Need some help to feel motivated? We’ve all been there! Whether it’s in life, work, weightloss or anything else, we all have moments where we feel like we’re sinking and we lose motivation!
As you may be aware if you follow my instagram or twitter, I’ve been away with our daughter for nearly a month, in Italy. We are lucky to have family retired there who are more than happy to have us for lengthy visits each summer. It means we can have a holiday, but also just live out there, work remotely and have support with childcare. It really is a lovely situation and since going freelance and since hubby started his own agency, we try to maximise the flexible-working.
Before the holiday
Before we left in June, I was maxed-out, mentally! Our little one has never slept through the night more than two nights in a row and she’s nearly two, so we’re always sleep deprived. We were six months into a total home renovation (The House Project) and it felt like it was never going to be finished and we were 3 months into selling our old home. That, teamed with running our own businesses and bringing up a toddler, meant that we were both burned-out. Exhausted.
Help Feel Motivated
A change of scenery
I was getting at my wits end with having builders in our home everyday. Having to wake up early, get the little one out of the house before 8am and not just being able to settle-in and unpack properly. Don’t get me wrong, our builders were amazing and very competent, but the last stage really dragged-out for a number of reasons and we had to move in before everything was finished. Let’s just say I was ready to have our home back and not see another builder for a while!
Running this blog, WeBlogMCR and launching The Northern Blog Awards was also keeping me very very busy and in demand. A great place to be, but also a scary one if I’m honest. I was worried that my three “office days” just weren’t enough to get everything done, but I couldn’t justify the expense of putting our daughter into nursery for another day and in honesty, I just don’t want to. It’s important to me to still have two days a week with her and I’m not ready to give that up. I took on a freelance client based in the US, which maxed me out totally and that relationship just didn’t work out and unfortunately they weren’t quite what they said they were, which was something else to add to the mounting stress.
So let’s just say, I was ready for a break and ready for a change of scenery. I was feeling tired and on edge and things were starting to feel like they were becoming impossible. This is not a good feeling and usually means it’s time for something to change and for a break.
So our 3.5 week trip to Tuscany was well timed. Very well timed.
The amazing thing a change of scenery does is re-focus the mind. It gives you space to breathe. I spent the first week on holiday with the family (just managing a bit of social for my businesses here and there). This was our week to unwind, to sleep, to eat, to drink, to soak up some vital vitamin D in the sun.
Then hubby flew back home to the office for a week and I made the most of having the grandparents willing and ready to look after the little lady. I’d spend the mornings working whilst they looked after her, break for lunch and a couple of hours by the pool, then do another few hours of work. The beauty of freelancing. There are worse ways to work!
Then for the final 10 days, I tried to mix work with holiday and the temptation was to just turn off my phone and truly have a holiday. But although freelancing enables amazing opportunities like working remotely from Tuscany, it also means you can never really stop. Those of you that run your own business know that it’s all down to you, so you can’t really just switch-off and expect it all to run for you. Well I can’t yet anyway. So I found a routine that enabled me to nail the important bits on my to-do list, but also enjoy afternoons out in Tuscany and days in the swimming pool with the little lady.
Being away, in a different country, in a different headspace really gave me the space I needed to think about my freelancing and my businesses and where I wanted to and need to take my projects. I felt back on top of my game and for the first time in months, could see where it was all going.
Luckily, I have an incredibly supportive husband, who champions what I do with WeBlogMCR and The Northern Blog Awards and after a good chat with him, I felt re-energised and on-track for the rest of the year. So now, I’m getting all my ducks in a row, getting organised, making to-do lists and having meetings. All with a renewed sense of direction and vigor.
My 5 Tips to Help Feel Motivated…
If like me, you get to a point where you feel like everything is getting on top of you, you’re juggling too many balls, you’re doing too much and not actually getting anywhere. If your to-do list only gets longer, never shorter and if you’re tired and on edge. Then it’s time to stop, take a deep breath and reassess the situation.
Here’s 5 tips that I’ve found have helped me in times like these:
WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR ME TALKING THROUGH EACH STEP IN MORE DETAIL…
1. Get away. It doesn’t have to be 3.5 weeks in another country. It could be a weekend, or even just an afternoon. But get away. Go somewhere different, with space, with fresh-air. Go with someone if you want to, but make sure you have at least some time totally to yourself, particularly if you have kids. You really do need some space, somewhere new, by yourself, to clear your head and unwind.
2. Do something for you. Like swimming or sunbathing? Do it. Want to just lie in bed reading trashy magazines? Do it. Like visiting art galleries or musuems or getting lost on a walk? Do it. Shopping, nails, meditation, exercise…whatever it is, do something that is all about you.
3. Visualise your goals. Everyone has their own techniques for this part and there are professionals who can help you do this too. But I find, sitting down with a pen and paper and drawing some mind-maps or bullet-lists, is a great way for me to map out my goals and help me visualise where things are going. Step back, look at things from the outside and draw it all out. It’s cathartic.
4. Digital detox. Try, even for just one day, to turn off your phone and stay off social media. Don’t check your emails. Being constantly bombarded and “in touch” with people adds to the sense of feeling overwhelmed. It adds to the feeling that there’s just too much to do and too many people to get back to. That’s not a nice feeling. So have a bit of a break from it – it’s amazing how better you’ll feel even after just one day.
5. De-clutter. Again, this point could take on many guises. For me, I’m an organiser, I’m structured and measured in my approach to work and life.. But for some reason, this means that I’m a total mess at home! I’m not a natural tidier, I’m not good at keeping things in order, putting my clothes away etc. When I look around my house and workspace and see mess, it stresses me out! It makes me feel overwhelmed and like I’m sinking. So I find that when I feel like this, I need to spend a few hours de-cluttering, tidying, sorting and getting things in order. When I have an ordered workspace and home, I feel more on top of things and productive.
So I’m feeling like I’m ready to face the world again. I feel like I’ve got my vision back and my goals and I feel like I can tackle them head-on. It’s such a great feeling and you can definitely have that feeling too!
So if you feel like you’re sinking, overwhelmed and/or just don’t know where to start, sit back, take some time and refocus. Use these tips to help feel motivated – they really do help.