I’m not going to lie, being my own boss is pretty great. I get to choose how I work, when I work, and what projects I want to work on. All of this freedom isn’t without its challenges though, and staying motivated every day is one of them. When there’s no boss to report to, it can be easy to get sidetracked and justify a lack of output. To help offset this, I do little things to stay motivated and inspired. Here are 4 of them:
1. Practice the 5-minute rule. The 5-minute rule is simple: look at your workload, and tackle something that you can complete in 5 minutes or less. This is a great strategy for those days when you’re feeling overwhelmed and just don’t know where to begin. Being able to cross at least one (or more) things off your to-do list can boost your motivation to tackle other items.
2. Stay connected. Don’t let yourself get so overworked that you feel as if you’re drowning, and in order to stay afloat, you cut off contacts and dive further into work. It’s vital that you stay connected with other people - especially respected colleagues who you can relate to - so you have a variety of outlets and resources when you need a little help.
3. Interval training. No, I’m not talking about exercise here. I’m talking about dividing your day into more manageable chunks, instead of trying to power through 8, 10 or 12 hours of work all at once. Tell yourself, “I’m going to work for x amount of hours, and then I’m going to take a break and run errands. Then I’m going to work for another x amount of hours.” When you work in intervals, you keep your energy level going... stronger, longer.
4. Stay goal-focused. If you’ve read some of my other blogs, you know how big of a proponent I am for goal-setting and staying on top of them. Write down your goals and put them in plain sight so you can always keep them in mind. Try to do something each day, whether it’s big or small, that is working toward at least one of your goals.
When you’re your own boss, you HAVE to stay motivated if you want to succeed. It’s normal to have those “blah” days (like today... it's raining like hell!) when you don’t want to do anything, but if you practice these tips, you can help reverse the “blahs” and have a more productive day. And bring back the sunshine for the next day!