Self-motivation techniques for the self employed

The only reason I wrote this blog post is that this week I had to remind myself this week of my own self-motivation techniques. It sounds obvious typing this but when I’m feeling a bit unmotivated the first thing I do is work out my schedule for my clients.  If I can I make sure I give myself some buffer space so that if I am working slower than my standard speed then I have a bit of wiggle room. I also make sure I take a bit of extra care managing their expectations – just to give myself some peace of mind.

And finally, and most importantly if all I get done that day is my client work then that’s a successful day and I make sure I congratulate myself – even if it is in a small way.

Pomodoro

I discovered this way of working during the pandemic and I love it. 

There are different approaches but I use a 25minute timer to focus on a specific task and then I take a 5-minute break. There are loads of apps or tools which you already use which have this as an option. If not then there are a few free apps you can download on your phone.

In my breaks, I get away from the desk so I move about and get some rest from the screen. My activities vary from a burst of housework, some star jumps and just today I did some disco dancing.

Procrastination

I discovered this way of working during the pandemic and I love it. 

There are different approaches but I use a 25minute timer to focus on a specific task and then I take a 5-minute break. There are loads of apps or tools which you already use which have this as an option. If not then there are a few free apps you can download on your phone.

During my breaks, I get away from the desk so I move about and get some rest from the screen. My activities vary from a burst of housework, some star jumps and just today I did some disco dancing.

Bribe yourself

It turns out we are quite similar to dogs and will perform tricks for treats.  

There has been a fair amount of research into what works best in this situation. Apparently, it works best if:

  • the treat is roughly the same as the size of the task,
  • it is only allowed after you’ve finished,
  • the reward should be fun (not a domestic chore). 
  • Finally, it’s at the end of my list for a reason – don’t do it too often as the bribery becomes a form of procrastination in itself! 

Today I was listening to “Gotta get up” by Harry Nilsson

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