Put on your favorite face mask & robe…. you deserve a break! At least that’s what I tell myself because I know that I can’t be all about my business all the time and expect to be at a 100% level for my family. It’s just not possible.
Do I listen? Nope. Never. Not one bit.
Because of that, I always end up in a funk. One week I’m waking up early, killing the game, and the next week I wake up the same time as my toddler with no motivation to be active in the day. Does any of this sound familiar to you? It’s a struggle I have to live with constantly. It’s hard to find that balance between work life and family life. However despite the the struggles, I still managed to find a partial balance in my life. I say partial because I’m human. I’m going to over do it, under do it, but sometimes I’ll have my happy place of peace. Here’s what I learned from my struggles and what has helped me keep moving forward for my business.
How to move past your lack of motivation to work at home
Now if you’re a affiliate marketer, virtual assistant, or any other type of work at home freelancer… then you’ve been through your fare share of “not today“. Then it turns to a “not today” for 7 days straight and freak out about all the catchup work you’re going to do. Or is that just me? Ooops….
Honestly, the first step is to recognize that you’re going to have your days where you can’t focus. That’s okay. What’s not okay, is to let that feeling take control and cause all your hard work to diminish. So here’s my suggestion: accept your feelings, but keep track.
Remember Your Goals
In other words, keep track of your goals and the reason you started your business in the first place! You wanted to share your creativity, talents, and skills with the world because you felt that this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! That opportunity doesn’t go way even though you lose site of it sometimes. So keep pushing forward with these suggestions.
- Make a motivation board: This is perfect for your creativity to shine! Make a board of the life you want once your business is successful. Or better yet a board of how your business will help others! Put it in your room, garage, living room, or anywhere else you will see it every day.
- Keep your favorite success stories saved: I do this one personally, because I am a sucker for a good success story. I love hearing how people are able to move past their problems, despite the odds. Although what I love more, is to picture my own success story and how it will help a fellow mommy.
- Flow Chart of your 3, 5, 10 year Plan: It’s good to give yourself some realistic and tangible goals that will excite you to keep going! It also challenges you to see how you would want your business to expand later on.
- Write daily a positive affirmation about your business and the life you want: It’s so easy for us to say why we can’t do certain things and beat ourselves up about missing our goals. The hard part? It’s usually writing something positive about ourselves to ourselves. It will feel silly at first, but challenge yourself to do it every morning for 7 days.
- Set weekly small goals and reward yourself when you achieve them: Personally, my reward is usually sushi.
How to discipline yourself to work
Goals are great and all, but now it’s time to actually prioritize your work. After all goals without actions are just dreams and we want your dreams to become a reality. So let’s talk about discipline.
You need to be accountable for your work, but you also need to find your balance. No matter how many articles/stories you read, it all depends on you taking it day by day through trial and error.
Here are some ways you can battle work fatigue and still crush your goals!
Stick with a schedule
I know. I know. You’ve seen this tip a million times, but lets be honest. It’s a tip because it truly helps. Now you can do this a number of ways.
- Physical Planner: My suggestion is the Law of Attraction Planner. First of all, it’s one of those planners where you can stick it in the microwave and heat it up for no longer than 30 seconds and then all of your writings disappear! Of course you would have to use heat sensitive pens like Pilot FriXion Ball pens (which are refillable too). But more importantly, it’s undated so if you’re like me and not always consistent then there’s no worries. Also, it has tons of pages for notes, tracking habits, writing personal goals, and rewarding yourself for making your goals!
- Digital Calendar: I’m willing to guess that you never leave anywhere without your phone. So if you work better with notifications then this would be the best method for you. I simply use the calendar that comes with my Galaxy S8 and make sure to put notifications on tasks that I most likely will forget later on.
- Trello: Hello Trello! At first, I didn’t see the point of it since I already use my digital calendar and my physical planner. Yet it grew on me. I mainly learned it for my virtual assistant business, but found that I liked it better as a visual map. For my personal board I divided it into Monday-Friday for simple tasks. Then I have two other boards labeled ‘Blog’ and ‘Pinterest’ and I use those for goals and tasks I want to do in the future, but I can’t put in for this week.
- Sticky Notes: I personally do not use this method, but I wanted to put it out there. Sometimes simplicity is the best method, especially when its put somewhere it’s always seen. I added an article from Suzi from Start a Mom Blog and it talks about her method that helped countless of other moms!
