How To Stay Motivated
Inspiration vs. Motivation
These days finding inspiration is easy with help from hundreds of design blogs. With a few simple clicks you have an endless supply of inspiration right at your fingertips. The real trick is finding motivation and, further more, staying motivated. Please do not get the wrong idea. Inspiration can serve as great motivation, however there is more to it. Staying motivated is a practice and requires more effort than ambiguously cruising for inspiration.
You Know Inspiration, Let Us Try Motivation
1. Do Not Overwork Yourself
Working too much is a sure fire way to put a screeching halt to any and all of your motivation. Constantly working too much will put you in a rut, of which may become too deep to dig yourself out of. Use a timeline with every project to ensure you have allocated enough time for the work entitled.
2. Pace Yourself
On top of not overworking do not try and fit too much work into one day. Doing so will not only stall your motivation but even worse it will produce unacceptable work. Create a reasonable daily schedule and do your best to stick to it. If a daily schedule is not your style perhaps try a quick to-do list instead.
3. Set and Beat Your Deadline
Once you have your timeline and daily schedule in place work to set a goal to beat your deadline. A lot of people have their productivity peak right before closing in on a deadline and until the deadline is insight productivity is minimal. Use multiple deadlines for every project and benefit from completing them early.
4. Get a Good Start
Getting a good start to a project will help to keep you motivated throughout the duration of the project. On days when you sleep in you typically do not tend to be very productive. Same thing goes with web design. Do your best to make a solid effort at beginning every project.
5. Disregard Any Interruptions
Email, Twitter, instant messaging, and other interruptions are just as big disadvantages as they are beneficial. Taking a few minutes here and there to check your RSS feeds or email will quickly add up in the course of a day. Blocking out and limiting these interruptions is the only you are going to be able to willingly meet your deadline.
6. Make Good Use of Your Spare Time
Staying motivated requires you to make good use of your spare time. If you are able to truly enjoy your time away from work the happier you are going to be when the time comes to get some work done. Being happy and having a good attitude can stretch a long way when it comes to staying motivated.
7. Rotate Work Environments
Sitting in front of a computer day in and day out will take its toll. A good way to mix things up is to move to another location or environment. Heading down to your local coffee shop, bookstore, or café once a week to work can brighten the day and provide something to look forward to the rest of the week.
8. Put It Off If Possible
If you get a rough start to a project or hit a roadblock put it off for a little while when possible. Sitting there and spinning your wheels without any results is only going to put you further back on your feet. Learn to set a project aside and move on to another for the time being if possible.
9. Follow Your Progress
After working on a project for a while it is easy to lose track of your progress, at which it begins to feel like you are just plugging away for an unreachable ending. Keep an eye on your overall progress and make sure to note when you reach desirable points.
10. Take Productive Breaks and Vacations
A change of scenery for a while can do wonders for one’s motivation. Breaks can be as simple as heading out for lunch, walking the dog, or as delightful as taking a vacation. Not only do you work hard to earn these breaks, but you also come back refreshed and ready to get to work afterwards.
11. Work With Others
If there comes a time when you get stuck, look for a second opinion or help from others that will provide you with the added push you need to continue. If possible develop a network of people you can look to for advice on difficult projects. Even help from others completely outside the industry can provide an additional insight you may have previously missed out on.
12. Take Another Approach
Sometimes we get jammed and that is all right as it is a natural process of being a web designer. Rather than go insane and throw your hands in the air take a look at the work from another angle or take a different approach. Working around the holdup can help you continue working without wasting any valuable time.
13. Have Fun
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have fun. Turn your work into fun by adding a twist to it, making it competitive, or getting others in on the action. If you are doing landing page testing make bets with others around you as to what page will perform the best. Adding a little competition or twist to your work can be just what you need to make it more enjoyable.
14. Eat Lunch or Grab a Snack
Not only does eating give you a break and time to clear your head but it also provides you with much needed energy. If you are working and come to a barrier too high to breakdown go eat lunch or grab a snack then come back full force ready to break the barrier down. Along with eating, stay hydrated to avoid fatigue and stay ahead of the game.
15. Go Exercise
The benefits to exercising are endless. In regards to staying motivated, exercising will allow you to release endorphins, blow off work stress, and ultimately detoxify yourself. After exercising you will be able to relax and in return increase productivity and motivation at work.
16. Drop the Dead Weight
More times than none you are going to have to deal with a dysfunctional client and they can make you absolutely hate your job. Do your best to work with the client and turn the relationship around. However; if all else fails and you have the option, drop them. No amount of money is worth driving you insane and making you hate your job.
17. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself is one of the easiest and most important ways to stay motivated. After every small task you complete reward yourself by taking a break or getting some coffee. For the larger tasks or projects you complete go home early or buy yourself something new. No matter what you decide to do make it meaningful for yourself and recognize your accomplishments.
18. Keep Your Head Up
At times we all feel like throwing in the towel and calling it a day. Fact of the matter is quitters never win. Everyday is a new opportunity and it is up to you to make the most of it. Learn from your mistakes and do not let things get the best of you. If you can do that you will be all right.
What Keeps You Motivated?
Everyone is different and I believe I have only touched on the surface of what can keep you motivated. I would love to hear what you do to stay motivated. Please share your tips and advice with us below in the comments.