I sent this email to my list a couple weeks ago and got so many thoughtful responses in return I thought I’d share it on the blog as well :) XO
I have a really really important reminder for you today. Because just like you, I sometimes have off days, unproductive days, or days when I just want to watch the entirety of Netflix from start to finish and ignore everything on my to-do list.
And then I feel bad for not being motivated and not getting anything done, which makes me more crabby and more un-productive.
And so I come to you today with a reminder…
It is literally not possible to be 100% motivated, productive, and excited to work 5 (or 6 or 7) days a week 52 weeks each year.
It’s just not.
No matter how on top of shit you are, there will still be days when you sit down to work and it just isn’t happening. Days when even closing all your tabs and turning off all notifications on your phone and forcing yourself to focus still won’t get the job done.
Because no matter what type of job they do, every single person EVER has days when they just can’t make work work.
The problem for us is . . .
Most of our work is creative. And most of our work is done solo.
It’s different from going to a job where you work for someone else with a bunch of other people. When you’re having an off day (or week or month) at a “normal” job, there will be other people to pick up the slack, people to help brainstorm ideas, people to help get you out of whatever funk you showed up in.
But when you work from home, online, that simply does not exist. Yes, you can create it a little by getting on social media, making business friends online, or joining communities, but at the end of the day, it’s still YOU that has to do ALL OF THE WORK.
And it’s even more challenging because for a lot us, 95% of the work we do is creative. It’s only that small percent of admin tasks, emails, and bookkeeping that we can get through even when we’re feeling unmotivated, crabby, or downright depressed.
Having days where 95% of your to-do list looks like lifting an entire car over your head with one arm can leave you at your computer thinking, “Ughhh I do not have time for this. Why can’t I get it together???”
And (I don’t know if this is good or bad news…) even after almost 4 years of working solo at home, it still happens to me. It happened just last week in the middle of needing to shoot videos (the absolute worst when you don’t feel excited and cheery) and making worksheets and writing blog posts and answering emails.
I still have days when creativity and motivation are just not happening and I work all day long to only end up with one thing finished.
So it would help us all (me and you and all the badass biz owners we know) to cut ourselves a little slack and remember that it’s totally normal and, in fact, expected to have days we cannot be as productive and creative as we want to be.
And because we have to be creative almost all of the time and there is no one else to do the creative work for us, we have to learn to be OK with that.
So today I want to you think about three things . . .
(get out your pen + paper please)
- How do you treat yourself when you can’t get your shit together enough to get the work done?
- What is your backup plan when this happens? Do you have extra blog posts pre-written? Do you have a VA that can go through your email? Do you pad your schedule so you aren’t always running into your deadlines?
- What is your unmotivated plan of action? Do you get out of the house for a while? Turn on some bad reality TV? Jump in the bath with an inspiring book? What things can help to get you going again?
Now at the end of your answer, write yourself a little note as a reminder: It’s totally OK and 100% normal if I am unmotivated, if work feels like a giant bummer, and I have to put everything off until tomorrow (or next week). I still kick ass, I’m still a pro, and all my online peeps still want to learn from me (because they have shit days too.)
Hope that helps! XOXO