Balance work life and home life
In other words, don’t just make time for your business. You need to make time for your personal life. This is going to be a struggle for most entrepreneurs, but if you’re a work at home mom like myself then you understand its a requirement.
It’s important to make time for your family to do fun activities with each other that’s outside of the house! It could be as simple as a picnic in your front yard or just a regular movie night at the theater.
You also need to make time for your spouse. I am so guilty of this! A lot of times I put my entire focus on my kiddo and then go straight to work once my hubby gets home. This is a big no no and that’s why we made it mandatory to have at least one day (well more like 2 hours…) a week to ourselves.
Also, don’t forget your friends. It’s so easy to get caught up with freelancing, but it doesn’t take a huge amount of time out of your day to call your friends during lunch to see how they are or to make plans later on.
My work from home routine
So I do a bulk schedule. I do not follow it all the time, but for the most part this is what works for me. I also only work on my business before my kiddo wakes up and after he goes to bed. Although I do go on my phone and do little bits of work if I can manage to.
- Monday: Schedule Pinterest for myself and for my clients. This is usually a relax day where I can do catch up from last week because scheduling doesn’t take too long.
- Tuesday: Make my post for my blog. My goal as of now is to just do 3 posts a month, but looking back at my older articles I think I might spruce them up before making more content.
- Wednesday: Pitching to potential clients. This is the day I’m suppose to put all my effort to finding more clients, but sometimes other matters catches my eye first……
- Thursday: Create pins for myself and my clients
- Friday: Email Marketing. The day I work on my email course, create sequences, or create pdf freebies for growing my list.
- Saturday & Sunday are for catchup on anything I missed, but it’s mainly about focusing on family.
Make work at home comfortable and fun
Now you may not have this problem, after all the reason we became freelancers is because we want to work from home. Yet sometimes it can be hard to focus because you still feel like you’re in a cubicle. Or maybe you’re in a rut and work isn’t as enjoyable anymore. Whatever the case may be, try these tips below to work around the uneasiness.
Design your own work space.
Personally, I’m not a designer or very creative. My work space is very small, and I use a art desk instead of a regular desk because we were short on money and I was too lazy to change it. I mean hey that’s just life! However, I do wish I had the motivation to spruce things up a bit and actually make my work area my own. Honestly it would be nice if my work area become aesthetically pleasing that would give me some good vibes as I start my work.
But since I’m not there yet personally, I wanted to share some of my inspiration with you.
Your office outside the house
Whether your a home body are not, it will do you good to have a change of scenery every now and then.
Of course, if you’re working out of your home with your kids then you need to choose an area that’s relatively small in order to keep an eye on them. The library is a great option since they usually have a kids area. Ours is very small, but the kids area is very nice and everyone is understanding about little kiddos making noises.
Another option is to go outside! If you have a fenced in backyard/patio that will be perfect for your kiddo and you! I usually let my son play with his water table and have a good 10-30 minutes to work on small tasks! If you don’t have a water table, you could grab a huge piece of tupperware, fill it with flour, add a beach umbrella outside (if you don’t have any shade), and watch your kiddos have the best time of their life!
Other options when you have kiddos, but need a change of scenery is to set up a play date! Talk to your mom friend and let her know that you need some time to work on your stuff and I’m sure she’d be more than understanding! Then you could either hide out in another room/outside or head out to your favorite coffee shop!
Make time for other activities
I can’t say this enough, you cannot focus all of your time on your business. You have your own life with your family and friends and they need to be a priority too.
After all, I’m willing to bet that its because of your family that you wanted to spend more time with them and freelancing had that promise of flexibility. Also most of the time when freelancers experience a lack of motivation to work, it’s because they’ve been working nonstop.
Of course as you saw from the first sentence, I still struggle with this too. Some weeks I’m just so focus on work that I get so much done, but as a result from focusing solely on that I lack in focus for my family. Then I burn out. Make up lost time with my family. Then struggle to go back to work again. So it just becomes this big mess that’s so hard to put back together.
Don’t be like me. Prioritize yourself, your family, and then your business. It takes time to find your balance, but as time goes on you’ll be able to figure out what works best for you. Then all you need to do is share your tips with the rest of us!
Talk soon, xoxoLeeza Harrington
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