WAHM - Take It Up a Notch

WAHM  - Take It Up a Notch

I seemed to have checked out of life lately. I can drag myself to my computer, but then I just sit and look at the screen. Between estate attorneys and cattle, the only productive thing I’ve been able to accomplish in my office lately is changing my desktop background. So, what happened to me? I became complacent.

I defined my services, developed a stunning website (plus one), delved into the social networking scene, nabbed some fantastic clients, and then got a nail in my tire.

So, what do you do when you’ve mastered the basics of working from home? How do you prevent falling into the trap of becoming complacent?

Kick Yourself in the Pants

This is where self-motivation comes into play. You decided to work from home because you wanted to be your own boss, so be it! You wanted to set your own hours, so set them!

You have to figure out what makes you tick. Do you work best when you know you’re working towards a reward or a goal? If so, make plans for a vacation or a spa day. Don’t just tell yourself you’ll reward yourself, pick the date, make the preparations, and schedule it in your calendar. Not everyone can make themselves work when they don’t have to. Reward yourself!

Know when it’s quitting time. One of the ways I helped get my business off the ground was to set myself specific office hours. I work from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. The end. Knowing that each day I am walking away from my desk at 5:00 helps me keep working past that 2:30 slump. I want to quit, but I also want to go ride my horse before the sun sets. That is my reward for a great day.

If you need a better kick in the pants, do a little journaling. Why did you quit your job? Why do you want to quit your job? Why do you want to work from home versus working on location?

Spending ten minutes reminding yourself how much you dislike working on location can be quite motivational in helping you remember the appeal of working from home.

Keep Learning

A very important part about working from home is remembering that you always have more to learn. Change is one of the only constants in our lives. The world evolves, and so should your business if you want to stay in the game.

Keep Getting Better

Whether you’ve been working for 3 months or 3 decades, there is always room for improvement. Give yourself some annual reviews. What have you improved in? Is there an area of your business or a skill set that you could improve?

If you’re not sure, then send out a little (optional) survey to your clients. Ask them to give you some honest feedback, and then focus on improving the areas that they suggest.

Kick Out Distractions

Organize your desk, tame some clutter, put up a “Mommy’s Office Hours” on the door—whatever you need to get your head back in the game.

Working from home can be an extremely rewarding experience, but just as with any other important venture, it’s important not to become complacent. You can always get better and learn more. So, kick-start your own butt back into gear whenever you feel your motivation slipping.

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Jane's picture

Jane wrote:

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 20:25 Comment #: 1

Although I've thought about it from time to time I don't really know if I'd have the willpower to tune out all of life's distractions and get any "real work" done. I know when there is something I have to get done, say taxes for example, I can find a million other things around the house that "urgently" need to be completed. Plus - I have adult ADD - anything and everything can distract me to the point that I'm doing 5 ot 6 different things at a time. This works to my advantage in my special needs classroom, but wouldn't work too well if I worked from home.
So, I feel for you, and hope you get past this obstacle quickly:)

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 20:52 Comment #: 2

Hi, Jane! I've read some of your blog posts, and from what I've seen so far, I would be willing to bet you could accomplish anything you put your mind to. :)

When I get really distracted (horses, puppies, crafts, books--whatever catches my eye), sometimes the only thing that gets me going is to remind myself that if I'm not my own boss, someone else will need to be, and I REALLY don't want to deal with that. Hehe.

Shaun @ Money Cactus's picture

Shaun @ Money Cactus wrote:

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 05:10 Comment #: 3

Good tips Jessica,

I really struggle with motivation at times in both my real work job and my blogging. Distractions are everywhere online, so web-based work is especially hard. I think that is really important to regularly remind yourself exactly why you have chosen to do what you are doing and work with purpose.

It may sound counter productive, but I have found the best thing to do if you are unmotivated is to just stop and do something completely different, like going for a walk, run or a drive. You are only wasting time anyway. I like to do these things without other distractions (like music) so that I can think about my goals and direction. Give it a try, It really works.

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 05:18 Comment #: 4

Great idea, Shaun. I usually run or ride either before or after working, but I never really thought about doing it in the middle as a temporary reprieve. I'm definitely going to give it a try. I mean, you're absolutely right: I'm only wasting time anyway, if I don't.

World Turmoil | Money Reasons's picture

World Turmoil | Money Reasons wrote:

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 07:54 Comment #: 5

[...] WAHM – Take It Up a Notch – I like this article, because I uses similar techniques to get myself out of a rut.   If [...]