You may be familiar with the fable that involves a farmer dangling a carrot in front of a donkey in order to motivate the donkey to work. When you work from home, there isn’t anyone standing over your shoulder to motivate you. You are the boss and the employee. You have to motivate yourself to get the work done.
To find your motivation, think about why you wanted to work from home in the first place. Perhaps you wanted to spend more time with your family or maybe you needed a flexible schedule. Take some time and think about your “why”. Write it down and keep the paper near your work space. Whenever you start to doubt your decision, read over your “why”; you will find instant motivation.
Working from home can be lonesome, especially if you are used to working in a large corporate environment and having lots of interaction with co-workers. The internet can be a great place to network with other people working from home. You can meet other people that work from home through message boards and forums.
Once you meet a few like-minded people, form an accountability group with each other. You can meet weekly in a chat room or on a conference call and discuss your goals, the things you achieved, and the things you didn’t. You can offer each other congratulations when things are going great and solutions when problems come up. You can also offer each other weekly challenges; and that friendly competition can offer some great motivation.
Just because you don’t have anyone to dangle carrots in front of you doesn’t mean you can’t do it for yourself. Take the time to write out some goals and choose some appropriate rewards for each one. Once you have achieved the goal, you can have the reward. This can be as simple as giving yourself a night off from cooking and ordering in pizza once you have written and submitted your first press release.
If you choose, you can get creative and write out your goals on poster board and paste pictures of the rewards next to them. This will be a constant visual reminder of what you need to achieve, and seeing the rewards attached to them will be a great motivator. Plus, anyone else who sees this will be able to keep track of your progress. They will know if you are accomplishing your goals and that can also serve as a source of motivation.
Whether or not you choose to put them on a poster board, you should have a way to keep track of your progress. Whenever you feel stressed or unmotivated, take a look back at all the things you have accomplished. You will remember the struggles you went through and the feeling of joy as you finished what you set out to accomplish. This is a great confidence booster, and will leave you feeling ready to tackle your next goal.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.