Motivation is one of those topics I’m not really sure I’m qualified to speak on. Like most people, I struggle with this nearly every. single. day. Some days I wake up feeling super super pumped and can crank out work like nobody’s business. But most days? It takes a little convincing to get me going. Here are some of my tried-and-true tricks for getting motivated:
1. Lists. Making lists (especially on pretty notepads!) always helps me to streamline my priorities and gives me visual incentive to get things done. Checking things off looks and feels good.
2. Clean house. If my environment is in disarray, my mind is in disarray. It really is as clear cut as that. So if I know that washing dishes or straightening up my desk will make me feel better about my space, I will take the extra fifteen minutes to knock out those chores before trying to force myself to work.
3. Beautiful things around me. Much like the last tip, I am my most productive self when I am surrounded by beauty. Nothing is more inspiring than a well-styled bookshelf, or a colorful coffee mug filled with my favorite brew, or freshly painted red fingernails typing at the keyboard. I’m absolutely driven by aesthetics.
4. Change of venue. Lately I’ve been killing three birds with one stone by walking to a coffee shop that’s 1.5 – 2 miles away from my house to get work done. Not only do I get exercise and coffee (okay, and a muffin) out of the deal, but I also get to work in a new environment that inspires me to get down to business. I like to set mini goals for my coffee shop work sessions, such as “I will write three blog posts before I leave.” Which brings me to my next point…
5. Mini goals. In addition to making a daily to-do list, I also like to set mini goals for myself. These can be simple, like “cross off six items before John gets home from work” or more involved, like “launch e-course by Tuesday January 28th.” The secret to mini goals is that they’re small and easily attainable. Most of them can be achieved in less than a week, sometimes less than a day! Of course I have long term goals that I always keep in the back of my mind (“buy a house in five years”), but the big picture dreams are not nearly as motivating to me as my daily intentions.
6. Workout. I know, I know. This is the last thing many people want to hear, but man, working out works. Even if I don’t work out in the morning but I know I will be exercising later in the day, I’m much more motivated to get things done. It’s almost like I have to physically wear myself out before my brain will turn off all the background “noise” and allow me to focus on what needs to be done.
7. Get dressed. For anyone in the regular 8-5 world, this is obviously a no-brainer. But for those of us who work from home? Mmm…not so much. I’ve learned that if I make myself get dressed within an hour of waking up, my day feels infinitely more productive. I like knowing that I can run a quick errand or grab a coffee or heck, even answer the door, at a moment’s notice. Plus there’s something about regular clothes (vs. pajamas) that makes me feel like a real live working adult! (ha!)
8. Blogs / Instagram / Pinterest. While these three things may seem like a great way to put off your to-do list for several hours at a time, they’re also a powerful tool for productivity. I love anything Elise writes on goal-setting. I adore Tara Whitney’s take on Southern California living via her Instagram feed. And a quick scroll through my pins is a surefire way to get my creative juices flowing.
9. Podcasts. I’ve talked about my love for podcasts once, twice, or ten times before, but they bear mentioning yet again. If I’m performing a (relatively) mindless task, such as editing photos or designing new buttons for my blog, I love having a great podcast to keep me company. Recently I’ve been returning to old faves, such as The JV Club, The Art of Simple, and always, Joy the Baker.
10. Nap. When all else fails, I take a nap. Sleep is truly a wonderful thing in that I always wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!
What are your favorite ways to spark a little motivation?