Sometimes it’s all I can do to get myself to my desk. I just don’t have the energy or motivation to work. Unfortunately, if I don’t work, I risk losing income.
Motivation is crucial to work-at-home success. As as hard as it is for me to work sometimes now, there were times before I achieved success that it was even harder. Maybe you feel that way too. Initially, you’re excited about the prospect of working at home and the flexibility and freedom it will bring. But it takes time to work at home, and there are a lot of bumps and bruises along the way. As a result, you might have days in which you can’t motivate yourself to do what needs to be done. Here are a few tips you can use to help you on those days.
Lift Your Spirits
Many people might suggest ignoring your down-in-dumps feeling and work anyway. But working while you feel down will likely produce subpar results. So I suggest finding ways to boost your mood and then work. Mood is related to energy, the better you feel the more energy you have. So make a list of things can help elevate your mood and increase your energy. Some ideas include playing with the kids, listening to uplifting music, reviewing your goals and reasons for wanting to work from home, exercise, reading inspirational stories or quotes, checking in with a buddy or work-at-home support group for encouragement, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, etc.
Change Your Setting
When I’m not working at home as a freelance writer/blogger, I’m writing and selling mystery fiction. While I’m having some success with my fiction, it’s not to the level that I can take up “work” time to write it, which means I have to write after hours. The only problem with that, is that it requires I go back into my office and sit at the same computer I’ve been working on all day. Most nights, it’s difficult for me to do that. Even during my regular work, I sometimes get tired of sitting in the same room.
The answer is to change my setting. Having a laptop makes working anywhere easy. You can work in a different room of the house or out on the porch. You can go to the library or local java joint. I have found that moving my office furniture around can make a big difference. Or add ambiance to your office through flowers or decorations (I have a lot of Mickey Mouse stuff on my desk).
Get Clarity and Focus
I have a closet that is a disaster. I want to clean it, but every time I open it, I’m overwhelmed by how much needs to be sorted and organized, and I shut the door leaving the mess. Working at home can feel like cleaning out a closet. There are so many tasks that need to be done, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and what to do.
I find the concept of chunking things down can help in cases like this. Chunking down involves taking large projects and breaking them down into smaller tasks. Instead of thinking I need to clean out my entire closet at once, I could chunk it down by saying, “Today, I’m going through the shoes.” You can do the same when it comes to working at home. If you need to build a website, make a list of what’s involved and then schedule each task. For example, day one you might research and buy a domain name and webhosting. The next day you might install WordPress and a new theme. The next day you can add content. If your lack of motivation stems from feeling overwhelmed, get clear about what needs to be done and then focus on one thing at a time.
I’ve encountered many people who wanted to work at home, but ultimately gave up because they didn’t think they could do it. The road to work-at-home success is filled with potholes, detours and dead ends. It’s easy to feel like maybe you’re missing some important trait that others who work at home have and therefore, you give up. But the only difference between people who work from home and those who don’t is tenacity. They didn’t let the potholes, detours and dead ends stop them. Not only that, they didn’t let the difficult travel prevent them from believing they would get to their destination.
Belief is an important component of success and unfortunately one of the harder tasks to accomplish. But you have to find a way to boost belief in yourself. You can do that by celebrating all accomplishments, big and small. Keep track of all the tasks you’ve completed. It’s like tracking your tip on a map. Yes, you’re still a long way from your destination, but look how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to reaching your goal point.
One reason I stress finding or creating a work-at-home situation that you love is that it’s hard to do work you don’t like, even at home. I know because I’ve done it. I was working at home, but every day it was a chore to do the work and I often slacked off because I hated it.
A lack of motivation may be a clue that you don’t like the work. When this happened to me, I actively looked for or created work I did like. You can do the same. Even if you count on the income you’re currently receiving working from home, or if you’ve invested time and money to work at home, if you don’t like it and find yourself resistant to working, it’s time to make a change.
Take Care of Yourself
A lack of motivation could be a symptom of feeling sluggish. You can boost your mood and energy by eating right, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s true.
You don’t have to revamp your whole life to improve your health. Start by eliminating junk food (sugar drinks, chips, candy etc), reducing processed food, and increasing fresh, whole foods (vegies, fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins). Walk 30 minutes everyday. You can walk 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes after dinner. Or walk the entire 30 at one time. Playing outside with children, recreational sports or a class through the gym will work too. Finally, strive to get 8 hours of sleep.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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