I have been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. Although I planned to contribute financially, I knew that I wanted to create my own business so I could stay home. When the kids were little, it looked a bit different than it does today. The daily struggle to look less like a zombie and more like June Cleaver is completely real and continues to this day! To be productive, I created a small routine that helps me daily. It didn’t happen overnight, or quickly. It was more or less trial and error. If I was happy with my day, I thought about what made the day different than a bad day/unproductive day. These 6 tips will help you to stay motivated while working from home and keep you on track. Let me know what you think. Do you have any tips to share??
When Do You Plan Your Day?
The night before is the best time to plan your following day. I tend to remember everything that I forgot to do or needed to do, and I write it down. I also look at my goals and figure out what small bite-size pieces of work I can do the next day to get me to achieve that month’s goal. I know electronic lists are the way to go, but I loooove to use paper and pencil to make my list. Nighttime is also a great time to check your calendar for any appointments that you might have the following day.
It is super gratifying to be able to check things off the list! I’m also surprised at how much I do get done when I can see my items marked off. Just give the ol’ paper and pencil a try!
How Do You Show Up To Work?
I know you work for yourself, but how is it that you’re showing up to work? I would bet that if you had to go to work and you went in with a cozy robe and PJs, you would most likely have a groggy attitude all day. Don’t take this tip lightly; the best way to feel like tackling a list is to get yourself ready to take control of the day. Get out of your PJs and into something cute. I don’t think you need to go overboard, but definitely, do as much as necessary to feel like your showing up as your best self. I think the most significant perk of not having to go into work is able to lounge in my comfy clothes, but I still make sure those clothes are not pajamas.
How Much Are You Moving?
There are so many numbers and suggestions on how much you need to walk or exercise. In my experience, I have found that I do not wake up at the dreaded 3 a.m. if I move at minimum 10,000 steps a day. I know it may sound daunting, but my brother gave me great advice that I’ll share with you. You don’t have to do all 10,000 in one fell swoop! I now break it down into a few shorter walks. I start with a walk in the morning for about 15 minutes. Then again in the mid-afternoon, and again in the evening. If it’s nice out, I may walk with a neighbor or with Justen for a more extended time, and skip the afternoon walk. If the nasty Illinois weather keeps me from going out, I use my elliptical. I have also committed to doing yoga every day. Again, this came from great advice from my brother Oscar. He said, “if you want to get better at something, work on it every day.” Um…okay, why didn’t I think of that? Somedays, I only do yoga for 5 minutes; other days I do a full routine. I recommend the Asana app. It’s free or you can buy a membership if you want it. I love it!
How Are You Fueling Your Body?
The most incredible change that you can make in your life boils down to diet. I know this is an ugly topic, but I promise you’ll feel so much better once you start to make some changes. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Eliminate as many processed foods from your life. Stop eating candy, cookies, sweet bread, etc. Aim to eat more vegetables, low glycemic fruits, and healthy proteins. Ever since I started eating Paleo, I feel great. I don’t experience any bloating, sluggishness, my weight is stable, and my skin looks healthy. Excellent health comes from what we eat, how much we move, and how well hydrated we are. Just give it a try for a week and see if you feel better.
What To Do When You Don’t Want To Work?
Then don’t. Set a time frame and agree to relax for the next hour or two, and then once the time is up, you get going. It’s normal not to want to rip through the day with enthusiasm EVERY day. I would highly suggest going on a short walk to get you moving and out of your funk. Try to drink water. I try to avoid asking myself, “how am I feeling?” or “what do I want to take care of first?” If you’re in the habit of analyzing your mood, energy, or level of enthusiasm, you may want to stop doing that. When we go in at a regular job, no one is there asking if “you’re up to it today?” You get to work and push on. I promise you’ll feel most accomplished on the days when you didn’t want to, but you did! Si Se Puede!!
Do You Have A Schedule?
Another perk of working for yourself is not having a schedule. That too is a downside. It is far too easy to slip into doing the fun or easy stuff instead of what needs to get done. The beauty is that you can take an annoying project and break it down into a daily task. I have found, time and time again, that looking out a few months at a time serves me and my business well. I know that taking the plunge and starting on a project that isn’t my cup of tea is painful but gone are the days of waiting for the day or week of to complete a dreaded task. If I can break something down into bite-size pieces, it becomes less daunting.
Here is a cute printable to help you get on your way. I hope you can use it!