I finally did it. I sat down and managed to plan out my content/posts for the next 3 months!! It’s such a relief knowing that I have that many posts planned out ahead of time. It seriously feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. But it’s wasn’t a walk in the park. A few times I was feeling a little stuck, so I would go back and look through the responses from my recent reader survey for some inspiration. One response really stuck out to me. I asked “Do you need any help is a certain area of your life? (Are you having any problems that you would love me to give advice for or write about?)”, and the response I received was simply “motivation”. So reader – whoever you are – this one’s for you!
But this really got me thinking – how do I stay motivated? Obviously having an income is a huge motivator and I don’t want to disappoint/upset my Dad since I work for him. But what actually keeps me going or prevents me from just shrugging and saying “I’ll do that tomorrow”?
The honest answer? I just do it. I don’t hate it, but I don’t particularly love it either. How many people do you know that would sit there and say, “I am so passionate about administrative work! I just love billing, making payments, and answering phone calls!!!”. My guess would be a whole lot of no one. So no, I am not passionate and 100% in love with my day job. And that’s ok – because it isn’t meant to be my forever job. Though, as a side note, if I did up and tell my dad I wanted to take over the biz he would be over the moon. But I just have no interest in it, so I’m pursuing other interests. So my motivation is more of a “suck it up buttercup” kind of mantra at the moment. And that’s ok because I know my end game/my goal/my “why”.
Know Your Why
The important thing to remember is that “motivation” ebbs and flows. Much like inspiration, it’s not a constant thing. So to get through those times where you severely lack that motivation, you need to know your why. Why exactly are you doing what you’re doing? What is your ultimate end goal with it? Is it a temporary thing like my situation, a stepping stone to something bigger, or is it something more? Figuring out your “why” ultimately keeps you going during those days that you don’t feel like doing anything. From your career to something more simple like working out, finding out your “why” can be what drives you when you’re not feeling motivated.
For me, I know how I want to end up living and what I want in a career and out of life. And I’m slowly working towards that goal – I do my day job because I need money, yes. But also because it gives me the flexibility to blog and pursue other things that bring me to my goal. I’m working on my real estate course/license, I’m able to look into possible flip houses, and still have time to do stuff I love doing (like blogging). Most jobs wouldn’t let me do that for what I’m earning, and I honestly like helping out my Dad while I’m in career limbo.
Now that’s not to say stick with a job if you hate it. You definitely have to make your happiness a priority! But knowing your why can certainly help you make that decision whether to leave or not much easier.
If you’re feeling that huge motivation boost but having trouble channeling that into actually doing something productive, definitely look into making checklists or setting up a planner to keep yourself on track! I know I certainly get a little scattered when I’m feeling super energized, so I use my to-do lists and planner to keep me on track and focusing my energy on important stuff instead of cleaning the entire house.
You can also look into trying the Pomodoro Technique. You basically pick a task and focus solely on that task for a set amount of time (usually 25 minutes or so), then follow it up with a quick break. This helps your brain recharge after short bursts of work to help you be even more productive in the long run. I would actually use this method to study when I was in grad school! I found I would get distracted or loose focus after about 30 min of reading notes, so I would read for 20-30 minutes then take a 5-10 minute break. Which is the perfect amount of time to get a portion of your favorite Netflix show in!
Set Small Goals + Celebrate Them!
This is very similar to knowing your why and figuring out your end goal. While you might know where you ultimately want to be, it’s still important to set those small goals (think baby steps) in order to get there. The big picture might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re stressed or feeling lost. So by setting those smaller goals, you make that end goal much easier to reach.
And while we’re on that same page, be sure to actually celebrate when you accomplish those small goals! Not only will it keep your mood up, but it will remind you of those small achievements that you’re making to get to your ultimate goal. So treat yo’self to something nice and do a little happy dance next time you accomplish something, no matter how small.
Avoid Burnout + Stay Happy
At the end of the day, you’re responsible for staying motivated to do your job. Some of that might have to do with your boss and work environment, but ultimately it’s on you. Even if you do love absolutely every aspect of your job, if you’re constantly go-go-go, you’re going to wear yourself out – it’s only a matter of time. Which is why you need to find something outside of work that you enjoy. Find a hobby or an activity. Go out with friends often. If you need any more reasons why you need a hobby, check out this post I wrote a few months back.
For me it’s blogging (along with a dozen other things!). Which is a ton of extra work, yes. Like a heck of a lot of work. But I love interacting with readers and fellow bloggers. It makes the work that I put into blogging, taking pictures, promoting, etc. 100% worth it. Plus, it gets my mind completely off of my admin duties. But when I get overwhelmed or stressed out from both my admin stuff and blogging, then I have several other hobbies to choose from to relax (like making my jewelry pieces below!).
It’s also important to know when you need to take a break completely. Whether it’s a short weekend trip, staycation, or a full 2-week vacation, we all need to get away every now and then. So know your limits, and learn when to take a step back and put your happiness first. When you’re happy and stress-free, you’re going to be energized and more productive = more work getting done. And don’t forget to practice self-care. Take a bath, grab a book, drink some tea. Treat yourself to a spa day. Anything that works to recharge your mind and body and get you motivated for the work ahead!
[RELATED] – How To Have The Best Self-Care Sunday
So reader – I hope this helped! And, as always, if any of you have ANY questions/concerns/comments or want something answered on the blog – let me know!
How do you stay motivated? Do you know your “why”?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!