I’ve got a bad case of the Mondays! We’ve all said it at least once or twice in our lives. Monday’s are always tough for me. It’s just so hard to get myself motivated. I feel like the sloth in this picture. Finding new ways to get motivated. especially on these kinds of days, is super important. It’s even more important if you work from home.
My day starts with a cup of coffee… or 3. Then it’s off to work, which includes a very long walk down the hall to my office. I even have to walk upstairs from the coffee pot to my comfy chair. I know, it’s a terrible life. Anyway, after my grueling morning commute, I have to start my day. I have lots to do. There are blogs to write, articles to finish, jobs to pitch, and social media to prowl. This stuff doesn’t do itself here people!
The problem is, there is so much other stuff to do too. In addition to being a freelance writer, I’m also designing a video game. It is very easy to get sucked into working on that instead of writing. The only problem is that I’m not getting paid for that. Sadly those bills are still looming out there on the horizon,so I have to get myself motivated and working in the right direction. How do I do that? Well I’m so glad you asked dear friends, because that is what I’m here to tell you today.
Please bear in mind these are just my ideas and a few of the ways I use to keep myself on track. Whether you are an online writer, author, or any other work-from-home kind of person, you have to find ways to keep from running out of steam. Here’s how I do it.
Organization is the key
I make lots of lists. Sometimes on note pads or in notebooks. The problem with these is that I can never find them again when I need them. That’s why I started using a wonderful little program called Trello, which allows me to put together a list in a visual format. Using cards that can be moved around and updated at will, I can keep a good eye on my day to day activities. It’s free and it’s collaborative, so if you work with a team it can be invaluable for keeping everyone on task.
I’ve also found another very helpful tool called — Freedcamp. It is a project management software and maybe a little overpowered for my needs, but it works wonderfully for keeping me on track. It offeres the option to create a visual style or list based project. I am quite a visual person, but for those who are not this might be a great option. This does essentially the same thing as Trello, but it does have a few more features that are especially relevant for team based projects.
Keeping things organized and easily accessible is extremely important for staying on task. Whether you like sticky notes, or software apps, just find a way to keep everything organized and things will be much easier.
I tend to get lost in my work. Sometimes I forget to do the little things like eat, drink, sleep, or move around much at all. While that might be good for my work, it’s not always good for me. As tempting as is may be to just write one more page or finish one more task. I find it is best to make yourself stop and take a break at certain times of the day.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals. When you do take a break, also take a walk or run to the gym if that’s your thing. Even some yoga or light stretching can really help. The time away from the keyboard will keep you healthy and it will also help clear your head. I find that when I take a break it gives me an opportunity to think about what I’m writing or doing that day. When I come back I have a fresh outlook and sometimes new ideas that take my work in a whole new direction.
Connect with other humans
Working from home can be lonely. Getting out of the house and being social might seem counterproductive, especially when you have that big project due next week, but if you don’t get out of the office now and then, you won’t be much good at your job anyway. Talking to people and getting out of your comfort zone can spark creativity. It helps keep you focused more when you are in front of that computer screen.
Whether you are a creative writer or a work-at-home telemarketer, we all need to connect with other people. It keeps us sane and helps us to stay in touch with who we are. It can be very easy to lose ourselves when working from home. You tend to become your job. Believe me, I’ve found myself in my PJ’s at 1:00 AM pounding my head against a brick wall and wondering why I feel so isolated and why I’m fighting off writer’s block like it’s a bad case of the flu.
Our connection with other humans is what makes us, well… human. So do yourself a favor and don’t skip the next dinner party or family BBQ. Go. Connect. Be a better human. and save me some ribs… oh and maybe some of that yummy potato salad.
I hope this helps you stay motivated and keep on the right track. I know these tips really work for me. They might not work for everyone and that’s okay. I just hope they have given you some ideas of what you can do to keep those Monday (and everyday) blahs at bay.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23661161@N02/27478290520″>sleepy sloth</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>