Mastering Motivation

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There are many obstacles on the path to work-at-home success. One big one can be a lack of motivation. During the initial work-at-home goal phase, motivation is high. You’re excited about the prospect of working at home and designing a career and life you love. You’re energized by all that you’re learning and eager to get started. And then it happens. Your energy and excitement wane. And pretty soon, you’ve lost all your motivation.

Here are some tips to keeping your motivation running on high:

1)Do work you love and outsource the rest. Doing work you don’t like saps your energy and motivation. I know many people, myself included, that wanted to work at home so bad, they took jobs or started businesses they didn’t like. But a tedious job at home is still a bad job. In fact, it’s harder because it’s more difficult to stay on task when there’s so much else you can use to distract you at home. But even when you find work you like, there will be aspects you don’t enjoy. To keep your motivation up, you can outsource the tedious tasks.

2) Set your day. Motivation and belief in a positive outcome are related. If you think your efforts are going to pay off, you’re going to be motivated to do what needs to be done. Energy is related to motivation as well. When you’re motivated, you have more energy. So start your day by focusing on the positive outcomes you plan for the day to boost motivation and energy. Revisit your ultimate goals such as income targets or wanting to be home with kids. Review your to-do list and consider what each completed task will help you achieve.

3. Get organized. Lack of organization leads to lower productivity. Being organized helps you focus on what’s important to increase results and maintain motivation momentum. Find the organizational tools and tricks that work best for you.

4. Move it. Working at home usually involves a lot of sitting, which can sap energy. But if you get up and move, you’ll get the blood pumping. Exercise has been shown to boost mood and increase energy. Take a walk, exercise or play with the kids to refresh and re-energize.

5. Listen to music. I almost always have Pandora playing in the background when I work. Music can engage the body’s sympathetic nervous system to increase energy (it’s why some music makes you move even without thinking about it). Music can uplift and inspire as well.

6. Focus on your successes. For reasons I don’t understand, people tend to focus on the negative. I can have tons of great feedback, but it’s the one negative comment that takes the wind out of my sails and makes me second-guess myself. It makes no sense. I also find it’s easier to find negative things that happen during the day than positive. If you’re the same, you need to make a special effort to focus on the good stuff. Write down every achievement or good thing that happens during the day, even the small stuff. If something goes wrong or you get bad feedback, treat it as a learning opportunity. Make it a success by saying, “I’ve learned something to make my work better.”

7. Get a buddy. People are much more supportive of others than they are of themselves. Get a buddy that can motivate you and whom you can motivate, as well. It’s always more fun and less lonely to do something with a buddy.

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