A kick up the backside

Is it too hot to work? You know those temperature restrictions - probably something to do with the declaration of human rights - where, if it gets above or below a certain temperature in your workplace, you can revolt?
Well, I've been revolting for quite some time now.

I have complained to my boss (that's me) and threatened to walk out. Except it's hotter outside. And the sunshine glares on my laptop screen, making it uncomfortable. Also, this thunderous weather has given me two migraines within a week. That's used up my allocation for about three years' worth of migraines, all within a few days.

It's been the hottest summer in recent history. And it's barely summer.
Yes - there are electric fans. We've got one in the bedroom, where it stays because it's too stuffy. What with six of us sharing a bed. Two humans, two Jack Russells, and two cats take it is turns to have a shift of sleeping on or in the bed. We're overlooked by neighbours opposite, so we can't exactly draw back the curtains to let any air in, even though the little windows are open as far as they can go. Which isn't all that far.

So, anyway. How to motivate oneself for work. Especially when you're a self-employed freelancer.
Number one - don't get distracted by your website and feel the urge to write a blog when you should be finishing off your novel. Except it's editing - not the creative stuff! And that's not very inspiring.

Basically, people are motivated by pain or pleasure. The trick is to identify what works for you.
Do you like to work for rewards - the pleasure? E.g. - finish this work and you'll get satisfaction, money, fame...
Or are you motivated more by the threat of punishment - pain? E.g. - if you don't finish this work, you'll get the sack, not be paid, starve, lose your house...

Once you know if you're the kind of person who is motivated more TOWARDS good things (promises), or AWAY from bad things (threats) - you can use this knowledge to give yourself the kick up the a$$ you might need.

Ready for the next tip? OK. So - think of your values. What do you value in life? What's important to you? Use these as leverage to motivate yourself.

Let's pre-empt your responses. Here are some things you might value in life. Can you use them to motivate yourself to buckle down, even in the heat?

Having leisure time / spending time with family or partner.
OK - so - do your work, and then you can have some well-deserved leisure time! Reward yourself after a certain number of hours or days, with a certain number of hours or days off. And that doesn't mean 'work for an hour: take a week off'. Try working for two hours, then taking a 15 minute break. Or whatever works for you.

Use your knowledge of your 'towards' or 'away' motivation to persuade yourself to work enough to 'go for' working for 7 hours so you can take that time off this evening, or threaten yourself that if you don't work now, you'll have to lock yourself away for a week and never see your kids...
Use that pain or pleasure - stick or carrot - approach to work to your best advantage. 

Making money.
Just think of the £ and $ signs you're ringing up with every hour you work! If you're into spreadsheets and numbers (which I'm not), use a timesheet. Calculate your productivity in terms of money - like cost per hour. Decide that today you're going to earn £200 - and work to reach that. Or if you're paid on a project basis (rather than hourly rate) break down the whole into proportionate tasks, and see how much you'll earn if you work your way through those tasks.

If you're a 'towards' person, you'll be motivated by the money you'll make.
If you're an 'away' person, you'll be motivated by the fear of not having any money - of poverty, being homeless - if you really take it to the extreme!

Make work fun! Play your favourite music (you can use earphones if you share an office), sit in a comfy seat or lounge on the floor or on a cushion. Use those little basketball hoops you can attach to the desk and place it above your bin, so you can throw away rubbish, AND score! If you work with other people - lighten up and start the day with a joke or a chat that makes you smile. Share funny stories through the day (as long as it's in your 'break' time, and you don't get distracted by you-tube for hours)!

Getting serious here, but maybe honesty and integrity are important to you. If you're working for a client, consider them and the duty you have to do a great job for them. Or even if you work for a boss in an organisation- remember that you're being paid for every moment you're there. Wasting time is like stealing from them.

Anyway - I could go on and on - but you get the idea.
The idea is to recognise your motivations, and persuade yourself to work in accordance with them. Press your own buttons!

Let me know how you get on!


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