Organized Chaos: Tips for Staying Motivated When You’re Just Not Feeling It

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Motivation isn’t easy to keep, y’all. This is a tough week, too. Thanksgiving is two days away, we all have things to do, people to see, activities to enjoy –  kids home from school. But then there are people like me who take on a new client and a new contract at the beginning of holiday week, and only then remember there are only so many hours in the day this time of year.

But it’s all good. I’m nothing if not motivated. To be honest, I’m not always motivated. But I’ve come to learn a few tricks that help me find my motivation when it’s just not here. As the week progresses and we all get a little bit more frantic trying to find time to do it all (and it’s totally okay if we can’t always do it all, ladies), I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways to stay motivated and get shit things done.

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Get Organized

Organized Chaos is my middle name. I have four kids, a business to run, and I work out of my home office (that I’ve been sharing with my husband since he began working from home a year and-a-half ago). The only way to make it work is to be organized. If things in my life aren’t organized, I can’t concentrate. If you’re feeling the pressure, organize not only your physical space but also your thoughts. It’s amazing how much motivation you find when you’re organized.

Create a Schedule (And Stick To It)

The best way to find the motivation you need everyday is to have a schedule. Create one that works for you. For me, it’s working early. I’m highly motivated in the morning, but not so much as the day progresses. I wake up at 5 am and I’m sitting at my desk no later than 6. I get in two solid hours of work before I have to get up and take my kids to school, and that helps motivate me for the rest of the day. Create a schedule that works for you, and you’ll feel how well it motivates you.

Create a To-Do List

I need a tangible reminder of all I have to do in a given day, so I write it down. When I’m feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated, I add to the list. Well, that sounds counterproductive, you say. No, no; I add little things I’ve already done to the list so I can cross them off. Believe me, when I add things like “Pee, brush teeth, shower, drive kids to school, drink coffee, eat, drink water, breathe,” and cross them off, it tricks my mind into thinking I’ve been a lot more productive – and it motivates me to get more things crossed off. Tricky, right?

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Work Out

If you want motivation, push yourself. What’s that saying? Great things never came from comfort zones? It’s true. I find myself motivated after a quick trip to the gym, a yoga class, or even a walk around my neighborhood. My blood is pumping, my mind is running, and I’m motivated. Work out. It helps you – in more ways than one.

Take A Break

I’m not always motivated, and sometimes I just need a break. When I start to feel restless or like I’m taking too much time to do any one thing, I walk away. I get up, take a walk, read for a bit, take a cup of coffee onto the deck, take a quick shower to relax, or I just do stuff around the house. Sometimes your body just needs a break from what you’re doing. It’ll tell you. Just listen to it.

Set Some Goals

What do I do, precisely? I get that a lot. People don’t really understand (or care to understand since it’s not a “traditional” career, perhaps) what I do for a living. To sum it up; I write. To break it down, I write for other people for hire. Clients contact me if they want a blog post written for their blog. I work with companies across the country writing their landing pages, their service pages, their company blog posts, their website content.

For example, do you have a dentist? Go to their website and look up their services pages. It’ll tell you what kind of work they do, what it means, how it works, what you should do, etc. That’s the kind of stuff I write for law offices, dental offices, medical facilities, insurance companies, landscape design companies, you name it, I write it.

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So I set goals each day. I have deadlines every day of the week, and I break them down to make them manageable. I create a list of what needs to be done, how many words I need to write each day (typically 10,000 to 15,000 words each day) and I break them down into chunks. These are smaller goals. I have a small goal I like to meet before taking the kids to school. Another before yoga class, another before lunch. And I like to finish before I pick the kids up from school – because I’m not usually home from dance, gymnastics, and all that fun stuff until it’s time for dinner, baths, and bed; and then I’m wiped out.

Organized chaos is a thing. It’s my thing; and it’s how I stay motivated during the day to get things done. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize it’s much easier to stay motivated when you implement a few simple rules into your own life. Trust me when I say working from home is not for everyone; you must be a naturally highly-motivated person who wants to succeed and has no problem working hard to make that happen – but it’s all right to have days when your motivation is less than stellar. You can fix it.

{Photos Credit: Her Creative Studio}

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