever you see fit and get yourself ready for the next day.
That is to say this is all done on my own time schedule. Perhaps working in the evening is better for you – if you’re able to work flexible hours, do. There’s no right or wrong here. Just what makes you feel motivated. And if you are working and have strict times you have to be logged on etc – yes motivation might flag. But having a routine might help that. You’ll know you have this window to be productive and then you’ll have your time.
CUT SOME SLACK
For yourself. We are only humans, we’re not machines. You can’t just switch us on and keep us on a repeat motion forever and a day. A lot of us crave our days being different, and if that’s true for you, try your best to embrace this big life change. And when you feel yourself getting settled, perhaps even a bit bored, maybe you can shake it up? Try doing things in a slightly different order or in a slightly different way.
Just don’t give yourself a hard time if you can help it. We are all in this together, totally flabbergasted by completely unforeseen circumstances. Just trying to learn how to adjust.
I hope this might help some of you. Reading it back it all feels a bit simplistic. But it’s honestly how I’ve been working for the last few years, and it’s served me well until this point.
Know you are not alone and that you can pretty much guarantee there’s a huge amount of people feeling just like you do.
If anyone feels like they need a chat, don’t be worried to leave a comment below – I’d love to talk to you.
Sending you all my love,
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Photography by Ewa.
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