When you work for yourself, it can be hard to find motivation. This article will provide you with some tips that’ll make getting revved up to take on the day’s projects at hand a little easier.
Have a game plan
When sitting down each morning, do yourself a favor and skip the list and use your calendar to start time-blocking the day. Make this a habitual practice and you’ll effortlessly be able to visualize and map out your projects on a day-to-day basis and have an accurate gauge as to how realistic your expectations are in terms of what you want to tackle and how it can fit into your schedule accordingly. A good strategy is to block in highest priorities first, then weave in lower-tier items where possible. This will ensure that anything that might have to get pushed into the next day won’t be cause for stress since you’ve already set yourself up to complete the items that are most pressing.
Another useful tip when blocking your calendar is to save those 20 to 30 minute blocks to address smaller tasks that are quicker to turn around and set aside the longer stretches of time for projects demanding more focus. By doing this, you will effectively combat that relentless, late afternoon slump we all know and dread. Speaking of losing energy throughout the day, don’t forget to schedule in a couple of breaks!
Taking a few minutes to create a game plan for yourself will not only help keep your day balanced, but you’ll feel more motivated knowing you are organized and using your time as efficiently as possible. Who knows? You may even have time to grab dinner with a friend, which brings us to the next technique for self-motivation: rewards.
Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s not enough to have a plan or course of action to meet our goals. We need that extra gear, an added level of inspiration that holds us accountable for achieving daily victories.
Research shows that rewards are responsible for 75 percent of our dedication and personal motivation.
The simplest reason why they are so effective and helpful? They make us feel good from the very start of a project to the very end. We get excited selecting a reward, and as we roll up our sleeves, it’s in the back of our mind as we make progress on the task. It provides us with enjoyment and a sense of pride by reinforcing or accomplishments when we are finally over the finish line.
The moral of the story? Treat yo’self. Maybe your ideal reward is crushing a workout or going to a concert; or maybe it’s staying in with a glass of wine and a good Netflix movie. Whatever you choose, make sure you are unplugged from your work completely and allow this time to be fully devoted to yourself.
Know when you’re at your best
Self-awareness is a significant factor responsible for our motivation. Specifically, knowing when we’re most productive and completing our best work can be a game changer. Thanks to technology, there are numerous time-tracking tools out there that make this seamless and simple for solopreneurs.
AND CO is an example of an app that allows users to track their hours either on their desktop or mobile devices as well as have invoices automatically created for them based on the time they enter. The app also allows for logging of time based on a timer or by project and activity. Fall behind? The tool makes it quick and painless to catch yourself up so you can get back to focusing on your projects.
When it comes to logging hours, a little discipline goes a long way. One of the biggest payoffs? You’ll become more organized and efficient, which will translate into you feeling more engaged. As a result, your performance will improve, contributing to a heightened sense of motivation and increased productivity, which will boost your efficiency and the cycle continues.
Surround yourself with others who share your motivation
We’ve all the heard The Beatles song, “With a Little Help from My Friends” and the saying, “There is power in numbers.” Considering the meaning behind either points us to a very impactful source of motivation: friendships.
Staying motivated can be as straightforward as putting ourselves in the same environment as our friends for several reasons. Primarily, there’s the added accountability when bringing others into the mix. It isn’t all about the possibility of a penalty, however. There’s a sense of camaraderie that is created when groups are formed. The feeling of being on a team united in their shared goals is extremely powerful and effective in driving results.
Another way friends help us along is by serving as role models. We often don’t give it a second thought, but research on friendship has demonstrated that merely sitting beside someone who is grinding away on a product is enough to influence you to want to mimic their behavior and take your work as seriously as they are. So, next time you’re going to the coffee shop to work and are reluctant how much you’ll actually get done, ask a friend to tag along.
Maintain a constant pursuit of a knowledge
Asking questions, seeking feedback, carrying out research and intellectual conversations that challenge our perspectives are among some sources from which we can build our knowledge. Challenging yourself every day to learn something new has numerous advantages when it comes to your motivation. For instance, it can enhance your performance by helping you navigate obstacles in a positive way. What do we mean by that? In certain cases, inevitable adjustments and iterations present themselves when completing a project that may result in you having to step back and redefine your goals and strategies to meet them. Pursuing knowledge is a way to find those answers and gain clarity while sustaining a sense of purpose even if you are making shifts.
At the end of the day, we all need a little motivation. We hope these tips help spur your confidence and instill excitement as you kick off your next project. For more inspiration, check out the AND CO blog.
Content sponsored by AND CO