Women who work from home have a different set of challenges than those who spend the hours of 9-5 (and then some) at the company office. Obviously, these women, too, have their own set of challenges, particularly if they have young children or are required to travel often for their jobs. Point being, it’s often very hard for women to stay focused on the job under optimum circumstances; doing so when the weather is picture- (and mercury) perfect, and while many of your friends are traveling to the beach, mountains, Europe or just taking a staycation at home, is nearly impossible.
Now I know this is going to come off as a fluff piece, but let’s face it, under our corporate clothing, we are women with souls that need stimulating, and minds that need to be freed from all the nurturing we provide to kids, friends, co-workers, families, et al. So, disclaimer out there, if you’re lucky enough to have a big window in your office, fill it up with things that make you feel good. Flowers, plants, photos, artifacts from nature, travel magazines, colorful notebooks, or whatever else inspires a smile and gives you something pleasing to look at when you’re on a never-ending conference call or being reamed out by your boss.
If you don’t have a window, then make sure you have some open space to pile your favorite books and magazines, to leaf through during mental break time. Not carving enough of that out for yourself? Well there’s one of the first ways you can help get yourself through the workday. You’re not a machine, so don’t try to be one. Close your eyes, listen to some music, stand up, stretch, or pick up one of those tomes or pubs and start reading. After 15 minutes, you’ll be recharged and back on task.
Aside from these “basic” tips, there are some other ways to get motivated. One, is a little unconventional: peruse your competitions’ websites and social media pages. Read what they’re up to. If you’re like me, learning that your industry peer just scored a new client or accolade, or was mentioned by a print or broadcast media outlet, or invited to speak in front of an organization you belong to or support, you’ll go from summer slouch to overachiever in 0-60. A little peer push goes a long way, just remember that you’re competing against YOU and not that person. Otherwise, you’ll lose sight of your own unique strengths and weaknesses, and branded characteristics you were hired for, by your boss and your clients.
If you’ve wanted to start a blog, do it. Get more active on social media, do it. Try a new restaurant or coffee shop? Do it—just be sure to invite that potential client you’ve been trying to connect with, and pick spots that have outside tables and/or big open windows. As noted before, bringing sunshine, blue sky and fresh air into your day is a good cure for office confinement. Even a rainy day can stimulate the senses. Which reminds me, taking a walk at lunchtime is a must during the summer. If you work in the city, that can be a lot more fun, as there’s always quality people-watching and a stiff cup of coffee, ice cream cone, smoothie or herbal iced tea just around the corner. Again, it sounds like fluff, but even the most maniacal corporate types need to let in the superficial stuff once in awhile.
Here are 13 tips and quotes that I found earlier, which embodies similar thinking. The bottom line, is that to stay motivated M-F when the weather and your favorite R+R spots are beckoning, you’ve got to stop and smell the roses. And, when you are feeling especially motivated and are in a groove, stay there. Then when you’ve knocked out your to-do lists and reviewed your goals, get out of the suit and relax—guilt free.