Finding Motivation for Continuous Professional Development
written by: Alice Rovney•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 3/1/2011
Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline, and it's not always easy to stay motivated. Finding ways to motivate yourself can help you achieve continuous professional development while also increasing your productivity and overall sense of well-being.
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Motivation Comes From Within
While many people would consider working from home a dream scenario, they often fail to recognize all the implications that come along with being entirely responsible for your own home office and productivity. It requires sincere dedication, self-discipline, and organization to fully reap the rewards of maintaining a home-based job or business. Staying motivated is the ultimate key to success as a home-based worker. There's something that works hand-in-hand with motivation: continuous professional development. You must be prepared to motivate yourself from within. There are a few things you can do to stay motivated and set yourself up for success while working from home.
First of all, it is very important to have your goals set out clearly in front of you. In a traditional brick-and-mortar work environment we often have people looking over our shoulders, posting targets, and incentives in plain view or on memos in order to motivate employees to achieve company goals. With a home office, you are the one responsible for seeing projects, tasks, and goals through to the finish line. In order to keep yourself genuinely motivated you should post your goals in plain view where you can see them everyday and remember why you are working from home and what your objectives are.
Perhaps you are running your own writing business or doing contract work for IT companies online and you hope to increase your output along with your income. In that case, post some visuals of why you are working so hard. Remind yourself of what your personal desires are, whether they include winning the Pulitzer Prize or just having enough disposable income to take an extended vacation with your family. Whatever the driving force is behind your desire to succeed, put it up on your desk in photos and in writing and post it on your refrigerator door--and anywhere else that is practical--to help you feel motivated for continuous professional development when things feel boring or unstimulating.
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You need to provide yourself with some kind of predictable routine, even when you are working from home. Figure out what works for you as a person and how you can fit your work into your lifestyle in a way that makes going to your home office enjoyable and productive. Trying to work while the kids are hanging off the back of your chair is probably not going to allow for much focus or quality work output. Going to bed two hours earlier than you usually do may give you a peaceful two hours of early morning time while the other household members are still sound asleep. You may even find that you look forward to this time and actually become eager and excited to wake up in the morning and get to work. Getting to sip your morning tea or coffee slowly while really being able to focus with a sharp, refreshed mind can do wonders for your sense of well-being while empowering you to achieve your goals. Analyze which times of day you feel your mind is alert and ready to work. This will really help you to get the most out of your actual working hours.
Please continue on page 2 for more on Motivation & Continuous Professional Development.
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Are you seeking motivation & continuous professional development? Being able to organize your tasks and find a healthy work-life balance is important when trying to achieve success from the confines of a work-at-home office.
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Keeping it Together
If you have your personal and financial goals in order as well as your routine down pat, the next thing you should do is to give yourself scheduled breaks and treat yourself. It costs nothing to reward yourself with a hot bubble bath, extended shower, self-manicure, or to simply curl up with a relaxing beverage and a good book or magazine. Indulge yourself with little treats like this on a regular basis and you will start to feel refreshed and ready to get cracking at your desk once again. You can even set it up so that you write down a few personal indulgences you plan to give yourself upon the completion of a set number of tasks or assignments to stay motivated. Set up some long term goals as well, in which you promise to reward yourself for a job well done. This does wonders for your mental health and general well-being.
Taking care of your physical health is also important when you want to improve your professional development on an ongoing basis. A healthy body contributes to a more productive and alert mind. Not paying attention to your own basic health and fitness requirements can make you feel lethargic and unmotivated and even lower your self-esteem. It is imperative to develop and maintain your physical health in order to feel good about yourself, increase your confidence, and keep your blood moving. As the saying goes, when you look good you feel good. Feeling good both physically and mentally is critical in keeping yourself motivated and at the top of your game.
Socializing is something that many work-from-home professionals forget to take part in all too often. People become so absorbed in their work that they forget to get out there and mingle. If you spend too much time either at home or just alone in general, you will inevitably start to feel down in the dumps and your work-from-home life will begin to suffer as you become depressed and socially cut-off. If you feel you need a pick-me-up it is best to call someone and pull yourself away from your desk for an hour or two. More than likely, you will come home feeling refreshed and rejuvinated after catching up with a friend or shooting a few hoops with your buddies.
Write down your goals, targets, and timelines, and post them somewhere highly visible. It helps put things into perspective when you ask yourself why you are doing this particular task when you start to feel drained or bored with your job.
Make sure you set up your home office in a quiet area of your home, away from distractions--and keep it organized. Disorganization on your desk can make you feel disorganized internally. By keeping things in order and on track you will feel confident about your completing things on time and you won't waste time searching for that paper with the name of an important business contact on it.
All of these things can help you stay motivated and contribute to your professional development. Remembering your goals often and nurturing yourself will help ensure motivation; continuous professional development as a home-based worker will easily follow.