Attending college online while being a stay-at-home mom, moving to three different states and running a house (and now, planning our dream vacation!) certainly comes with its challenges. I need to be self-motivated and organize my day or nothing is getting done. It’s also very easy to get distracted by all the things that need taken care of around the house like organizing, cleaning, decorating; and things I’d rather be doing like playing with the kids, being outdoors, or online shopping (my kryptonite).
With all of these distractions and a full to-do list, it’s easy to lose motivation to sit still and get school or work done, but when I have an assignment due or tons of reading ahead of me I use a few strategies to break the distraction and find the motivation to get the job done. So here it is, a list of the 5 ways to find motivation to get the job done!
Take care of your surroundings.
Before I sit down to do my school or work, I try to make sure there aren’t any big issues that need addressed, like a grumbling stomach, a child that needs attention, or a big mess of milk spilled all over my hardwood floors. When physical needs and big messes are not taken care of, it’s hard to get your mind off of them. Before your scheduled work time begins, try to get as much taken care of as possible that way you are able to focus on your work and can stay motivated to do it. Or, if you’re like me and never feel like everything is completely finished around the house, set a point in your mind where you are able to feel comfortable with the way things are, that way you can turn your attention to your work. Bonus – after you complete one task you’re quite likely to get a boost of motivation to complete another! Give it a try! However, if your house and life are sorted and you’re still not finding the motivation to sit down and get the job done…
Take a break and get outdoors!
It’s amazing how refreshing and resetting just getting outside for 10 or 20 minutes can be. If it’s sunny and warm out, well that’s even better medicine! Take a walk or enjoy your coffee al fresco, get out of your work bubble and into nature. I find that taking a walk (or any exercise, really) helps give my creativity a boost. After taking a quick break – not one so long that you’re completely de-motivated to do anything for the rest of the day…
Focus on one portion at a time.
It’s time to get to work, and at the beginning of a large project like the ones I do every 8 weeks for my college courses it can really seem like a long, daunting ordeal. Instead of focusing on the project as a whole, I take the first portion and focus on it alone. I do this after I’ve thoroughly read over and understand the requirements for the project, and have mentally broken down what the first part is asking for and what I need to include in it. Once I complete one portion, I do the same mental process for the next, making sure to tie them together of course. Every time I move on to a new section, I feel SO much more motivated to go on because I can see it coming together, and since I’ve focused on one portion at a time I’ve been able to make sure the work is quality. Taking the project in small bites just makes the whole thing seem much less scary. Now, if you’re feeling like you’re losing steam at this point…
Remind yourself of the “prize” at the end.
For me, GRADUATION! But even more near is our dream vacation! Give yourself something to look forward to once the job is done. For you, maybe it’s a promotion, a shining performance evaluation, or simply the satisfaction of proving to yourself that you are capable of completing that job! Nothing is more motivating than knowing that all the work you’re putting into something will someday (hopefully soon) pay off!
Lastly, there are days where not even the thought of graduation and starting a new exciting career can motivate me to get my work done. This is when I pull out the big guns and treat myself! My favorite treat to motivate me is Starbucks! If else fails, I run out to Starbucks, get a caramel macchiato and sip on my treat while I work. And this my friends, is my favorite method of motivation to get the job done!