One day you are excited about life, your plans and what your future holds. Then slowly but surely, it becomes more difficult to finish a project. Soon you are struggling to complete even minor tasks.
You give vague responses when people ask you how things are going. You promise yourself that tomorrow will be different. You will get up earlier, you will exercise, and you will eat healthier. Tomorrow comes and you struggle out of bed, two hours later than planned and it all goes downhill from there; again. It really does not have to be that way.
Here are 7 steps that you can take to put the colour back into your working life:
Step 1: Have a do nothing day
In my book, I wrote a chapter titled “Step Back to Take Control”. Take those words to heart. Stop all the activity, the obsessing and the multi-tasking. For one day, give yourself the freedom to have nothing to do. If you have a job, arrange a day off.
Unless it is life or death, or will mean you lose money or a customer, don’t even attempt to clear your calendar. Just stop everything. On that day, get up when you are ready to get up and do not feel guilty about it. Make yourself a nice breakfast, sit in your favourite spot, and let the feeling of doing nothing wash over you. For an achiever, this is actually very hard to do. Give it a chance. You will start to gain the physical, emotional and mental space to take the next steps.
Step 2: Rearrange your working environment
Go to the place where you spend your working day and just stand there and look around. Does it feel cluttered, messy, disorganised? Are there too many items in the room or on the desk? Is the furniture arranged in a way that makes you feel ready to take on the day, or go back to bed?
Play some uplifting music, something that will make you sing or even dance. As you move around the room; throw out items that you no longer need. Put useful items to one side to give away. Rearrange the room, equipment and paperwork to create a space that you will look forward to entering each day.
“Environment is stronger than willpower.” – Paramahansa Yogananda
Step 3: Have a VIP strategy day for one
Step one and two are designed to help you feel less stressed. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurial mind does not ever really rest. And too much time away from what you need to do can actually cause anxiety. In your new workspace, identify the things that are pulling on your time and energy. Write them all down. Write them on actual paper with one item per line, and a whole line between each item. Take this notepad to a place that is away from your day to day life. I book an overnight stay in a hotel, but you could merely go to a coffee shop for a few hours. The one rule is it must be a place where you feel relaxed. The nicer the location, the better.
While you are there, ask yourself three questions:
- Why and for whom, am I really doing this?
- If you do achieve your plans how will your life be? Your health, finances, social life, relationships, lifestyle, mental state.
- If you do not achieve your plans, what things could go wrong for you? Your health, finances, social life, relationships, lifestyle, mental state.
Take the answers and go through the items on your paper. Discard anything that does not fit in with your plans. Look at the remaining things and decide the one item that you are going to make your priority for the next 30 days.
You have now given yourself permission to put all other projects on hold. You only need to concentrate on whatever you do to continue to bring in income, plus your one project; for the next 30 days.
Step 4: Ask for help
The help you need may be in the form of skills or expertise, to help you with your day to day responsibilities. Just because you have your one thing, it does not mean you do not have to think about anything else. The other very important type of help is support for you. Join a group of like-minded people so you do not feel alone. You may even benefit from a mentor or a coach to check up on you. This is one of the best ways to avoid burning yourself out all over again.
Step 5: Create a relaxing evening routine
Establish a routine that helps you to wind down and get a good night’s sleep. I have a shower or bath, followed by listening to an audio book (not work related). Some people meditate, others write in a journal. Set an alarm on your phone as a trigger that it is time to start winding down. Follow the same routine each night.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall” – Nelson Mandela
Step 6: Create an energising morning routine
This is similar to the evening routine. This time, however, you want to do things that wakes you up and gets you moving. Ironically, getting up in the morning often proves to be the hardest step to master for people who are fighting to overcome overwhelm. This is because emotional energy plays a major part in how we start and tackle our day. The trick is to create a routine that will be effective, regardless of how you feel. Your aim is for the routine to become a habit. It will take time, but gradually you will find you are able to get going even on days you are not looking forward to.
Step 7: Celebrate
I teach people to track their money. Tracking your successes are just as important, even the small ones. I keep a list of my little weekly achievements. It is a great tool to remind me how far I have come when things are not going well. If you are part of a group like a mastermind or you have a coach, it is wonderful to be able to share your successes with them. We all need words of encouragement from time to time.
For celebrating to be really powerful, plan your rewards in advance. When I have an article published I announce it to select Facebook friends and then I buy another pretty lipstick. One of my colleagues goes for a test drive in a high-performance car. It could be a fancy dinner, a holiday, a gadget or just time for you. As long as it makes you feel special, go for it.
When a computer slows down, if we keep pressing the mouse or keyboard, it slows down even more. The easiest solution is to shut it down, give it a little while and then turn it back on. We may not be computers, but sometimes all we need is to shut down for a while, so we can start again with much more power.
What tips have you used to keep burnout at a distance? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone
Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.
When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.
But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.
These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.
1. Include short breaks
My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.
2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking
Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.
3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule
A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!
These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!
This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!
2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery
When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.
3. Love what you do
This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.
These last few tips are Industry-related!
1. Make sure you have fun projects
Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.
2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year
Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.
3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry
View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.
These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!
7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success
Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.
Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.
Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.
I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.
Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.
Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:
1. It Solves Your Problem
When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.
2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress
Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety.
Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.
“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale
3. Increase Your Focus
Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate.
Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing, and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.
Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential.
If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.
5. It Boosts Your Health
Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments.
Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.
“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra
6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present
Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations.
Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.
7. Stay Aware and Positive
A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally, it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self.
Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.
To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.
Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!
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