Get Past a Motivational Brick Wall
I run my freelance web design business from home where it’s more comfortable, cheaper and generally a lot easier to access. But with that comes distractions from my Xbox, the great British daytime TV, and my bed. The lack of communication and contact with real people can also be a downside as well. Sure it means I can get work done without their distractions but sometimes you need help, input or just a kick up the ass.
I frequently hit motivational brick walls. It’s not a design brick wall, or writer’s block, it’s just having the will power to start work. I’m not sure why it happens but sometimes I can’t bring myself to open those files and start working.
Figuring out how to get motivated in these situations can be a big issue if you’re freelance and depending on yourself, so how do you get over it? I’ve put together a little list of some best practices for getting motivated.
Make a list
Sometimes you can hit the brick wall because you literally don’t know where to start or go next. At times like this the classic bit of advice of ‘making a list’ comes in handy. Start jotting down the things that need doing and go into quite a lot of detail. By adding little five minute tasks to the list you can easily get started and feel like you are getting somewhere.
Hopefully this will get the flood gates open and you can start working at full speed again.
Get dressed and tidy yourself up
If you’re like me then when your working at home you like to feel relaxed. The problem with this is it’s hard to get into the ‘being at work’ mindset. Try swapping the sweatpants for some smarter clothes. Take a bit of time making yourself look good and presentable and then you won’t want to slouch around. You’ll look like your ready for work and that will help your mind get in the ‘being at work’ mindset.
Take a shower
Some days I wake up and everything just feels all wrong. I sit down and try to start work and nothing happens. I make a list and tidy myself up but still the day feels like it’s going nowhere. So what do you do? If only it had a reset button. Well try taking a shower. It can trick your mind into thinking that it’s the start of the day again and if anything you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed.
Work on a different or personal project
If that project your working on is getting on your nerves or just getting you down then stop fretting. Just move onto something else. Yeah you may have set aside time to work on this project or you might have a deadline approaching but if you’re not doing anything then it’s wasted time. Try moving onto a different project and see if that can get you motivated again. Spending an hour on a blog post or a t-shirt design is a good way to get you back in the mood.
Take a break and relax — properly
If all of these fail then just stop trying to work. It’s not an acceptance of failure, it’s an acknowledgement that you’re getting nothing done. Go and make a hot drink and sit down in front of the TV for an hour, or switch on your Xbox and blow off some steam on Halo. You were getting nothing done anyway so you may as well enjoy getting nothing done.
After an hour go back to your desk or office and you’ll be surprised at how much more motivated you’ll feel. Just by relaxing a bit and taking your mind of your work can help a great deal.
Now get back to work!
Having a motivational block is a stressful and potentially disastrous experience. They can last for hours and sometimes days, so if you don’t get past it, deadlines can be missed or the quality of your work could deteriorate. The key thing to remember though is to not get stressed. Try and relax and that’s half the problem gone already.
If you have any tips on getting past motivational block or have tried any of these tips let me know in the comments.