As a work-at-home-mum (WAHM), motivation can be hard to maintain at times. There is so much to balance. Active toddlers, crawling babies, cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, the list is endless. Somehow amongst all that you need to eke out time to build your business, complete client work and lets not forget about finding some time for you.
It is no wonder that our motivation can plummet.
So how do you maintain the drive? That get up and go spirit?
What do you do when you are sleep deprived and struggling to write?
I found myself Googling motivation during those dreaded 2am feeds. It is a good way to keep my eyes open and get some work done. That is how this post was created anyway.
If you are struggling for that extra incentive, keep reading. You will find some great information to help you out. (And I really hope you are not reading this at 2am!)
Essentially there are two types of motivation that push us into action:
Intrinsic and extrinsic.
A good understanding of these two types of motivation will help you to find what strategies work most effectively to create and maintain your drive to get things done.
Intrinsic motivation is internally generated from personal enjoyment and/or a sense of obligation.
That is, you motivate yourself by finding personal benefit, enjoyment or significance within your writing.
Extrinsic motivation is the opposite of intrinsic motivation (duh).
Objects, other people around you and/or your environment generate your motivation.
So you find motivation from material possessions, accolades, and other people around you.
What type are you and how does that help motivation?
I don’t know about you, but I think I am both! Intrinsic and extrinsic. Maybe this is not normal, or does not align with motivational types, however that is how I feel.
I love to write. I get a lot of joy and happiness from creating great content.
On the other hand, I also get a lot out of being paid and receiving positive accolades from those around me.
I guess it is the best of both worlds!
So, which type are you?
By focusing on which of these types resonates with you the most, you can determine what motivates you and therefore how to maintain that motivation.
If it is simple enjoyment of writing, then take a step back from whatever project has you unmotivated.
Is it a topic you don’t enjoy? Switch focus for a day (if you can afford to). Write about something you enjoy and are passionate about. Then come back to the original project.
If it is receiving positive testimonials and reviews that motivate you, then try reading back through old feedback. Or ask a friend or family member to review what you are writing at the moment. Hopefully they have nothing but good things to say!
I use a mixture of these depending on why I am feeling unmotivated and what writing projects I am working on. At the end of the day, I just focus and tell myself to do it. Just start. Usually once I push myself over the initial “I don’t want to” phase then the words start flowing and I can focus. I love ticking things off a to-do list as well. That really gets me motivated!
Once you have identified what “motivational type” you are, you can use different tools to help. I use a few different tools, depending on my mood and what seems to be slowing me down.
Set Goals on Paper
A great way to build lasting long-term motivation is by writing your goals and putting them somewhere you can see.
Remember “SMART” goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
I like to set one big 90-day goal (such as I will attract a certain amount of people to my website a day). Then this 90-day goal is broken down into smaller manageable goals that help to achieve the one big one. By breaking down huge tasks into smaller ones, then you wont become overwhelmed and it helps maintain that motivation.
I find that ticking off those tasks one by one with a bright red sharpie brings a great sense of accomplishment. This helps motivate me to keep on completing those tasks and crossing them off.
Visualising goals is such a simple yet effective tool to use for motivation. By visualising your intended or hoped for outcome you will plant the seeds of motivation!
Visualisation utilizes the power of our imaginations that can trigger deep levels of motivation and push you towards your goal.
Where do you want your business to be?
How will your finished writing project look?
How will your bank account look?
Saving for that beach holiday? Picture yourself relaxing in the sun with a cool drink in hand with waves lapping gently at your feet. Excuse me; I am off to look at the price of plane tickets.
Skills and Knowledge
A lack of motivation can come about if you do not have the knowledge or skills necessary to complete your project. This can lead to uncertainty, lack of confidence and procrastination.
Think about your project, and break it down into small tasks. Identify what you need to know to complete each task and focus on developing the skills and knowledge necessary.
Alternatively you can outsource. Delegate those tasks you are unsure of to experts.
By identifying your motivational type and utilizing the motivation tools you will become an unstoppable force! Imagine what you can do when you do not feel stuck or unmotivated! So what are you waiting for? Hop to it!
Do you have any other tricks that you use for motivation? Are you motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic factors? Let us know in the comments below!
Rachel specialises in writing for small businesses in the health, fitness, pregnancy and parenthood industries. She is a mum to 2 beautiful (and highly energetic) children and a registered nurse. She advocates for all women and mums and is passionate about building community and solid networks.