Lol I don't, the end.

Hahaha imagine if that was the blog post. 

I'm not gonna pretend to be some pure motivational, aspirational ray of sunshine when it comes to giving people advice on this kinda stuff. Am not, I'm a miserable old crank most of the time and I'm not going to pretend otherwise. But I thought - what with us all being pure locked down in the house - now was a good time to share some content like this. Cos even if you read this and think 'Christ, that was sh*t' and take nothing from it, at least you'll have killed a few minutes of quaran-time reading it; right?

Here's some (sort of) tips when it comes to how I stay motivated and beast out as much work as I can each day. 

How I Stay Motivated (Working From Home & Pushing Myself To Find Opportunities) Lovelaughslipstick Blog

(Oh lawwwwwd that photo is giving me all the feels right now. REMEMBER THE OUTSIDE DAYS? Remember Starbucks and having acrylic nails?)

1. Music
Music is a biggie for me. Although I can work in silence - and sometimes opt to, if I'm really concentrating - I tend to work better with a beat. Right now, for example, I'm rediscovering Rihanna; furiously typing along to 'Breaking Dishes' (what a tune tho huns, amiright?) I dunno, it's a bit cheesy but having music on when I'm working tends to help me get in the zone. And if it's not music, I'll generally pop on YouTube true crime videos (as I can just listen to them and not watch) as I find the voices and storytelling aspect of this genre quite relaxing. 

2. Snacks
Wot would life be without snacks? AN ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY AND A SHAM, I'll tell you that for free. I've channelled my inner hamster and taken to hoarding tasty treats around where I work, so I don't have to move to graze the snack buffet when I get a bit peckish. Those cute fluffy buggers have got it sussed.

3. Breaks
Pretty important - even if they're just a few minutes every now and again; where you swap from the laptop screen to playing a game on your phone (I've got pure addicted to this colouring in one and I can't stop colouring in landscapes and trees... but have the perfect excuse of lockdown craziness to validate my life decisions RN.)

4. Keep your brain focussed
I've found that doing things like Sudokus and brain training bits during my breaks (just on my phone, nothing too mental) help keep me brain more alert and help me focus / feel proper ded clever. To the extent where actually I bought a Brain Training app for my phone last month... just before we entered a pandemic, everyone's lives went to sh*t and Boris screwed self-employed people over. £16 I now wish I hadn't so frivolously spent, but yolo. I think it really benefits me though - and I've noticed some of the skills I've been improving using the app have come into play during a few work tasks. So probs worth it.

5. Coffee
Multiple cups. Everywhere. 

6. Lists
Lists help me get things done so much. I find it really helps to write down everything I need / want to get sorted that day or week; and then compile it into daily lists. This helps me feel like I'm making sometimes huge amounts of tasks into more manageable chunks, it fully rocks my socks (metaphorical ones, I never wear socks) being able to scribble items off the list and I find they really motivate me; as I wanna get everything done.

7. Pieces of paper everywhere with random thoughts scrawled on them
I think of ideas at the most random times - there's pieces of paper, notes and things I've jotted down everywhere. Comes with the territory I think.

8. Have a day off, hun
Honestly, it's so easy to just never stop when you're working from home - especially when you're self-employed. Whilst I do tend to work every single hour of every single day (and as we're all locked down and can't go out, there's not exactly much more to do is there anyway) I have had to take a day off this weekend as I was literally about to burn out and getting oddly emotional. I had a lovely bath, didn't look at anything work related all day until I felt able to and scrubbed all my dodgy AF fake tan off and honestly - I feel so much better and motivated for it.

9. Find as many hacks and software you can to help you work quicker
Work smarter, not harder. There's so many bits of cool software - and hacks you'll pick up along the way - to help you improve your productivity and get more done; quicker. Be open to change and keep trying new things until you find a system that works for you. Scheduling is a BIG one for me - scheduling social media posts and emails that I've written and planned in advance means I can work on other tasks whilst they take care of themselves.

10. Have goals and things to look forward to
A bit of a hard one to relate to amidst the pandemic - but back when we were allowed to go outside and life wasn't cooped up inside with no McDonalds, this really helped me. If you have loads of work to get through every day - ongoing projects too, where they never 'end' - it can get a bit overwhelming. Having goals - things you want to buy when you hit xxx or knowing you're working extra hard these next two weeks because you want to take a long weekend off to spend with friends - are a great way to kick your arse into gear. That and knowing that if you ain't working, you ain't earning. Nothing quite like that fact to put the fear of God into you!

How do you keep yourself motivated? Have you had to work from home for the first time due to the pandemic - how are you finding it?
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