I sound like a bit of a broken record, but if you’re new here, I decided to blog full-time about 1.5 years ago. Being self-employed has been the most challenging, yet rewarding experience of my life. While there are plenty of pros (flexible schedule, no commutes to work, having my dream job), there are also a ton of cons (not getting a steady paycheck, no benefits, spending a million dollars on health insurance). However, at the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier with my decision, and I can’t wait to keep building my brand in the future!
Since I work for myself, I’m the boss, and I set my own schedule: a lot of people ask me, what is my motivation to even get out of bed in the mornings? Here’s how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur.
How To Stay Motivated As An Entrepreneur
Find (Or Create!) A Great Work Environment
First things first: I had to figure out what my ideal work environment was. I alternate between working at home, getting things done in a coffee shop, and having to take my laptop on the road while I’m on travel assignments.
For me, even though I have a home office, I had to separate my workspace from the rest of my living space to actually log off at ~5-6 pm. My last apartment didn’t have a spare room for an office space, so I made a little corner in my living room and deemed it my office. Once I stepped away from my desk, I moved over to the couch, and I was done for the night. It also helped that my desk faced the window, and that window faced another brick wall — so I had nothing interesting to distract me during the day! At my new place, I will be moving into a two bed, two bath, and I will be turning the second bedroom into a guest office/guest bedroom combo. So yes, I’ll actually be able to shut the door and not look at my iMac once I’ve logged off for the day — hallelujah!
I opt for public transit when I’m traveling often times, and if I’m on a train, plane or bus, you better believe I have my laptop in tow, and I’m getting things done. Pro tip? If you purchase a wifi pass from your airline of choice before a flight, sometimes it’s cheaper than buying wifi mid-flight. And you can write it off as an expense if you’re actually getting work done (and not just browsing social media).
Fun fact about me? I need to eat. Pretty much every 2 hours. My metabolism is absurd, y’all! Before I log on for the day, I have to eat a quick breakfast. Without food in my belly, I just can’t concentrate on anything. I have to take snack breaks often to stay focused and motivated as well.
My snack of choice during my post-grad life has been almonds. Between breakfast and lunch, I’ll step away from my computer, reach in my pantry and make a small bowl of almonds for myself to enjoy. I love them for many reasons: there’s zero prep involved so that you can eat them right out of the container. They’re also incredibly filling, and are packed with protein, so they give me a much-needed energy boost after my coffee has worn off. Almonds are also the perfect snack to carry on the go, especially when I’m traveling or need to leave the “office” for a meeting.
Also: did you know that almonds are both naturally gluten-free and cholesterol-free? Talk about a miracle snack! The next time you’re in the grocery store, consider adding some almonds to your cart if you don’t usually do so: they’re the perfect snack for entrepreneurs and go-getters everywhere.
Getting Up Early
Real talk: I’ve never been a morning person. When I worked my last 9-5, I would hit snooze until the very last second I could. At my last job, my commute was an hour long, and I got out of bed every single day dreading the inevitable D.C. rush hour traffic I would have to sit through.
Now, my commute isn’t so long: it’s from my bed, to my shower, to my desk. I could technically roll out of bed whenever I want since I dictate my own work schedule, however, most of the brands that I work with have reps that are in the office during normal business hours. Also, most of my friends work 9-5s as well, and I enjoy catching up with them after work and heading to happy hour, so I decided that my business hours of choice are roughly 8 am-6 pm.
The one thing I’ve learned about myself over the last year? I hate working late. I’d much rather get up at 6 or 7 am if I have a ton of projects to knock out, rather than work past 6 pm. I also really enjoy a good Summer Friday, so I’ll typically begin my work day at 7 am and stop working around 2 pm every Friday afternoon from June-August. It’s refreshing having the rest of the day to yourself, being able to enjoy time with friends and loved ones.
When I first started blogging full-time, sometimes I would be so fixated on getting through my to-do list as fast as possible. Yes, I answered 20 emails in 45 minutes. Yes, I wrote two blog posts back to back. Yes, I shot five campaigns in one hour. Nope. That really wasn’t necessary.
We’re all human, and it’s necessary to take breaks to avoid burnout. Whether it’s a snack break with almonds or taking 15 minutes out of my day to call my mom, it’s nice to take a little time for yourself during the work day so that you can come back to the desk relaxed, focused, and in a fantastic mood. Treat yourself to a little break, my friends: try to take at least one short break per hour!
What are your tips on how to stay motivated at work?
Photos by Tom McGovern
Thank you to California Almonds for partnering with me on today’s post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.