Author: Veronica Grosek
This week has flown by for some, and dragged on for others – if you are in the latter category, here are a few quick best practices I’ve collected over the years for maintaining motivation:
- Do the Worst, First. Take a moment, and think to yourself, “What are the things that I am dreading the most today?” Maybe you have to say “no” to someone that asked a favor, make a difficult apology, or own up to a mistake. Whatever it is, resolve to do it first thing in the morning, every morning. You will avoid so much stress and be more productive for the rest of the day, week, and year.
- Select Your Daily Top 5. Each day, I take a minute to select my top five tasks that I want to accomplish more than anything else that day. I say to myself, “if I am only able to accomplish five things today, I want those things to be…” This helps eliminate stress caused by a never-ending to-do list, and keeps me motivated!
- Schedule Your Day. We’ve heard it a million times already, but the principle is a good one: Set alarms on your phone or calendar to help you start your day on time, take breaks when needed, and end your day on time. Sticking to a strict schedule helps us clear our minds from work once the alarm goes off at the end of the day and eliminates the guilt of not checking emails, etc. after hours. If you fall into the trap of working all hours because your work station is three feet from your bed or sofa, you’ll lose productivity over time.
- Reward Yourself. This is a big one! Keep a stash of your favorite treat, make a cup of coffee or tea, or give yourself a few minutes of TV time when you finish that big project on your to-do list. Working towards a small reward keeps us motivated.
- Make Time for Vision. Allow yourself some time each day to ponder a larger vision. If we are only focusing on the small tasks that need to be done each day, we may miss the opportunity to start a new initiative for the greater good simply because we don’t allow ourselves time to think of new ideas.
- Accept the Chaos. Some people love chaos, and some despise the uncertainty that comes with it. Whatever the case is, try to accept it – chances are, there’s not much you can do about it if it’s founded externally. Accept the situation and brainstorm ways you can contribute to a solution or even spin it in a positive way.
- Create an Inspiring Environment. I never feel productive or inspired when I am surrounded by clutter or just a boring environment. Take some time to create a space that is visually appealing – clean it up, add some houseplants or artwork, maybe even paint the walls and pick out some new furniture (check out one of my favorite spaces, here!). Make a space that you want to be in every day, and dedicate that space solely to your work.
- Embrace Distractions. Wait… what? Yes! Distractions are almost inevitable, especially if you find yourself working from home. If there’s something that you just can’t quite get out of your head – washing those dishes, running to grab that cup of espresso – just go do it! The sooner you embrace the distraction, the sooner you can get back to business with a clear head.
I hope you take some of these ideas and try them out during the next week – if you find something you particularly like or have a tried-and-true system of your own, let us know! After all, being part of the Chamber is about connecting people, businesses, and ideas for the greater good.
Sturgis Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau