Try this when you can’t find your motivation

canstockphoto19497378I had a hard time finding the motivation to write this week. Perhaps it was because it was so nice outside and I didn’t want to be inside on my computer. Perhaps it was because I really wanted to catch up with that ever-growing pile of laundry left over from the weekend at camp.

Perhaps it was because I wasn’t “feeling” a good topic this week. Nothing was coming to me.

We all have these days, whether we work for ourselves from home or we work for someone else in an office.

As I tried to find my motivation and an idea to write about, I took to Facebook and asked my friends to tell me how they stay motivated to get their work done.

I tossed in a load of laundry while I waited for their response to my post.

After two loads of laundry, their answers motivated me to get back to work and write about how to get motivated:

“I make up ‘rewards’ for myself… if I finish a task, I get to spend 10 minutes on Facebook, or go make a snack, something like that!” — Tricia Owns Kenny

“When I find myself floundering (especially working from home) I make a list of things I can and should get done in a couple of hours. Then I go to work accomplishing those things and getting the satisfaction of checking them off. That helps keep me motivated and focused on what’s most important that day.” — Alison Bankston

“I HAVE to take a shower in the morning and get dressed to be motivated. I’m not one of those work-from-home-in-my-pajamas people.” — Melanie Brooks

“I have a kitchen timer that I set for 50 minutes. It’s a challenge to see how much I can accomplish in that period of time. Then my ‘reward’ is 10 minutes of walking, reading, music, or snacks. I try to do something to get me up and moving between bursts (rather than sitting at the computer all the time).” — Mari Windsor Buche

“I set a timer at home and work until it goes off, then I reward myself with sitting on the deck in the sun or working in my garden for 30 minutes, then back to work with the timer re-set.” — Suzie Chase

“I put deadlines next to everything on my “To Do” list to keep me on track. Seeing the date written out is a constant reminder.” — Carol Higgins Taylor

“I try to set morning appointments so I am up and out of the house and in work mode early. I save one day a week for ‘work in my pajamas’ mode. That’s the reward of working from home!” — Melissa Harrison Huston

“Working from home requires a punch list and a premeditated music plan.” — Pat Lemieux

“At work, I play music that keeps me going. I get to work before everyone shows up so I can focus on stuff before the multi-tasking begins.” — Dora McCarthy

“In the office — I take 2 minute stretch breaks, a quick walk around the building enjoying the sunshine. Friday afternoon ice cream breaks for the whole office work well too.” — Sarah Nugent

(I want to go to work with Sarah!)

I will add a few more that have helped me get motivated when I am in a slump:

Exercise can help a lot.  When you “hit that wall” and start feeling blah, step away from your work and get out!  Fresh air and a good walk, run, yoga or a quick trip to the gym can restart your engines.

Make deadlines.  If your work comes with deadlines you know when you have to get it done.  If it doesn’t, create deadlines for yourself.

Do what you want to do least — FIRST. Accomplish the task that you are least looking forward to doing first thing in the day. Get it over with so it’s not weighing on you all day. You will feel much better and more motivated getting that out of the way.

Hopefully these tips will help you get your work done the next time your motivation decides to take the day off.


Deb Neuman

About Deb Neuman

Deb thinks Maine is a great place to do business and loves telling the stories of Mainers proving that it can be done! An entrepreneur at heart, she enjoys helping others with the same drive to create and innovate!