It’s been a rough start to the year and that’s why I though it would be important to share 5 ways I stayed motivated while working from home.
Create a routine for yourself, it’s essential that we build our live around routine. This is not to say that we box ourselves into one way of doing thing and become robotic about it. The nice thing about working at home is the flexibility it allows for so you can take advantage of a sunny day or just pick a moment to rest. What is important is that you create a framework that you work within so that you aren’t all over the place. My advice is for the first 30 day don’t deviate from this framework as it take time for out bodies to build habits. Once the habit is built we will be able to stick to it constantly in spite of the flex there might be within the schedule.
The first thing I like to do is to centre myself and find my peace, I get this from meditating of the words of the bible. I then dive into some exercise. This is a great way to wake your body up and get those endorphins flowing. It’s sound contrary but when you spend that energy being active in the morning because of the release of endorphins it actually leaves you feeling energised and fresh for the start of the day. It’s a great way to feel accomplished even before the day has begun. For me personally that exercise is running and I like it because I find it quite peaceful and it helps me to reflect on the start of the day.
It’s important to set goals for yourself for that day. The best way I’ve found to do this is to take your note book and create a list of the things you want to achieve that day. Choose small task that are easily achievable with tangible results. I create a check box on the side of each task and tick them off as I get them done. As you tick off each task you will get a little rush of dopamine which is the same chemical that is released when you have alcohol or eat food. The more tasks you tick off your list the more the chemical is released making you feel happier, accomplished and motivated. This is why sometime I find myself going back and writing a task on the list that I have already completed that wasn’t originally there just for the satisfaction of tick it off.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you want to build your craft and push the boundaries of your ability, it is essential to practice your craft everyday. Practice this outside of your work hours. For instance I work from nine to five but I have a dedicated hour between seven to eight to play, experiment, try different materials and push my abilities as an illustrator and storyteller. This time and space is important to help build my creative abilities, push my skills train myself to solve problems. Practice makes perfect! Every craftsman needs to put in those 10,000 hours to become an expert.
We are in an unprecedented time in the world and I think it’s important to read. Reading expands our horizons, it opens us up to new possibilities it expands our ability to solve problems and give us the space to reflect on the world outside our bubble. If you want to grow as a creative and generate new ideas you need to fuel your mind and book are that fodder. I love Chris Do approach to reading he say “read a book like you are going to teach a class.” Using this process makes you pause and spend more time considering the language and analysing how you would best relay this information you learned to someone else. I like to have a pencil to underline important point and a little notebook to note ideas that stand out to me. This then gives me a reference point I can use to expand on ideas that the book might have given me and how I might apply them to a project or put them into practice in life.
Last but not least spend the end of your day in reflection. Keep a little journal and write down your thoughts and analyse your emotions at the end of the day. If you write down what you are feeling and why you are feeling it, often it eliminates your need to worry about it and prevents your imagination from running wild. This process of deconstructing your day and being emotionally intelligent is so important to do to insure a deep nights sleep.
These five ways have kept me motivated to work from home over the last decade and I hope they help you along your journey.