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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Three Insanely Motivational Podcasts that Will Change Your Life

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I have this serious thing with sarcasm, wit, and intelligence. A good mixture of all three really brings me such joy and entertainment, and I find it applies to every aspect of my life. I don’t particularly care to spend time with people who don’t appreciate all three – not that there’s anything wrong with people who don’t care for the same things as I. If you’re a little sarcastic, very witty, and you’re smart – you’re my people.

And that applies to everything, especially when it comes to my self-development. This year has really been a year of self-development and growth for me. I’m taking the business I’ve grown over the past 9 years and expanding it into territories that make me nervous (my personal blog and openness with the world, for instance), growing my client base even though I don’t have the time for that, and really taking things even bigger and better than they are; at least, that’s the plan.

One thing I made the decision to do this year is focus on personal development. It occurred to me that all the little people in my house are all growing, and growing with them is something I really wanted to try. More focused time with the kids. More personal time with my husband. More free time to make spontaneous decisions. More deliberate choices so we aren’t missing out on the things we really want to do with our lives.

Personal growth – for me – has certainly meant spending more time with God, saying extra prayers, and really putting a focus on myself. What don’t I like about me? What can I change about myself to grow and set a better example for my kids? If I were to meet me tomorrow, what would I think of myself? Overall, I like me – I mean, shouldn’t we all like ourselves? But there are a few minor tweaks I’d like to make, and I’ve been working on those this year.

That said, I’ve found spending time with me each day has been imperative to that change. I can’t do it alone – and things like yoga, quiet time, and listening to some serious killer (hashtag) bossbabes and women I really find inspirational, powerful, and kick-ass have all been so good to me this year.

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I’ve finally learned about the Podcast. It’s nothing new – but it’s new to me. I’ve been listening for a few months to a few podcasts, and I’m loving them. Listen, I get to laugh, learn, and listen, and I always leave a podcast with a new sense of inspiration, motivation, and purpose – and I love that.

Also, it helps to throw in my earbuds in the car to drown out the endless, insufferable, torturous sounds of Anna and Elsa and Olaf and Kristoff, and that irritating little bastard Prince Hans. I mean, the movie is spectacularly adorable, but listening to it play on a loop in my car for the past 700 years will be the death of me.

If you are dying for something new and witty and sarcastic and straight intelligent to listen to in order to drown out the sounds of torturous children’s movies grow personally, let me recommend my favorite podcasts. You won’t find better.

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Becoming Fearless Podcast – Style Collective by Annie Spano

This is my favorite to date. Annie is so open, so much like me in terms of her Type-A, plan it out, think it through, and work hard to make it happen kind of personality. She interviews some of the most inspirational and amazing women imaginable. They’re from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, and different educational paths, thoughts, and insights – and they’re all total badasses. You can’t help but listen and leave inspired.

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Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast – by Lauryn Evarts Bosstick

Lauryn is so unapologetically herself. She wants what she wants, and she’s not afraid to get it. She’s fab, and I love her podcast. She and her husband talk to guests, they talk to one another, and they have so much insight into the world of business and motivation, and their repartee is always entertaining. There is always something to take away from every podcast episode – but it’s not always what you assume you’ll take away.

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She Did it Her Way – by Amanda Boleyn 

This is such a good podcast for anyone who is looking for inspiration and motivation. Each of the guests is able to provide a unique outlook on the world of entrepreneurship and business, and the lessons you take from each episode are so unique, yet they apply to every aspect of your own life. How can you even beat that?

What are you listening to, reading, or using to develop your own personal growth and mindset this year? I’d love to hear some recommendations!

Motivation Monday: My 5 Favorite Quotes and Verses

It’s Monday, which means most people feel unmotivated – but not I. I love a good Monday. It’s a cliché, but it’s really a fresh start. It’s also the day after my rest day, which means I usually feel full and content and happy. Sundays are family days for us. It’s the day we attempt to plan nothing but church, the day we conquer as a family, and it’s a sweet, slow, special day.

I need more Sundays in my life.

But Monday isn’t so bad. It’s true that when you love what you do, you never have a problem with Monday. I love that quote, which brings me to the point of today’s post: Motivation and Inspiration. I’m a big fan of both.

I need a pick-me-up sometimes, and I find that a good bible verse or quote is often all I need to motivate me to work harder and smarter or inspire me to try something new. I have a new favorite quote or saying almost every day depending on my mood, and I thought I’d share some hashtag motivational Monday with you all today to get you through the rest of your days and into the week.

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Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

  • Leonardo da Vinci

Whether it’s at home, in life, in my career, with my kids, with my marriage; I like simplicity. I love this quote because it’s a wonderful reminder that too much is, well, too much – and that making life more complicated is pointless. I like simplicity.

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still

  • Exodus 14:14

Sometimes when life is overwhelming for me, I call upon this verse to remind me that I need rest. I allow myself to always overdo it, to stress myself out. I overbook, I over plan, and I over commit myself so often that it’s not uncommon for me to cry in frustration to my husband about why I never have time, why I’m always so stressed, and why I’m never rested. He reminds me of this verse, and it’s been the catalyst that’s changed my life in 2017.

At the beginning of the year I said I’d take this to heart: I need only be still. This, to me, says I need to rest so God can work for me. He can restore my soul, my heart, and my faith if I only rest. This was the verse that led me to make the decision that I’d go into this year not making plans every single weekend, not committing myself to things all the time, and that I’d take time to do what is well within my own soul. It’s been so nice to be less busy, to be less overbooked, and to have more freedom to make decisions that apply to what we need in the moment rather than what we planned months ago. I’m learning how to balance it all, but it’s rest I’ve so desperately needed – and this verse served as my reminder.

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Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

So many of us worry so much about the opinion of others, we forget to be ourselves. You know what I’ve learned in almost 9 years and tens of thousands of published articles for my clients and on my newly created blog? I’ve learned that I can be perfect, polite, mean, horrible, judgmental, kind, honest, or straight up and I will never please everyone. It’s just easier to be myself in all aspects of life than it is to worry about what everyone else thinks since someone is always going to dislike me for whatever reason. The good news is that I no longer care, and that’s made being myself so much sweeter.

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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

When I first began writing and the emails began to roll in, I had no idea just how mean people are. I’ve been called every name in the book, threatened, spoken down to, and so many hurtful things have been said to me by people I’ve never even met. There was a time I’d read each and every email that came through, and I’d feel horrible. That’s when I remembered people can think what they’d like, but it’s me who gives them permission to make me feel poorly about myself. When I take the time to remind myself I’m successful, driven, and passionate about my life, no one can make me feel inferior.

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Faith: It does not make things easy, it makes them possible

  • Luke 1:37

Ah, my favorite verse. Faith is a beautiful thing, and it’s been there for me when times were very, very tough. When my husband and I were trying to have our second baby and ended up having two miscarriages instead – one on Mother’s Day – this was the verse I read over and over and over again for mothers.

I was terrified my faith was wavering with the loss of those babies, and the hits just kept coming with the second miscarriage followed by an immediate pregnancy we didn’t want at that point because it was too soon and we were too terrified it would end badly. I bled. A lot. I spent a lot of time in the hospital being tested as I bled through that pregnancy following those miscarriages. We were told our sweet baby girl had a echogenic intracardiac focus and we should prepare ourselves to make a tough choice if further testing proved this spot of calcium in her heart was Downs Syndrome.

It was the most trying, most devastating time, and it tested every ounce of my faith. This verse – it’s everything. Hold on to this one. Because it’s true – faith doesn’t make life easy, but it does make everything in life possible.

What are your favorite quotes or verses? I’d love to hear a few!