Every Sunday evening I sit on my sofa, brainstorm some ideas for blog posts, think about the work I want to achieve in the next week, and start writing a to-do list. I go to bed feeling inspired, ready for the next day, but when Monday morning actually rolls around, I’m like a whole different person.
One of the challenges I’m always suffering with being self-employed and working from home, is being productive and feeling motivated to work. Kane recently became self-employed too, and with Ada only in nursery two days a week, there are constant distractions. I usually start off my morning’s by doing any housework that needs doing (dishwasher, taking washing off the line, etc) whilst Ada is eating her breakfast, and whilst I have no issue with getting that done, when it comes to actually working for myself I’m struggling.
You’d think I’d like the rest, but really I like feeling like I’ve achieved at least some work whilst at home with Ada, especially now she’s older and is quite capable of independent play – for part of the day, anyway! So instead, there’s a few ways I’ve found that have helped me get out of my slump, and get back to being more productive.
Put on some music
Music has always been a massive thing for me, and it can effect my mood in so many ways. One of the things that gets me motivated to do the dishes and housework is putting on upbeat music, so it only made sense to carry that through to my working time. I listen to a mixture of things, but I always have Childish Gambino, Two Door Cinema Club and Passion Pit in my work playlist.
Break down your to-do list
Most of the time when I’m being unproductive it’s because I’ve got so much to do and so many ideas in my head, I get overwhelmed before I’ve even started, wondering what to tackle first. One of the tips I took away from Get Your Sh*t Together was to dissect your to-do list, break it all down into small, manageable chunks, and start with the most important. Don’t overload it either; be realistic with how much you can achieve in one day.
Tidy your workspace
I don’t have a dedicated office anymore so my desk is in our conservatory, surrounded by washing hanging out to dry, Ada’s toys, and it usually has a cat lying in the sun on it. Personally I need a nice clean, empty deskspace to work on, so I’ll tidy away any notebooks I haven’t been using, move the empty cups of coffee, and generally make sure it’s clean enough for me to get ready to work with no distractions.
Change your scenery
Sometimes it can be beneficial to change everything up; sometimes just taking a little break in the garden works for me, or if you don’t have a kiddo at home, heading to a local cafe to work or going for a walk in the park can clear your mind and get you in the mood to get back to work.
Visualize your goal
Visualization can be a massive motivator; are you working towards saving for a holiday, a trip away, or a house deposit? Sometimes thinking of the bigger picture, rather than just being able to pay bills on time can be a great driving force to reach your full potential at work. I like to have my vision board where I’m working too, which helps keep me inspired.
How do you get in the mood to work when you’re really not feeling it? Leave me your tips below!
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