Motivation is a fickle term. It can hold so much weight, yet it is not necessarily something you can control. I feel as though if the wind is blowing in a certain direction that an overwhelming feeling of “Let’s get things done!” would just hit me like—BAM! Is it consistent? Can you will it to be? Can you manage it? I find the answer to these questions is a big fat NO. At least, not for myself. I can plan and organize like there’s no tomorrow, but sometimes actually grasping onto this ghost of a term can be challenging. I might feel like I can control my motivation, but really, it is controlling me and decides when it wants to be a part of my life.
To Be Motivated… or not to be?
It is possible to accomplish so much with the right motivation under your wing. To gallantly tackle the tedious task on the back burner that I’ve let simmer for days, weeks, months (dare I say years?) is an overwhelming feeling. But why are these projects set to the side in the first place? I sometimes wonder if I may have some sort of attention deficit disorder. I lose focus and direction on a few things, and I’m sure it is life-things that get in the way, as these projects are not necessarily relevant to my success; but then again, they have everything to do with the kind of person I am—or set out to be.
Coincidentally, it is the same for my artistic side. Awaiting that subtle breeze, carrying a bit of that motivation for me to indulge in has me pacing in circles. For days, the house is bursting at the seams with art projects, crafts, and the will to follow through with a vision. Sometimes, I impress myself with what I am capable of. Then it just stops, per usual and almost instantly! Where does the motivation go?
Impending Cabin Fever!
After transitioning to a work at home position I have found it hard to leave the house. Starting a new routine with a flexible work schedule has its ups and downs, just as any other job, with motivation being the focus. The house must be cleaned, the animals fed, might as well make breakfast and coffee to really start the day, and now I can start working.. or maybe I'll tend to the garden for a bit?
Also, I digress my travel suffers as well. As the week’s tip-toe by, here I sit in my humble abode, stalking the web with wanderlust. Though, it seems impossible to step outside. Am I fulfilling my dreams through research?! They are fantastic, don’t get me wrong. I love to research and compile an itinerary just like any other person. It is what I find through the eyes of many that brings out my urge to travel in the first place. I feel as though it may be counter-intuitive at times, though, as it is easy to be satisfied with so little.
This is also where the cabin-fever kicks in. The want to leave the house and the want to not leave the house can be quite unsettling and counterintuitive. It’s as if the world doesn’t exist outside of these walls. Which, you know, start closing in on you after days of not leaving the house. So, a quick recommendation to those who work from home…GET OUT. Go to the store, the gym, a friend or family members, or take a walk. Just do it. This is my biggest struggle now. I went from actively being around many people during the day to just being around myself and pets... and well, they sleep all day and aren’t great conversationalist.
Motivation vs. Priorities
Okay, so work comes first. We all know this. But what about those things that make you truly feel like you? The person that perhaps became lost along the way that would like a little attention now and then. For me, it is art in many forms and self-study. I am a research-aholic. I’m intrigued by different ventures that are out there and how people approach them. Whether it be creating my own art projects, or compiling information towards opening a restaurant of my own, I feel that until I find out who I am, it is unlikely to narrow down my endeavors to just one focus. If motivation is not on my side, how am I to accomplish important life goals?
In my career, I would normally be on my feet 8 to 10 hours a day in a fast-paced environment. I would always have a sense of motivation, and I am sure it is because I take pride in my work and have a strong work ethic. My motto is that there is ALWAYS something to do to fill your time while at work. As a person who worked in the restaurant industry for over a decade, I could probably compile a list of to-dos to complete during the slow periods of a day. And, I have for my employees during certain seasons to keep people busy. This is completely different when you work at home, by yourself, and have the flexibility to make your own schedule. Mind you, I still have a strong work ethic and complete my daily tasks and assignments as before, but the motivation to do more to fill the gaps is where I am losing my grasp.
How to Resolve Your Motivation Shortage
Here are a few things that have helped me when I am unable to ignite my own motivation:
-Talk to a friend or family member. It doesn’t even have to be about the certain project you lost focus on. Though, expressing your ideas or concerns with someone and receiving their feedback is very helpful.
-Timed Writing - Set a timer for three minutes and just let it all out! Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Write about what you are thinking or feeling. This just helps to get the mojo going.
-An alternative or extension from this is to talk out loud to yourself. Mind you, it’d probably be best to do this while you are by yourself, as to avoid the awkward looks.
-Start working on something completely different. This will allow time for your mind to rest when struggling with the lack of motivation towards a certain project. Personally, if I start something else, I am likely to have a wave of inspiration for the previous task come to mind.
-Get organized! Setting up a planner that covers the basis of things you would like to accomplish today, this week, this month or for the year will help you to categorize the importance of each task. Maybe squeeze in some time for you to work on your hobbies, as well.I chose to use a large three-ring binder and categorize each area. It includes:
I chose to use a large three-ring binder and categorize each area. It includes:
-A personal planner
-Blog Planner w/ social media tracking
-A smaller version of my Art portfolio, for inspiration
-Research and writing I've gathered for a book