You may or may not have noticed I [Jaclyn] have taken a slight step back from writing the blogs over the last few weeks and left them in the capable hands of our amazing Guest bloggers - I had put up a post on the Scarlet River Hub asking if anyone wants to write for us as I embark on my last year of my Masters degree and tackle the dreaded Dissertation!!
Since then I have to admit, I got very lazy! I started a new job which ended up being the worst thing I could’ve done. My children went back to school, my anxiety (well general mental health) knocked me back and my creativity evaporated (and for anyone who knows me THIS is worse than everything else!) So...I am currently sat in Costa on a Monday morning after meaning to start this yesterday. My day has already been chaos - I had to get up even earlier than usual to do my meditation [which in hindsight was probably a good thing]. I also forgot to straighten my hair last night and girls as you well know, this can take a while! I took my son to school... and then it Rained!! I’m now having a gingerbread latte crying over my ruined hair and wondering how I got so old that my back is hurting just by getting out of bed!
Anyway I digress… what I am trying to say is that I have had extremely busy week. My final year started on Saturday and I’m already lost. I start a new job next Tuesday, I have children to organise and I have beauty appointments coming out of my ears to help me get ready for the BCMA Awards on the weekend... Oh, and I need to make sure me and my plus one have everything we need. Problem is I have NO MOTIVATION!
I can imagine this is the same for everyone... I see so many amazing artists have gig after gig right now which is fantastic but how/what/who can help when the motivation starts to wane and the to-do list keeps getting longer and longer and longer....? As usual, I have done a little googling to find the top tips for boosting motivation and to remind us all of why we do what we do…
Make a to-do list
I am a huge advocate of making a to-do list. I regularly go into TYPO in Cardiff to find notebooks, planners and to-do lists to help me get organised. I even have multi-coloured pens to help me mark stuff off... apparently pretty colours make me work harder. The idea of a to-do list is to help you write down everything you need to do and mark it off as you go. It helps to keep you on track and achieve your goals by the end of the day... it also makes you feel like you're achieving something!
Celebrate the smaller tasks as much as the bigger ones
As a rule we tend to focus on the bigger tasks. They are more time-consuming, harder and most of the time, the ones we definitely DO NOT WANT TO DO! This is why we should break them down and celebrate the completion of the smaller tasks as well. Any little step towards completion is a step in the right direction and makes things more manageable. I tend not to add the big tasks to my to-do list, instead I put small sections of the large task on my list and work through them slowly, sometimes spreading it across a number of days. It keeps me motivated by showing me I am making slight progress every day.
Remember your 'why'
This works for everything not just motivation. Any goal, dream or task is motivated by each individuals 'why'. Personally, my 'why' is without a doubt my kids. They are the reason I get out of bed everyday and fight. They are the reason I have survived the last 9 years of my life. Once you identify your 'why' everything will come into place. For many artists their 'why' is their music; writing and performing is what keeps them going but for many it goes a lot deeper than that. 'Why' is a very unique, personal and special reason for why you do the things you do. If you keep it in the front of your mind the motivation will come.
Take ‘small’ breaks
You can’t stay motivated right until the completion of the days' goals. You need to take a break. Give yourself time to sit down and reflect on how far you’ve come. Have a coffee, meditate, go for a walk etc. Just remove yourself from your laptop, instrument or whatever it is you need to do.
Ask for help
If you are struggling, ask someone to help you. One thing I know for sure is that I can reach out to people to help with my blogs... you guys have already proved that! My dad is a great support when it comes to my children. I am about to start working with an incredible team and I have someone to talk to when my head starts overthinking and anxiety creeps in. You are not alone and, if they can help they will! If they can’t, they will be a great sounding board in those stressful times.
Go for a walk
I can’t advocate this enough! I walk at least 6km a day. I put in my AirPods and I’m off in my own little world. When I need to clear my head, when I need to think things through or just stop thinking… I WALK. Walking is great for your health, physical and mental, it gets the energy flowing and releases endorphins.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Too much or too little can have a serious impact on your overall physical and mental health. Getting the right amount (professionals say 8 hours) can help to keep you alert and focused where needed.
What do you find helps you keep motivated?