Do you work from home and find that you struggle to stay focused and get things accomplished? If so, this post is for you.
I have worked from full-time since 1997. I haven’t just worked from home for a boss, I have run my own business where I am the boss.
Sounds like a dream career doesn’t it? It is and I truly love it. However, like most work-at-home folks, there is one issue that is very common and I want to address that today: self motivation.
Self Motivation & the Internet Entrepreneur
It’s very easy when working from home to have a hard time staying focused and on track. Lynn Terry over at ClickNewz.com recently blogged about Staying on Track and it’s an excellent post. I want to add my own thoughts and discuss this issue and some ways to overcome this problem.
Top Four Work Motivation Zappers
- Everyday Life
- Too Connected
- Poor Planning
- Lack of Accountability
We all have a life outside of our work, and how busy that life is with family, friends, or even illness can affect how productive and focused we are.
One good work motivation zapper is weather. Even though I work from home, I am amazed at how something like several days of cloudy rainy weather can zap my productivity.
Also, not making time to actually leave the house for days at a time, can zap my productivity and my self motivation starts to wane without me even realizing it.
- Set regular business hours and work days and stick to them
- Purpose to get out of the house a few times per week, even if it’s to walk the dog or get some fresh air. My mind clears & my focus returns when I step away from work and do other things.
- Make your family a priority, not your work. Being in the same house all day with your family is not the same as spending time with them, communicating with them and focusing your attention on them. They will then be less likely to interrupt you when you need to focus on work, if you’ve set aside time to focus on them.
- Exercise. Yeah, I know not fun and exciting, but very important. I highly recommend Fat Loss Quickie’s Home Office Workouts. Quick, easy and doable for even the busiest of internet entrepreneurs. Exercise is another great way to clear your mind and keep your physically fit – which in turn helps your immune system and cuts down on days when you feel sluggish and ‘blah’.
Social media is a great thing, we have email, Facebook, Twitter, message forums, blogs to read, etc…. But these things are distractions when you need to be focused on work.
- Turn it all off and disconnect from social media during focused work time.
- Schedule time every day to check email, tweet, etc… Set a timer if needed, but when your allotted social time is over, turn off the phone, close out the email and social media applications and focus on work.
All of the above requires planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail. In order to stay on track, you need to know where you’re headed, what you need to get done and plan time to do it.
- You need a daily to-do list where you list what you need to accomplish that day and then prioritize your list so that you have the top 3-5 things that must be done that day at the top.
- Make a new to-do list every day, focusing on any uncompleted tasks from the day before first, then moving on to new tasks.
- Know your overall objective. This is part of your business plan and goals. You need to know where you’re headed, to know what activities each day will take you closer to your overall goal.
Lack of Accountability
No successful business is run by only one person. When we isolate ourselves in our home offices, trying to be “Lone Ranger” entrepreneurs, we are in a bubble void of feedback and accountability. Our productivity, and even our creativity can suffer, this is why accountability is so important.
- Join a mastermind group. This is one of the best things I’ve done for my business. Not only is it great for accountability, self motivation and brainstorming business idea, but it’s also a great resource for products and services I need as a small business owner.
- Join offline networking groups. Different from a mastermind group in that networking groups are often larger and not quite as laser focused on helping individual business owners work through business issues or holding them accountable for staying on track toward goals. However, still good as it’s a great place to find a smaller mastermind group or accountability partner.
- Accountability partner. This is an individual to whom you regularly stay in contact with who will hold you accountable to reach your personal goals and stay focused and on track. This needs to be someone who is not an ‘enabler’, but someone who is willing to tell you when you’re goofing off and need to get back on track.
Being an internet entrepreneur requires discipline and self motivation, but it can be done successfully. Hopefully the above solutions will help you achieve your goals.
To YOUR Success,
P.S. What is your biggest work motivation zapper?