How do you find motivation when you have no real schedule right now? That is something I’ve been thinking a great deal about recently as days, weeks, and months all begin to blend together. As work-from-home has become the new normal, how do you find structure when you realize that in fact you are a person who craves external stimulation? I always thought I was an introvert and the pandemic has proven otherwise at least in the sense that good social pressure from working alongside others keeps me motivated and on task.
For me, the first place to begin is with patience. Maybe this is the path you are supposed to be on. REST is a concept many of us are not wired to do naturally and it is needed in order to recover and find renewal. There will be days of extreme productivity and days when a nap, a cup of tea, and or reading a book are all you can accomplish. That is OK! Don’t overthink it! What does rest look like to you? A call with a friend, listening to music, going for a walk. Start by picking the first thing that makes you smile and add it to your week.
However if that non-existent to-do-list is weighing on your mind more than you would like, perhaps it means you should light a fire underneath yourself and get going. This is easier said than done.
Here are a few ideas that can help.
- Re-arrange your workspace – I moved my desk to face a window so I could get natural light and watch the world go by when I needed to zone out of a bit.
- Make your own beverage station – A daily Starbucks might have been a part of my previous schedule, so I added a new coffee station to my kitchen. It is a simple set up really, but making my own steamed milk for lattes tastes good, saves me money and the added bonus doing this is an act of self care. Love tea? Make up a box of your favorite teas or get frozen fruit for your own smoothies. The time you would have stood in line somewhere is now your own make it special just for you!
- Set online hours for mindless scrolling – My iphone reminds me weekly how many hours I’ve been online (the hours lost are staggering) and it is easy to justify as it is how I stay connected. Think about why you are scrolling… Are you bored? Is it entertainment? Is it research? Ultimately it can be an addiction and setting time limits for yourself could be just the ticket you need to get your jump start on your productivity. My mantra is create before you consume.
- Jot down your thoughts – Making the time to write in your journal or notebook is a great way to check in with yourself. What is really on your mind? Set a timer and just write with no plan in mind. In a world that can be so busy many of us are struggling with all the quiet, but in this quiet there are many lessons to be learned. You now have the opportunity to learn from your own heart. Embrace it!
- Add things to your calendar – This may be obvious, but adding tasks to your daily calendar will help you get other things accomplished as well. The smallest amount of structure gives framework to your day.You’ve heard the saying, if you want something done ask a busy person. This is not to glorify being busy to distract you from other pressing issues, but rather give you the framework to fit things in that work for you.
No matter what, we have always been a work in progress. Make the most of this new chapter and schedule time for your heart and head to connect. This time is ours to make of it what we can.
Be patient with yourself!