Advice #41: How Do I Stay Motivated?

ask nubby advice


ask nubby advice



You seem very motivated! But, how do you keep that motivation? Do you ever get hung up on a piece/project? If so, what do you do to get out of that funk?


I would consider myself to be very motivated but that motivation is mostly tied to doing things that I love, most visibly design and blogging. Conveniently enough, these are the two pieces of me that you happen to see online. When it comes to other parts of my life, trust me, I’m definitely not as motivated! Like most people, I strive to share what I’d consider to be my positive attributes online; this is done an effort to motivate others and to nurture their creativity. My blog is a snapshot of my life so it’s not going to show everything.

But, back to your question. Staying motivated can be incredibly difficult but I’ll let you in on something that I face on a daily basis: when you’re getting paid to do what you love and are up against deadlines, it doesn’t matter how bad you may feel. You have to deliver work to clients no matter what! Like everyone else, I have my bad days. Doing eight straight hours of production, having proofs come back with muddy colors and facing all-nighters to make a deadline can all be draining. But even on those days, I’ll complain in one short burst, get it out of my system and move on. Holding in the negativity will do nothing to help you (or your mental health). Find a release to wrap up a long day whether that’s gossiping with a friend or going to the gym and get a good night’s sleep. I bet you’ll wake up feeling fresh, motivated and inspired once again!

When I am lacking motivation, I switch up my routine to force myself to think in a fresh, new way. Sometimes, I’ll do a 10 minute yoga video. Stretching and clearing my mind really do make a world of difference. Also, working in a different medium for a short while can also help. When I’m feeling stressed, I’ll collage into my Fashion Notebook — focusing on piecing together colors and themes reset my brain. And, stepping outside of my normal work area and sitting somewhere with a notebook and pen also can do wonders. Give yourself the freedom to briefly walk away from anything that’s giving you trouble and see what comes out onto that paper, even if it’s nonsense. You never know; a brilliant new idea may be right around the corner.


What can you do to stay motivated?


1. Get Inspired.

Create a folder on your desktop and spend 30 minutes searching for fresh visual inspiration. Three great places to start are FFFFOUND!, Designspiration and We Heart It.


2. Make To-Do Lists.

Whether it’s typed into your iPhone or scribbled into a planner, making a list is a simple way to hold yourself accountable. If you’re just storing everything in your head, it can become jumbled, overwhelming and difficult to prioritize. Facing down exactly what you need to get done puts you on a mission to make progress. And it feels so good as you make your way through, crossing off each item, one by one.


3. Set Deadlines.

If the items on your to-do list are too open-ended, there’s not much motivation to get them finished. Hold yourself accountable by setting firm deadlines. If you can’t get something finished, carry it over to the next day’s to-do list until it gets crossed off. That way, it will haunt you until it’s done!


4. Keep A Schedule.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set a very structured schedule. Knowing that you only have a certain timeframe to complete a task keeps you focused and sharp. If you don’t have a defined schedule, everything just keeps flowing into the next day and so on because there’s no pressure to follow through.


5. Learn To Say No.

You’re only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. If you’re consistently finding yourself to be lacking in motivation, ask yourself why. What are you filling your day with? Do you make time for your passions or are you just existing? Make a list of what you love to do and even if you only have 10 free minutes in your day, give yourself a much deserved break. Don’t let the world pass you by; give yourself the time to dream big, then set benchmarks that lead to accomplishments that make you happy. If you have a goal to strive towards, the motivation will follow.


Readers, what do you do to stay motivated? Any tips or tricks that you swear by?


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