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How To Stay Motivated When You Work For Yourself

How To Stay Motivated When You Work For Yourself

Being your own boss is great. You can come and go as you please, you can take long lunches without question, and you can book in your holidays whenever it suits.

In many ways, it’s a dream come true. But what happens when your motivation and productivity slip?

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for motivation, this article offers tips for staying motivated at work when you have no one to answer to.


Make Daily To-Do Lists

Daily to-do list

Weekly and monthly to-do lists are great and all, but they make it very easy to procrastinate and push things back to tomorrow or next week. If there’s no urgency, it’s unlikely you’re going to roll up your sleeves and tackle the task, right?

Having a daily list of tasks you must finish before close of business that day will give you the kick in the butt you need to keep ticking things off at a sustainable pace – and you won’t be faced with a weekend of all-nighters to get stuff done.

When you don’t have a to-do list, you may waste time trying to figure out what to do and where to put your energy for the day. When you have a list of tasks to complete, you know exactly what lies ahead and can be prepared and ready to seize the day.

Having a list of daily tasks to do will give you direction for your day and reduce procrastination.


Get into a Routine

Morning routine

When you’re the boss of a self-employed business, it can take a little more discipline to do the not so fun stuff (and even just to get out of bed). The first step to making sure you’re pulling your weight for the day is to get into a routine similar to what you’d have at any other job.

It can be all too tempting to sleep in and keep those pyjamas on until noon, but that’s not exactly the best way to get into a let’s get down to business mind frame.

Approach your workdays like a traditional job: give yourself 6-8 hours to work, and set aside time for lunch, working out, and any other personal activities, so you don’t get distracted during designated working hours. And try to avoid checking Facebook and replying to personal text messages until lunch time. Then you can watch all the funny dog videos your heart can handle.


Work outMorning coffeeMeetingsLunchClient callsFinalising daily tasks
Shower/dressRespond to emailsRespond to emailsPersonal errandsRespond to emailsRespond to emails
BreakfastDaily tasksDaily tasksFree timeDaily tasksCOB procedures


Keep Up-To-Date on Industry News

Reading industry news

Staying on top of all the latest news and trends in your industry can inspire you to make your good even better. Have there been updates to the software you use? Great – now you can adjust accordingly. Maybe a competing company found an innovative way to perform a day-to-day task you’re faced with? Cool – now you can take inspiration and find more effective ways to get things done, yourself.

Being in the know allows you to evolve your business as things inevitably change in your industry. The last thing you want is to be out of touch with the times. Studying up on industry news can motivate you to continuously grow and give you an edge on competitors.

A few places to find relevant news might include:

  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Newsletters
  • Online forums and discussion boards
  • Relevant conferences and seminars.


Network with Other Entrepreneurs

Self-employed business owner networking at event

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get that fire burning in your belly again. Meeting likeminded individuals does more than just up your connections on LinkedIn.

It can present opportunities to expand your industry knowledge, get inspiration and ideas for your own business, and get your name and brand out there. Who knows, you may even find a valuable mentor or future business partner.

Networking offers endless benefits for your business and for you as a professional. It can be particularly useful if you don’t have friends or family familiar with your industry or role, as it presents opportunity to bounce ideas off people in a similar situation. If your partner is often begging you to stop bringing work home with you, they’ll thank you for finding another outlet for your brainstorming and experience sharing.

Attend relevant networking events to meet people face-to-face as well as online. Don’t forget to have your business cards at the ready!


Remember Why You Started

Business goals for self-employed business

Don’t lose sight of the big picture. Writing down your goals regularly is a great way to remember why you started, and where you want to be. If you want to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to hustle. Reminding yourself of what you want your future to look like can help motivate you to get there.

Print them out and place them around your office if you have to. Or go all out and trawl through Pinterest for some inspirational quotes that resonate with you and make a motivational vision board. Glitter glue, anyone?


Reward Yourself

Lunch reward for hard work

A little self bribery never hurt anyone, right? If all else fails, the promise of a nice dinner or those shoes you’ve had your eye on may just get you over the line.

Give yourself a little incentive by rewarding yourself for a job well done. Having rewards for little victories can encourage you to work harder for the things you want. Your rewards don’t need to be material items, either. If the incentive of a few hours of uninterrupted Netflix with a glass of red in hand gets you ticking off your to-do list, then by all means, treat yo self.


Keep Your Workspace Tidy

Tidy workspace

Your workspace should be tidy and organised, so you can get straight to business without wasting time looking for your lucky pen or those important documents. No, we’re not just being naggy. This is backed by data.

A survey carried out by OfficeMax revealed 77% of respondents believe clutter damages their productivity. It also showed over 50% said disorganisation impairs their state of mind and motivation levels.

Never underestimate the power of a clean desk.

If your workspace is drowning in paperwork and inventory, consider decluttering with a business storage unit.


 Want more tips for your small company? Steer clear of these 5 common mistakes to avoid when starting your own business.

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