At the latest during lockdown, most of us got a feel for what it means to work from home. What it actually means to motivate yourself and complete the tasks in front of you. If you've felt trouble doing this or are still struggling with it, then this post is tailored just for you.
Here I give you 5 tips for self-motivation & -management.
Start with the worst task
You've been putting off that one task all day long. Then the day ends and it's still not done. Now imagine if you had tackled that task first. It may take a little effort at first. But if you tackle a task that is repugnant to you in the morning, the rest of the day will be much easier. You will then be able to handle all the upcoming tasks with ease.
Break down large tasks into smaller ones
But what if this task overwhelms you? What if it's so big that you don't know where to start? Break it down into subtasks. For example, if you're writing a blog article, you can write down the following subtasks:
1. Topic identification: What topic do I want to write about? The more specific, the better!
2. Main points / worth mentioning: What specific points do I want to address?
a) Examples: Are there specific examples of these points?
3. Writing: Produce a first draft. This does not have to be perfect.
4. Editing: Read through your work, correct, rewrite, and add to as necessary.
5. Finish: Check your work one last time. If necessary, have someone else proofread it.
This way the assignment seems much more doable, doesn't it? Of course you can create as many subtasks as you like. However, make sure that this number does not overwhelm you. With a little practice you can do it! Otherwise, you can let the KnowS community take care of certain subtasks, such as proofreading a paper.
If it really isn't your day, try working in a timed manner. For this you set an alarm clock for maximum 1 hour. This time depends on the task, of course. In the beginning, however, I recommend shorter time frames, for example 20 minutes. During this time, you concentrate completely on the task in front of you. You don't answer your smartphone or distract yourself in any other way. At the end of the set time, you can take a break of 5 to 10 minutes. Try it. You may even find yourself working beyond the time slot. After all, working intently for 20 minutes is more motivating than looking at the whole day's work in front of you.
Related to the last point is taking breaks. These are important for your performance. Again, it's worth setting an alarm every hour so you don't forget to take them. I also recommend getting up during the break and maybe even taking a breath of air. This allows your body to recover while your brain subconsciously continues to work on the task at hand. Win-win!
Last but not least, it is extremely motivating to set goals for yourself. Make sure they are challenging, but not unattainable. Getting closer and closer to your goal, such as completing a project or writing 5 blog articles, will give you more incentive. It's also always satisfying to write down goals so that you can check them off once you've reached them.
Let me know in the comments if you've tried these tips. Feel free to share your own tricks and experiences here as well.
Knowsian Pearl Nebah