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HOW I FIND MOTIVATION IN THE SMALLEST OF THINGS
If there is one thing that I have learned from working as both a freelance writer and artist, it would be that having the motivation to get up and work is tremendously important. This is largely because I am my own boss and if I don't work then I don't make money. But of course, all of these steps can be useful for anyone looking for help in the motivation department.
Getting Ready For The Day
For people who work mostly at home, like myself, it can be almost exhilarating to put on day clothes, take a shower, or to run through a morning routine where the last step is to start to work. Now, when I say work that does not mean a traditional job necessarily, a lot of these tips are useful for getting any kind of task done, like homework or housework. For instance, sometimes I like to start my day by taking care of a good batch of dishes because it helps me gather the energy I need to move onto the next step.
Creating a morning routine could be the answer to a lot of typical productivity roadblocks because it helps you do things and move in a mindless motion at the same time. After performing habits for a long period of time, it starts to feel like an organic movement – an object in motion stays in motion. And then slowly, getting to work is as easy as making a cup of coffee. I have been changing up my mornings to find what is best for me and I have found that getting out of bed sooner works because I am moving away from my sleepy state.
To-Do Lists: Breaking Larger Projects into Smaller Ones
One of my favorite habits that I got from my mom is writing extensive lists and to-do lists, that are deeply thorough and help organize gigantic projects into smaller ones. For example, my mom breaks down her entire house into room sections, and then smaller into chores like dishes, sink, trash. Even taking this system of breaking down tasks into her grocery shopping, she uses food pyramid-style sections and lists items like noodles and bread under "grains."
Learning from such an amazing mother, I have come to master the art of outlining nearly any task that I want to do. Just as papers or this article was written with an outline to write by. I find that this process allows me to come up with a myriad of ideas, or things to do in case of to-do lists. I do not have to worry about forgetting any steps (because they are written) and then I can focus deeper into the one that I am working on.
The most fulfilling and motivating part about making lists or to-do lists is putting a check mark in the small empty box next to each step. Sometimes, when I am feeling very in-need of motivation I will make a to-do list with the smallest of tasks just to be able to write a check mark. Bored with laundry? Write it into baskets 1, 2, and 3, wash, dry, and fold. It somehow improves the chore immensely.
Creating a Comfortable Schedule and Workspace
Being a life-long night owl, I have decided that it is okay to work at strange hours. If I naturally muster more energy after the sun peaks then working during those hours is just what works for me. Luckily, I go to a school with class options later in the day and have been able to curate a schedule that operates when I do.
Finding when you have the most energy is not generally hard, but working during that time can sometimes still be a struggle. Whenever my workspace is cluttered or just all-around needs to be reorganized because life happens, I really have a hard time going near or working in to. But after I finally start cleaning up, I generally feel more motivated to either clean elsewhere or sit down and work.
In my workspace, I prefer to have as little items as I can on my desk or around it as possible. A few things that I do like to keep around are items like a big cup of differently colored pens and scissors, sticky notes, and a small art piece that my sister gave me. In addition to this, a wall full of art to stare at and inspire me with a whiteboard for ideas too large for sticky notes. A clean and clear workspace is very essential for an unwanted distraction-free zone.
Setting Up Daily and Weekly Goals
Every day, after my morning routine of teeth, puppy, food, and coffee, I sit down at my desk and say "Here's what we're going to do today … " and then start to write out my day's to-do list. "I want to get this, this, and this done today," and if one is a house chore then I generally do that first. Chores are something that no one wants to do, getting them right out of the way is the best way to start a day because then they are done.
Weekly goals are easy because items can be allocated to specific days and if they are not done, you can see where you can move it to. I like to keep free days on my weekly calendar and to do this, I have to make the others workdays. And when work comes up, either I have to do the task that day or the next workday. In cases where the next workday is full, that gives me the jump to do it then and there because I would not want to do work on a free day. It is like your boss saying, "if you do not do this now, then you will have to come in on Saturday," and no one wants that at all.
Overall, getting yourself motivated can be as easy as making a cup of coffee. Because that is just one small stop of getting a larger project as a whole finished. All four of the tips that I listed, in a very real way, are all the same step: get yourself in motion and thusly you will stay in motion.
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