The irony of writing a blog about motivation today is quite high. I’m going to meet Nicole and Sara for lunch in about an hour (#TacoTuesday) so I don’t have a lot of time to write something but it’s a pretty busy week so I need to get it done. I’ve carved out half an hour of time to get something down before I go and be productive in other ways (like taking out the compost). So that is motivating although not usually the way I like to get motivated to do my work.
When I first started thinking about leaving my job and working from home, I envisioned myself being insanely productive. I was going to get so much done every day and run a lot and read a lot and catch up on TV I haven’t had time for and clean out my closets and man it was going to be awesome. Most of that has not happened. Not only did I have more work than I thought I did (and get more work-woot!), but it has been quite challenging for me to sit down and crank out a good day’s work every day. The TV is just right there (damn you Netflix!), I can always do it tomorrow, I make my own schedule! It’s not that important….or something.
Some days are better than others. I got a ton of work done yesterday and that was great. I know I can work for long hours, I’ve done it before. I think, ironically, I just need to have a lot of work with upcoming deadlines to motivate me to get it all done. That seems a bit bass-ackwards doesn’t it? I am organized and hard working but sometimes its all I can do to stay at my desk for more than two hours.
I have a lot of different tricks that I try to keep me working. One of the reasons I worked a lot yesterday is because I only have four days this week to get work done before Whale Tales heads to Tofino for Whale Fest. I also had my schedule change and free up a lot of this week, so I was given the gift of more time and I decided to use it for good instead of evil (I’m looking at you old TV shows I’ve watched 7 million times).
I will say that it is only Tuesday but so far things are looking ok? I’ve sketched out a pretty realistic schedule for the week and that definitely helps. To do lists are your friends (well at least they are mine) but the past two months has definitely taught me to be more realistic with the planning. And that is not (entirely) because I don’t want to work hard all day but because things actually do take a long time. And other stuff will come up. I luckily have had quite a few calls about job interviews and that can definitely throw off your schedule, especially if you have to drop everything and prep for an interview that day. So baby steps. Getting lots of small things done like responding to emails or putting the laundry away also makes me feel good and productive so putting the easy things at the top of the list are a great gateway into getting the more time-consuming activities finished. Or at least started.
I also work on trying to minimize distractions. Yesterday worked well because I made a giant pot of tea so I could just get up and pour more instead of boiling more water and standing around waiting for it and letting my brain wander far far away. The internet, of course, is a great and wonderous distraction and when you work on social media for a living it can be really tough to stay focused. I know there are a lot of remote work tools which block sites at certain times etc but I’ve never delved into them as I assume they block social media sites which would just make them a cow’s opinion for me.
So it’s all up to me. I’ve tried hiding my phone but inevitably I will need to it to check a twitter account or set a reminder. And more often than not I open twitter to follow someone from an account, and instead check my personal twitter feed and forget entirely what I was doing in the first place. Bad Lindsay! But the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I’ve got a pretty tight schedule for the rest of March so hopefully that will motivate me enough to get the work I need to do done. And hey, the ferry has infamously bad wifi so at least I can use that time to write more blogs right? Right???? That decision is up to future Lindsay. But at least I wrote this one. And now, tacos!