Thursday 26 April 2012

Staying Motivated - Ten Top Tips

One of the most difficult things about working from home has to be the whole "how do you stay motivated when there's no boss breathing down your neck?"  In fact, not necessarily a boss, but when you work for someone else in a standard job, there are always other people who rely on you - customers, colleagues, students, clients, patients, etc.  Nobody ever really asks a nurse how she stays motivated, do they?

I think maybe that's the biggest part of the problem.  There's only yourself to answer to.  And if you feel like sloping off to the shops, or curling up on the sofa with a big cake, who's going to stop you?

 cake is tempting

I am.

Yep, you heard me.  Well, I'm going to try.  I'm sharing my top ten motivational tips with you here.  They don't work all work all of the time, but some of them do work a lot of the time.  So, without further ado, here we go...

Top Ten Motivational Tips for Artists & Crafters who work from Home

1. Make a list.  Actually, it might end up being several lists.  A wipeboard on the wall, a planner with moveable post-its (download a free one here), a diary, a to-do book... (the most important thing to note here is that I didn't say write your list on a piece of paper, otherwise the first thing on your to-do list might be: find to-do list)

2. At the end of each working day, take time to write up the list for tomorrow.  It might change, as urgent jobs come in, or life makes plans for you, but having a list already in place each morning is a great way of getting your day kick-started.

 3. Be realistic.  I'm not so good at being realistic and always expect too much of myself.  This is where my planner with moveable post-its works well - a visual reminder of when I'm taking on too much.

the post it planner

4. Post your plans online - blog, tweet or facebook about it.  Tell people what you're going to do - a great way to get yourself motivated into action.  People are waiting to see what you've done!

5.  Join in a weekly linky party with your blog.  Handmade Monday is a good one, because you can blog about your makes.  If you commit to it, you'll find yourself making with the aim of showing off your creations.  It's become a great little community too!

6. Stay healthy.  I know as well as anyone how hard that is when you have serious health problems - but actually that's when diet and exercise become even more important.  Take time to eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, exercise (whether it's a gym session, digging the garden or just a walk round the block), and generally look after yourself.

 home made fruit smoothies are full of goodness & energy

7.  Get started.  Getting started is often the hardest bit, so tell yourself you're just going to start this project and see how you feel.  Chances are, it'll all start flowing nicely once you're started and you'll get more done than you thought you would.

get started

8.  Visualise the end result.  For example, if you're finding it hard to get making for an upcoming fair or market, try imagining your stall, with customers buzzing round it.  They won't be buzzing for long (or at all) if there's nothing to look at.  What are you going to wow them with?

9.  Meet up with others.  It might be a class, a craft club, a coffee or a meal - or it could be an online chat in a forum or on Twitter.  Take time to talk about your motivation and what you need to get done.  Other people's positivity might rub off on you, you might generate ideas together - or you might just feel renewed and energised from mixing with others.

 book some time off

10.  I've found that "booking" time off, like you would in a "real" job is a great motivator - you need to fit the jobs you have into the time you have left and you do actually end up working harder.  It might be a day out or a weekend away - or just an afternoon with friends mooching round the shops.  Book it in your diary and plan round it.

I ended up with too many tips to squash them all in to just ten - so think of this one as a bonus:  Just do it.  Yep, I know you've heard that one somewhere before, but that's because it's such a good tip.  When you're hesitating or procrastinating, stop all that and - just do it.  Get on with what needs doing! 

I hope there's a least one tip in there that might be useful in getting you more motivated!  I'd love you to add your own motivational tips by leaving a comment.


Anonymous said...

All really useful, especially as my to-do list is currently as long as my arm! This is the time I've "booked" off though :-)

Annie Cholewa said...

Great tips Wendy :D

Claire Mackaness said...

love it. All things I try to do anyway, but I know how easy it is to stray from the path! I've just tweeted a link to this post for you.

June said...

Some great tips listed, like the moveable planner idea.

testing said...

Very useful tips I seem to fall down at 7, despite all my lists and planning it can hard to actually get started. I love your last suggestion of planning to take time out.

Justjennywren said...

thanks for the tips! x

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed. Thank you.