Working from home is everyone’s dream set up… right? For years you might work at one, if not two jobs, while studying to build your business. During this time, you put in some of the longest days of your career, fueled by the passion of owning your own company, and being your own boss. Breaking free from the structure of school and work can be liberating, however the issue of motivation can arise. 2017 brings A LOT of distractions; and in this day and age, the struggle to put in a decent days work while being on an unmonitored schedule is real. So what can you do to beat this struggle of distraction?
- Set your alarm, and have set hours every day. The flexibility of being your own boss can be wonderful when you have other commitments like children, family, appointments, cleaning, catching up on the newest episode of the Bachelor, etc. BUT you need to have some structure in your day to be able to focus on work. By having a set morning routine and making sure that work is started by a certain hour, will help you to maximize the hours in your day. The practice of creating your own working schedule with both start and “end” times (as if a planners work is ever actually done) will help you focus in and meet deadlines .
- Change out of your lazy clothes. This one is huge. If you are finding that your motivation is low and you just want to sink into your couch and laze around; get out of pyjamas. What you wear and how you look, changes your mentality. Our brains will associate certain clothing with specific emotion, mood, and behavior. When you work a 9-5 job that you commute to, or a job where you wear a uniform, your mind associates your work garments with work itself. After your shift, you come home and change out of those work garments, you throw on your pajamas/ casual wear and sink down into the couch. Your brain will associate those comfy clothes with lazing on the couch/ unwinding. Working from home gives you the freedom to wear whatever you want, but you may find that getting up and putting on business casual clothes will actually kick your brain into working gear and give you the right start to your day.
- Have a set working space in your home. Just like the clothing tip, we also have emotional and behavioral connections to rooms and objects. When you go into your laundry room, your mind will instantly jump into gear, knowing you went into that room to throw a load of laundry in, switch the laundry over, or take a load of clothes out. When you go into the kitchen your brain will look to nourish your body, either by looking in the fridge, grabbing a glass of water, or opening the pantry. A lot of us have such strong habits that when we walk into our kitchen we instantly open the fridge, even if that’s not why we went into the room in the first place. Having a set workspace will help your brain adjust and focus in on the tasks ahead. Even If you don’t have space for a home office, set your laptop up at the dining room table with your notebooks, calendar, and coffee instead of setting up on the couch. By having a set space just for you to work, will allow your brain to kick into business mode.
- Change up your work setting on days you cannot focus. Sometimes with life, family, children, etc., we can’t get our brains to focus on our work load when there is a lot of household distractions. There are some days where the chores just taunt you; your laundry pile seems to be growing at an enormous rate, the kid‘s toys seem to scatter themselves, or you just can’t get any time to yourself with your housemates puttering around. On days like this, the best solution is to work outside of your home. Go to a coffee shop, a library, or a communal work space. Go to a place where the only thing you have on you to work on is your business. Have your laptop, scheduler, phone/ charger, notepad, and whatever else you need, and find a quiet space where you can focus. The vast majority of coffee shops offer free WiFi and you will notice TONS of entrepreneurs, students, or customers working on their own thing. These environments are perfect for settling your brain and letting you focus in on the work load that you need to get done.
- Schedule meetings. Being a Wedding Planner, it is so important to get out and network with different vendors, venues, planners, and of course, couples. These meetings not only allow you to build your contact base, but it will give you a boost in motivation and passion. Being your own boss does have a lot of perks to it, but it can also be isolating. Meetings allow you to get out and talk to others in the industry, and speak to individuals who share the same passions and obstacles as you. You also never know where the next client is going to come from, so by making these professional connections, and being seen active in the industry, you might rub elbows with potential clientele.
- Set daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Having a general list of to-dos is great, but the list can also be left on the back burner when other tasks that feel more pressing come up. Creating lists of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks will be a way for you to organize the things you need to do, and will give you a sense of accomplishment when you complete them. Celebrate that.
- Focus on your own work, celebrate your accomplishments, and try not to compare yourself to others. This is a huge task. With social media being updated minute by minute, we find out others accomplishments FAST. Spending too much time wrapped up in others peoples business successes will distract you and take your attention away from the progress you have been making. Being aware of what the competition is doing, and being aware of how the industry is developing is very important, but it is easy to get discouraged and start doubting yourself and putting yourself down. By celebrating your little victories, whether it be completing your task list, signing the next client, putting on a successful bridal show, whatever you pushes you forward, you will boost your own confidence and motivate yourself to do your best in the industry.
- Take breaks. We live in such a rush-rush society, that our schedules can be overwhelming. This can crush your motivation. When you start zoning out, and just going through the motions to get tasks done, you lose your passion of why you are in this industry in the first place. You need to take mental breaks for yourself. After working for a few hours, get up, stretch and move around. Get the blood flowing. Go out and get a coffee, walk the dog, or just take a little breather and read the paper. These mental breaks will not take away from the workload that you will accomplish, it will actually clear your mind to be able to tackle more than you would have been able to without it.