Where growing, making & good living come together

How do you stay motivated?

Posted by on Thursday 8 September 2011 in meta | 10 comments

Apologies for the lack of posts this week and I guess the nature of many of the posts over the last few weeks/couple of months: I’m in a bit of a slump.

It’s a very precise slump though – I’m as generally happy as I’ve been in a long time/ever but feeling a bit meh about most of my work stuff and most practical things. I think it started in the garden in the early summer but has spread to just about everything else in the simple living milieu now and I’m finding it hard to get enthused about doing, or rather getting started doing just about anything. (It’s definitely not helped in areas like the garden, where the job to be tackled gets more difficult with each day I procrastinate, so makes me procrastinate about starting it even more.) Siiigh.

I’ve still been doing some stuff: looking after the chickens, cooking (which is why there have been a few new recipes recently) and bits of crafting, albeit pointless-just-pretty sewing projects (don’t get me wrong, they’re very enjoyable and I enjoy the outcome a lot but they’re not clothes or anything practical) but just about everything else … meh. I’m usually more about the journey than the destination but I can’t get motivated enough to even start the journey at the moment, and the reward of the destination doesn’t seem to be enough either.

I could go into a long, self-indulgent list of reasons what might be causing it but I think I’d prefer to focus on positive ways out of it instead…

So if you hit a motivation slump, what do you do to kick yourself out of it? Do you do things daily to keep motivated? Do you use lists to stop being overwhelmed by things? Do you focus on one area at a time, to hell with the rest – or do you do a bit of everything? Do you have any tricks for, well, tricking yourself into getting started?

Video games can keep my attention for a ridiculous amount of time: any other gamers thought of ways to “game-ify” simple living tasks to keep themselves at it?

Any suggestions would be very gratefully received!


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    You know what you need to do…get involved in some projects that you find FUN! So what if your sewing projects aren’t practical? Instead make some pretty things that you can give away as Christmas presents or sell on Etsy to make a bit of cash. A lady has got to have a bit zest (and art) in her life to make the drudgery of weeding and cleaning out chicken coops bearable :)

  2. Frugaldom

    Forget motivation, that’s just a fancy-shmancy word for all this positive thinking and will power stuff that everyone is always prattling on about these days.

    It’s probably a simple case of your mind having wandered off somewhere else to try and figure out other stuff, in which case, it’s stuff that needs figuring out in the first place.

    As you’ll have guessed, I love challenges and lists, but it can become a challenge just writing a list some days, let alone following it, so I don’t! Simple.

    On the subject of gaming, you have answered your own question, so congratulations on that! :) Play ‘Evil Weed Eradicator’ in the garden, while terrorising the weeds. Level 1 is completed once you have filled a small plant pot, level 2 could be a large plant pot, level 3 a bucket…

    Doesn’t have to be weeding, either, it could be harvesting, or food preparation or general household chores, anything, really. Just decide what each stage or level of your game is, then play it, with a suitable background noise (preferable music LOL) to accompany you – make sure it has the right beat.

    Never think of yourself as being demotivated, think of it more as having a level 1 day. It still takes you to the next day, regardless of what you do. And there’s always evidence that on level 1 days, your motivation IS still there, even if you can’t see it.

    You motivated me to sit and reply to your blog post!

    I find the above works for almost everything. :)

  3. Aurora

    I suffer a bout of this about once a year, usually at this time too. I just look around for shiny things that attract my attention and let the rest slide whilst I think through things. I usually decide to jettison a few activities permanently. It could be that if you have felt this way for a few months that there are new challenges that you want to take on, but life is cluttered with all the stuff you feel you ‘should’ do?

  4. Louba

    I’m a lists kind of girl but if I’m feeling blah about everything then the best remedy is to do something different, take a break and work out what’s bugging me. A walk along the beach or wandering around a park followed by a good sleep usually clears my head enough for me to come back ready to tackle the important stuff – the crap just seems to fall out of the loop.

  5. Karen M

    I thinks sometimes as women we expect ourselves to be up and on all the time. Maybe this is just a natural down time and you shouldn’t be too worried about it. The weather is changing and so is the light. Maybe now is the time for thought and change for you too.

  6. Small Footprints

    I took a writing class once and the instructor said that the best way to tackle a blank page was simply to put a mark on it … any mark. Sometimes simply getting started can increase one’s motivation or energy. It’s always that first step which is hardest … once taken, the others seem to follow. So don’t think about it too much … just begin. That’s what works best for me! :-)

  7. Linda

    A second music, actually MUSIC!! with beat and strength to it, the kind that makes you want to get up and move. It’s great to tidy up to and generally energises.
    Remember most jobs are 90% done in about 15min so if you make a pact with yourself to spend 10min on a job (with a timer) you’ll get heaps done and won’t feel like its a massive job (as your only going to spend 10min!). After 10, walk away and see if you feel like another 10, probably will due to the glaring results of the first 10!

  8. Linda

    Also, smaller posts more frequently would be fine ;)
    We can flesh them out down here in comments-land!!

  9. Sue

    It could also be the time of year – change of seasons can be unsettling. Sometimes its good to give yourself permission to be in the doldrums for a day, a weekend and then get back to it after. Failing that I identify the things that are bugging me and do them – its usually the ironing!

  10. Rachel

    My suggestions have already been said, but I’ll say them again anyway:
    1. Give yourself permission to have some time off. Most things can wait a bit, though you should probably keep up with feeding the chickens ;-) For me, sitting in front of the computer is a tempting, but counter-productive way to take a break, as I feel worse afterwards, not better. I find going for a walk or even reading a book makes me feel better afterwards. That sounds like the break should only be a few hours, but I didn’t mean that. Take as much time off as you need (so long as you don’t lose customers or let animals starve).
    2. If it’s the size of the task that puts you off, do just a little bit – tell yourself that you’re only going to spend ten minutes doing something. I don’t use a timer because I find ten minutes easily turns into half an hour without me noticing, once I’ve got started. The point is that it’s OK to just do ten minutes – it’s still better than nothing.
    3. Don’t worry about it. Everyone feels like this some of the time. Your motivation will come back. Mine deserted me for most of the summer, but it’s come back with hedgerows full of berries (free food – can’t beat it!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *