I think one of the hardest things about working at home is keeping myself motivated, particularly those days when I feel completely UN-motivated. It’s even harder on the days when everybody’s at work or school and I’m the only one at home.
It’s oh-so easy to become distracted or procrastinate. Or, God forbid, get lost in one (or all) of my social media accounts.
I’ve been working on a strategy that’s been helping me to get motivated and stay motivated. I didn’t get it from time management experts or self-help books – although there are some amazing ones out there – but rather from prayer, self-examination, and invoking the Holy Spirit.
Through that, I’ve discovered five essentials for getting and staying motivated.
- Morning Consecration: Consecrating myself to God is a non-negotiable, even when I’m stuck in an ugly pattern of complete un-motivation. Whether it’s a formula prayer or a brief spontaneous prayer, giving myself and my day up to God first thing gets me started on the right foot. Or at least it gets me to start at all.
- Patience with myself and others: I have to understand and accept my limitations and tendencies. Above all, I have to avoid comparing myself to others. It’s easy to become resentful and chastise myself for not being more productive. When I do that, it only makes things worse. That doesn’t mean I sit back and let the day go by; it means taking what is and making the best I can of it.
- Start small. When I’m feeling unmotivated, looking at the whole picture and be overwhelming. So, I have to break it down into manageable steps. Instead of trying to push through a huge project -or even a lesser one that I don’t particularly want to do – I choose one small part of it to accomplish. When that’s done, I choose and complete another small part and so on. It works.
- Give thanks to God. I often forget to do this; I think most of us do. I take a break after each small step to thank God for giving me the grace to have gotten thus far. Then I implore his grace for the next step.
- Look to the future: I think it’s as important to end the day right as it is to start it right. Okay, so I had a rough day, motivation-wise. It’s just one day. When I say my evening prayers, I give God thanks again for all the grace and gifts he gave me throughout that day, (even if it was a truly bad day) and then I ask for his grace and gifts for the next. I ask our Blessed Mother to accompany me throughout the morrow, and to intercede for me so that all I say and do gives glory to God. I ask our Lord to give me the strength and wisdom I’ll need to fulfill God’s will to the very best of my ability (through his grace and goodness.). Then I entrust my tomorrow to God’s goodness.
These five essentials have become my mainstay for keeping myself on track, even on those days when I’m prone to derailment. The key, I believe is in realizing that trying to power my way through un-motivation is fruitless because it’s by God’s grace that I’m able to do anything at all.
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