As a business owner do you ever feel demotivated? Sure you love what you do, that’s why you set up in the first place – but does that passion carry you through? I can imagine the answer to this, we all feel demotivated at times. I know that I work a bit like a hare – in leaps and starts. Due to this, I have some techniques up my sleeve to keep myself on track and I would like to share them with you. Let me ask you some questions:
When do you do your best work?
I myself work best in the mornings, getting up at 5 am is my ideal as I have most of the work done by the time the kids wake; it’s my most productive time…but I appreciate it’s not for everyone. Think about when you work best, when do you find it easy to get stuff done? When you are self-employed you have the luxury of being able to plan your own diary. Think about where you might be able to block out time for you to work on your most strategic tasks at a time most beneficial to you.
How do you boost your energy levels?
When you work from home it can be so easy to sit and work all day and not move. I wear a watch that counts my steps and sometimes I can do less than 2000 a day when it’s a heavy work day. I make time for exercise every day, whether it’s a 2 minute HIIT workout or an hour’s run I find it boosts my energy levels, gives my brain a break and reinvigorates me. Getting outside is preferable for me as the (literal) change of scenery often inspires me and provides a eureka moment. It might seem luxurious or even a waste of time but for me and other business owners I have spoken to, it’s invaluable.
What distracts you?
I have spoken about the myth of multitasking before. Focusing on one thing at a time is most beneficial to your productivity. That said, I am terrible at it! My advice (from when I am least distracted) is to turn off notifications, or at least mute them. I remember my mum always telling me she didn’t know how I revised with the radio on…I found the white noise useful. So sometimes I work with the TV or radio on in the background but if I find I am spending more time watching/listening then I turn it off.
Who do you bounce ideas off?
Working by yourself, at home, can be lonely. Whilst it can be good to minimise distractions (see above), I have found having someone to talk to can help me find focus. I am someone who needs to talk – it helps me create order in the chaos of my thoughts. You might have a coach (obviously I would recommend that approach!) or you might have a mentor, colleague somewhere else or someone in your network. I love the wonderful people in Drive The Network as they are all fellow small business owners and they provide a pool of knowledge and support for me.
When did you last administer some self-care?
As someone who works in leaps, I find that long periods of productivity can leave me exhausted. To combat this I add in self-care activities each week and reward myself at the end of a project. It gives me something to look forward to – which keeps me motivated.