Do you find it hard to get moving some days?
The biggest advantages of being self-employed and working from home are the freedom, flexibility and independence. Those can also be the biggest disadvantages. The lack of structure and accountability to an employer are wonderful when things are going well, when the creative juices are flowing and life is good.
They can create a problem when difficulties arise or when we hit a period when we just don’t feel 100% motivated. There is no water cooler or photo copier for people to gather around for some human contact. No boss or job imposed deadlines. Twitter and Facebook are poor substitutes. Living in the country makes it more difficult, I cannot just walk out my door to a coffee-house or even a street with real people. Sue works away from home all morning, Mike the dog, although a good listener, cannot suggest things to write about, nor can the horses.
Earlier this year, when I decided to move my political and current affairs posts to PeterWright.biz (be warned it is not politically correct), I removed the old solution to a lack of creativity that I had relied on for this blog. Previously, if I could not think of a good topic, I could generally come up with something on the political front to rant about. I vowed then that I would not publish a mediocre post just for the sake of maintaining my target of two posts per week.
After working from home for almost three years, I thought I had it all under control, most of the time I have no difficulty in staying positive, motivated and effective. Last week I realised that I am just as susceptible to “off days” as anyone.
A few disappointments and difficulties early in the week threw me off course a little. I attempted a blog post several times but could not get anything sensible written or even outlined. On Thursday, I had to go to the hospital for some tests, nothing serious, just a follow-up stress ecg and nuclear scan to monitor any changes in my heart since the heart attack in 2010. It did mean that I was at the hospital for four hours, with a good period of quiet time for reading between the tests.
An hour before leaving home, I realised to my horror that in three hours, (I start at 6am on Thursdays), I had not accomplished anything remotely productive. I had read and answered a few emails, read some other stuff, fiddled around on twitter. I then switched gears and started writing a post for my horse story blog. MyHorseSenseTips. Because it was a story from my own life, the words flowed easily. After 50 minutes, I had written 850 words, almost completed the post. When I returned later in the day, it only took 15 minutes to complete it, add some photos, edit, spell check and publish it.
Having accomplished something, even if it was not my most important goal of the day, set me up for a much happier and productive day than the one that started. It allowed me to relax and read part of a good, inspiring book while waiting at the hospital instead of regretting the time I was wasting. That reading improved my state of mind even more, allowing me to get more important work done when I got home.
The lesson here is that it only takes a small success or victory to change our thoughts and attitude. One small positive step to turn our day around. Turn one day around and the week looks better, a better week leads to a better life.
It’s a lesson I have learned before and should have remembered earlier in the week, but I allowed the dark cloud of gloom to descend on me and hang around for 3 days before sorting it out.
How do you handle your “hard to get moving” days? Leave a comment.