If you write, work, design, or create from home in any capacity, keeping productivity up can be a challenge. Not everyone is born self-motivated. But in order to turn your personal work into a career, it is necessary to keep pace with the ideal.
In a recent interview with the operator of one of the internet’s best finance blogs, he gave us his 3 tips for staying on task and building your business.
I haven’t always been an incredibly motivated person. When I used to work for other people, I found my motivation in deadlines. When I would see a deadline looming, I’d find a sudden urge to work, do my best, and turn in an incredible result in no time.
When I started my own business, for awhile, I didn’t have a whole lot of clients. Starting my blog, I had a lot of content that I was putting into place that not a lot of people were seeing.
As I expanded my business, I started getting clients for other services, and that’s when it happened. As soon as I had to get people a really good result in a short amount of time, I started being extremely motivated.
Having someone out in the ether somewhere, usually someone I haven’t met, who expects something of me is a huge motivating factor, even higher than the motivation to make money and build my business. So I would recommend this to other people:
Get clients. Get too many clients.
It may be a struggle sometimes, but it might just force you to rise to the occasion, to keep up a pace that you didn’t dream possible. Do this long enough, and you’ll build your business to the point you might not have dreamed possible.
2. Invest in Real Life
By making big real world commitments, you force yourself to work hard in your career. I don’t have kids, but I have heard from fathers that kids at home are a motivating force like no other.
In buying my house and deepening my relationship with my girlfriend and my Betterment account, I’ve had to get a lot more serious about life in general. Some people put-off these commitments, waiting for the money to come in so they can “provide” without any fear of failure.
In my opinion, fear of failure is one of the greatest assets you can have in all your work. It keeps you pressing forward, looking for opportunities, trying to find an edge. This is sort of the same thing as the first piece of advice but, again, overcommit. You’ll get more out of yourself than you ever thought possible.
3. Use Your Downtime Wisely
I put in long hours to the things I do for work. For this reason, my brain spends a lot of time in one mode.
Sometimes when I get done with a long day, I just want to sack out at my house. But I’ve found the best way to rejuvenate myself is to do the opposite of what I spend my days doing.
Having an active social life, specific hobbies, and time for reading and listening to music are things that have become very important to me. By doing these things, I get to turn off my work brain and let it rest, while I exercise the parts of my mind that build my inspiration and energy.
Live a balanced life, and your work will improve.
There are a bunch of other ways to get the most out of your work, to build your business, and to become a more disciplined person. But these were the three most important methods for me, personally. I hope you dig deep and surprise yourself with what you are capable of.