It’s difficult to always stay motivated in an office, but when you work from home, you need to generate self-motivation. This takes an additional level of discipline and practice. Whether you work for a company remotely, you freelance, or you’re starting a side hustle from home, you need to have the drive to achieve that isn’t tied to working alongside coworkers. Staying motivated is entirely up to you, and if you want long-term success, you need to perfect the art of inspiring yourself.
Here are some tips on how to stay motivated to achieve your goals!
4 Tips for Self Motivation
Thinking about everything you have to do can become overwhelming to the point where you don’t even want to get started because you don’t know where to start. Not being able to visualize your to-do list prevents you from visualizing its successful completion.
Do a writing purge of every single thing on your to-do list. If it’s something you have to get done, write it down; it doesn’t matter if it’s grocery shopping, writing a novel, or finishing a sales report. Now that you have this monstrous, stream-of-consciousness to-do list, don’t panic. It’s time to organize.
Grab new pieces of paper or start new documents, one for each category: home life, office life, creative life, social life, and continue as needed. Once you sorted them all out, look at each list individually. Put items that need to happen immediately at the top of the list and date them to give yourself a deadline.
For to-dos as massive as “write a novel,” you need to break it down into manageable pieces. Write out to-dos such as “outline the book,” “write chapter one,” “edit chapter three” and so on until you’ve mapped out the entire task with items you can take care of in one sitting. You can set deadlines for each of those tasks to keep yourself on a schedule so you achieve your set goals in whatever period of time works best for you.
Have two hours of work ahead of you but don’t think you can focus for that long? Use a Pomodoro timer.
A Pomodoro timer is a method for completing work that makes you focus on your work because you build in times of mandated rest.
A Pomodoro is 25 minutes of concentrated, focused work where you shut off your cell phone, close all unnecessary tabs, and eliminate all distractions. Once the timer rings, you get a five-minute break where you aren’t allowed to work on anything at all. Stretch, get water, practice breathing exercises: do anything but work. When you hear the ding of the timer, get back to your concentrated work! Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you take a longer break to fully reset and relax before you begin working again. If you focus on only doing 25 minutes of work at a time, the two-hour period of work doesn’t seem nearly as daunting. It’s the same concept of splitting up your to-do list into manageable tasks; it’s much easier to self-motivate when the task feels like something you can handle.
Nothing is quite as satisfying as accomplishing challenging goals and then enjoying a well-deserved reward.
What types of rewards would motivate you? Here are some examples of rewards you can use when generating self-motivation.
- Time: What do you enjoy spending time doing? Reading? Running? Sewing? Catching up on your latest Netflix binge? Every time you complete a task, set aside an increment of uninterrupted time for you to spend later on your favorite thing. Maybe every time you finish a report, you get fifteen minutes in the time bank to play video games. Whatever you enjoy, set aside time to enjoy it!
- Indulgences: If you’ve accomplished a particular goal for this week, spend a little bit more on a treat for yourself. Maybe you buy better ingredients so you can make your absolute favorite meal. Maybe you have a stash of fancy chocolate you get a piece of every time you check something off the list. Not every indulgence is food-related, so get creative!
- Savings: Is there a big-ticket item you’re saving up for? Every time you check off something from your list, set aside money in a jar or in your account to save money for that purchase. Once you buy the item, you’ll feel even more accomplished to have such a tangible reminder of your success.
When you can’t seem to motivate yourself, turn to some inspirational quotes on motivation. Write them out, pin them up on your wall, and look at them whenever you need a push to keep on moving forward. If you’re more of a digital person, make them your background on your computer. These external motivators might help you conjure up some intrinsic motivation of your own.
- “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ― Confucius
- “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ― Helen Keller
- “If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” ― Dolly Parton
- “Rest and you rust.” ― Helen Hayes
- “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” — Maya Angelou
- “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
- “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” — Oprah Winfrey
While you’re working on your motivation, never abandon your mental health!
Real Self Motivation Stems from Loving What You Do
It’s hard to develop motivation for a task that you have no interest in completing. Hopefully, you feel an internal motivation to reach your goals because they represent something meaningful to you. If you find that you can’t drag yourself to virtually clock into your job every day, maybe you should take a look at other options for employment. Assess what you love and don’t love about your job and pursue one that will bring you more joy. You’ll find that your intrinsic motivators come from completing a job that makes you feel purposeful and happy.
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