Top 10 Motivation Tips for the Self Employed

April 24, 2012

Repost from the original owner's site at: http://www.tarabytedesigns.com/blog/?p=66

Top 10 Motivation Tips for the Self Employed
March 16, 2009 by: Tara Blythe

My motivation tips – As a self employed individual who works from home, it is not always easy to stay focused and motivated. Here are some tactics that I use to make sure I spend most of the day being productive instead of watching reruns of Style By Jury and surfing FaceBook (you will notice I said most of the day!).

1. I give myself a choice. For example, I really hate doing the bookkeeping, but I hate doing the dishes even more, so I say “You can either do this week’s invoicing or you can do the dishes.” The invoicing almost always gets done, and if not, at least I have clean dishes!

2. Have a deadline. I make sure I establish a realistic deadline for the completion of a specific project, or in the case of larger sites, a series of deadlines for the various stages of the project. Then I make sure the client knows about these deadlines so there is accountability. I dread the idea of letting anyone down, so if I have told someone I will have something done, I work really hard to make it happen.

3. Take a break. It is difficult when you work from home to distance yourself from the office, but it is important that you give your brain a rest. Occasionally eat lunch away from the computer. Maybe even go outside (gasp) and get some fresh air. If you are having a difficult time staying focused, a little break might be just what you need.


4. Keep working. When something is going really well, I like to keep at it while the ideas are flowing. This means ignoring the dinging of your inbox and the ringing of your phone. Much to the annoyance of my friends and some clients, I rarely answer the phone. There are several reasons for this beyond my dislike of talking on the phone. The primary reason is when I am working I don’t want to lose my focus and momentum.

5. Always know where to start. When I stop working for the day or even when I take a break, I know what I am going to do next and I write it down. That way when it is time to start working again I know what I was planning to do. Once I have begun to work, it is much easier for me to continue.

6. Get praise. Though in essence all of my clients are my boss, I really am my own boss, so there is no one directly above me to let me know when I am doing a good job. I hope that all my clients are pleased with the work I do, but sometimes in the midst of a project (before I am ready to show my ideas to the customer), it is nice to get some positive feedback. I am lucky enough to have another member in my company that I can show my work and he invariably tells me I am doing a good job. Sometimes that is the push I need to keep on working and working well. Find someone who praises you.

7. Network. Working from home can sometimes get lonely. There is no inter-office camaraderie and as great as computer social networking is, there is no replacement for actual face-to-face contact. I get out and meet with my clients and I try to attend various small business networking functions that take place in my community. In addition to giving renewed motivation it is an excellent opportunity to make valuable contacts.

8. Set aside some time to surf. Make sure you contain your searching to sites that have some connection to what you do, but I find that checking out other sites can give me inspiration and ideas.

9. Don’t feel guilty. No one can be productive 100% of the time and everyone has an off day. So if you had a day where all you did was randomly search websites that have no relevance to your business, watch Oprah and fold laundry, so be it. Just remember if you are having too many days like that, your issue isn’t about motivation.

10. Remember why you wanted to work from home. On those days where none of your clients want to pay you, your computer keeps malfunctioning, every time you set something down you lose it, you can’t find the file you were sure you saved to that folder, you hate Vista, you wish you had a 9-5 job that gave you a steady cheque… Revisit why you really do love what you do. No rush hour traffic or commute, no having to dress up if you don’t feel like it, listening to the music you like, as loud as you like, being creative… If you take a moment and a deep breath you will realize how good you really do have it.

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