Juggling our work and home life can weigh heavily on us all, especially when something happens in our personal life that demands our full attention. As highlighted in a recent conversation in our WOBS Facebook group, when a family member becomes unwell, a relationship is struggling or someone needs your support – you can guarantee it will happen just as you’re trying to finish an urgent order or clear the existing backlog you’ve already accumulated – meaning a drain on your time and your energy levels.
But it isn’t just unexpected emergencies that can drain your motivation and energy. Having a huge ‘to-do’ list or dealing with lots of ‘have to do’s’ can have the same debilitating effect. Giving all of your energy and attention to any one area of your life can leave you feeling drained and demotivated. You know you need to get back into the swing of things – especially when work is involved, but instead, you find yourself generally avoiding it all – making the backlog worse and the urgent order even more urgent!
So how exactly can you increase your motivation when life gets in the way? Here are ten top tips to kick-start your motivation and help you get you over life’s hurdles.
- Just breathe
Allow yourself the time to sit and focus on your breathing. Feel whatever emotion you’re feeling and acknowledge it. With every out breath, imagine that emotion calming and being exhaled out of your body.
- Take a break
Walk away for a short break. If you can get outside, that’s even better. Give yourself space to gather your thoughts and calm yourself.
- Change the energy in the room
- Give yourself time to refocus
Allow yourself a limited amount of time to focus on something mundane, such as washing up, laundry or filing papers. This gives your brain time to switch focus and for you to get centred.
- Make sure you’re not using the situation as a beating stick
When things get too much or our lives get hectic, it can be all too easy to use this time to beat yourself up. Whether you’re reproaching yourself, belittling yourself or slating your self-worth – stop!
- Get clear on what needs doing
Prioritise those outstanding jobs and if needed, break them down into smaller tasks. You want them as small and manageable as possible.
- Pick the least daunting task first
Go easy on yourself and start with the easiest or least daunting task on your list.
Spend a couple of minutes visualising the completion of the task at hand. Imagine how it will feel to have it completed, feel the weight falling away from your shoulders and breath a huge sigh of relief.
- Chunk your time
Start with a 15-minute time chunk, switch off any distractions, set a timer and focus on only one task during that time slot. Once your 15 minutes is up, you’ll feel like you’ve made progress – so go with that feeling, reset the timer for other an15 minutes and get started on the next time slot.
- Reward yourself
It’s important that you celebrate your achievements – whether that’s your first 15-minute time slot or the completion of a task on your ‘to-do’ list. Your reward doesn’t have to be huge, but it does have to happen.
Remember, you need to look after yourself too. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day, to keep yourself hydrated and alert. You may also find it helpful to have peppermint oil or fresh lemons in the room, as their scent can help improve your focus and concentration.
Finally, if all else fails, remind yourself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other… you’ll be heading in the right direction and moving forward towards a less stressful time.
Our WOBS members use our Facebook group as a major part of their support and advice networks – and you too, can benefit from that help and support, by taking out a free one-month trial. Find out more & get your first month free.
Images © Marek, Ivan Kruk & Les Cunliffe/Dollar Photo Club