You are not alone.
We are all experiencing a new "norm" in these days of sudden change. Most of us are working from home and some of us are multitasking every imaginable role we are called to play and it can all be overwhelming. I can only imagine that so many of you, like myself, are wondering: "How is the expectation of thriving as an employee from home, being an expert as a homeschool teacher for the remainder of the school year (for some), successfully advising yourself on the shift in your financial priorities in times of a pandemic, learning how to physically train/exercise your body with what you have around your home after looking to a professional trainer's guidance for many years, whipping up delicious meals that the entire family will enjoy with the leftover items on the shelves at the grocery stores - I could go on forever. But I am here to tell you that it is impossible to do it all perfectly, without feeling burnt out, or a sense of grieving what used to be your norm.
Take each day as they come, step by step, moment by moment. The best that you are giving IS enough and it is absolutely okay for it to take some time for you to feel "okay" with these new changes. I am speaking from experience as a stay-at-home mom + photographer who had to learn throughout the years, that small steps of consistency and mindful, positive approach were the fuel to staying motivated within the four walls I call home. It IS possible and can be achieved.
Here are 5 ways you can implement into your daily routines to stay motivated towards your goals in your work and personal lives:
1) Write out a to-do list before bed
Statistics show that 65% of the world are visual learners. They absorb information by ways of visual communication. It is a way to not only prioritize the next day with the most important things that need to get done but also allows for better sleep as you clear your mind by writing it all down (The notepad app on iPhones has a feature to check mark your boxes once they are complete.) Some individuals actually experience satisfaction when they check a box of their to-do list which makes it rewarding once a task has been completed and becomes motivation to complete the next.
2) Get enough sleep/ Wake up early
I used to think that if I stayed up late after the kiddos went to sleep to work into the wee hours of the night, I would somehow have more hours in my day. Truthfully, I learned that I was actually most productive when I went to bed at a decent hour and woke up early in the morning. It seemed as though I was most creative and fired up (after two cups of tea) to handle anything that the day would bring. If you are a night owl, I get it, I still stay up from time to time but mostly to have just "me time." But I encourage you to TRY going to bed, getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep, and waking up at sunrise. It may not be for you, but I can promise, if you are like me and would like more hours in the day - morning wake up calls are for you!
3) Adopt a daily routine
Taking a moment to sit down and create yourself a daily routine is eye-opening! It allows you a time to reflect on what you would like to spend most of your day on and of course, provides some much needed structure. When I worked at a corporate job, I used to only have a morning routine and while I do love a great morning routine, I needed more once I began working from home. The morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day but the daily routine will ensure that there is not an hour that goes by without intention. Intentional work time but yes, intentional play time too! With three little ones, I've made sure to include times for exploration (in the backyard sandbox), baking, karaoke, and our personal favorite - game time! I've shared our complete daily routine for parents and children in my Instagram highlights, you are welcome to screenshot it + make it your own or pick a few ideas you like!
4) Spend time practicing self-care
Self-care is a way to be rejuvenated and let's be honest, after all that we have been experiencing - it's much needed. The last thing we need is to work until we experience burnout. Some ideas to show yourself a little love are:
- Read - anything that feeds your soul, rejuvenates your mind, and fuels your heart!
- Exercise - who else is searching in-home workouts or yoga exercises on youtube?!
- Listen to motivational podcasts - one of my current favorites is The Jasmine Star Show! She has talked me into keeping the fire in my heart for my business through these trialing times + is an open-book to help your business thrive!
- Meditate/ Pray - A fellow photographer recommended listening to Binaural Beats on Pandora as a way to relax + spend the first 30 minutes of my morning in prayer.
- Eat healthy - Quarantine snacks are a real thing! Continue your meal prepping ways + freeze your fruits for shakes! Keep busy so you don't have the urge to eat out of boredom ;)
- Get outdoors - Go on a hike, ride bikes, take a dip in your pool, make sidewalk chalk art, garden, + have fun!
5) Create a workspace that is inviting + intentional
When you heard the news that you had to work from home until further notice, your first thought was probably not, which room in my home will I make my new office? If you have already settled into a workspace in your home, here are some things to help make this space enjoyable:
- Natural light - does your new workspace get a ton or even just some natural light? Maybe you don't want to look out a window, to avoid being distracted, but getting a bit of sunshine on your face as you work may just brighten up your day.
- Peace + Quiet - if you have kiddos or fur babies, finding a quiet space may be nearly impossible but if there is a room in your home that the door can be shut behind you and faint soft music in the background playing, you may have found a place of potential.
- Add your personal touch - Just like you would your work office. Add pictures of your spouse, kids, fur babies to your desk or repurposed furniture to act as your desk. If you don't want to spend money on office supplies, look around the house for items that can serve you well temporarily. For example, mason jars act as great pen, paper clip, staple holders + sticky notes act as wonderful reinforcement that you're doing a "great job!" Who doesn't love a little note of encouragement?!
6) Reward yourself once measurable and practical goals are achieved
This does not mean that everything on your to-do list has to be done perfectly or even that the house is spotless but if you have achieved a goal, completed a task, took on a project, played with the kids, listened to your spouse about their day + gave them encouragement, + showed up for your business/ job - you deserve to be rewarded. Celebrate each success, big or small. You CAN do it, you ARE doing it!