5 Tips for Staying Motivated When You Work Alone
Procrastination is a curse that affects even the most successful entrepreneur, and with social media's constant interruptions it's more difficult than ever to stay on task. Throw in a social media profession and one minute you're "engaging" and the next you're accidentally three months deep in your exes Instagram feed. Working alone comes with its many blessings, but when motivation starts to lack things can get toxic. Here are our 5 no bull shit tips for staying motivated on your own.
Is there an impending deadline coming up? Instead of pushing it aside to the last moment, begin working on things far in advance. Each time you come back to the project you will have a fresh point of view to edit and build upon. When you put a little bit of effort into something for the long haul you'll be amazed by the end product. They don't say "Rome wasn't built in a day" for nothing.
Make a List
When you wake up in the morning it's easy to get bogged down by a mountain of responsibilities. Add social media to the mix and you're starting every day full speed ahead. Instead of immediately logging on, take 30 minutes for yourself to go through your morning routine and write a list of all the tasks you need to complete that day. When you write out a to-do list the feeling of dread will start to subside, and as you check things off the list you'll feel even more accomplished.
We're told all of our lives that multitasking is an essential skill for employment. FORGET THAT. Multitasking can cause 40% loss in productivity, so it's really nothing to brag about. Multitasking also lowers creativity, stresses you out and makes your final product suffer. Set specific time aside to accomplish one task, take a small break, and then move onto the next thing on your plate. "Ability to Multitask" is so last year.
Take a Break
Taking breaks is essential to productivity. We've all heard ourselves say it, "I'm too busy to take a break!" No, you're not. Breaks help you remain focused, retain information, and lower potential burn out. Ron Friedman of the Harvard Business Review explains "When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. It’s a practice that encourages us to stay mindful of our objectives." Schedule your breaks in advance, and don't ignpore them.
Confront Your Fear
Oftentimes procrastination is driven by fear. We put off the things that are scary and unknown, making a list in our head of all the possible bad outcomes. Tech Investor Tim Ferriss knows this feeling all too well, which is why he began a little something he calls "fear-setting." In fear-setting, you write a list of the possible outcomes if you don't take the risk you fear. For example, you may be afraid of pitching that new client, but if you don't your company could crumble. Ferriss learned that the things we fear most are nothing in comparison to the outcome if those fears are never faced. Listen to his full Ted Talk to learn more about fear-setting and how to apply it to your life.