Motivation and Productivity – A Winning Combination

You need the right amount of motivation and productivity to accomplish your goals. Motivation inspires you and makes work more enjoyable, and a focus on productivity forces you to step out from the everyday busyness once in a while to make sure you’re still moving toward your goals.

Here are 5 things that if you do on a consistent basis, will help you stay motivated, productive, and in tune with the bigger picture.

1.) Know yourself: “Money” is usually the first thing that comes to mind as a motivator for accomplishing goals. Yet, a study conducted by Kenneth Kovach of George Mason University revealed that interesting work and appreciation of work rank higher than money on a scale of external motivators.

Knowing what motivates you, then, can make what you use to inspire you really “speak” to you. For example, if you crave recognition, thinking about people asking for your autograph might be more motivating for you than thinking only about the money you’ll make.

Action step: whenever you set a new goal, make a list of other factors besides money that will make the goal uniquely “you” and give you the drive to pull through and accomplish it.

2.) Appreciate yourself: When you work from home, you have no boss to say “thank you” and recognize you for a job well done – so you must do this for yourself. The challenge with this is that we’re often our own worst critic and are quick to point out what we didn’t get done or didn’t accomplish.

Action step: right now, and every day from now on, write down at least one thing you did right today – perhaps you made a difficult decision, got started on a project you have been putting off, or stuck to your self-imposed limits for hanging out on Facebook during the workday.

If you tend to be hard on yourself, set aside a notebook just for keeping track of these every day accomplishments that are so easy to ignore.

3.) Keep turning yourself on – motivation doesn’t just “happen” and it doesn’t just stick around by itself – you need something to aim for, and you need to remember why your goals matter to you – otherwise projects, deadlines, and busyness will cause you to lose direction.

Action step: revisit your priorities daily, weekly, and monthly, so that you keep on track about where to exert your efforts (and why you want to in the first place). If a priority is particularly challenging, or you’ve been avoiding it, write it in a place where you’ll be reminded of it every day – having it loom over your desk might be enough of a motivator to just get it done.

4.) Schedule a punch-out time – if you often think to yourself “I’ve got all day to finish that project” or “I can get that done tonight” you’ve probably gotten too used to having no end to your workday. This is especially true if you work from home – the fluidity is good, but it can also make it too easy to slack during the day and then difficult to pull away at night – which makes it harder to find time to recharge.

Action step: come up with an ideal of what you would like your work hours to be – if you work from home, perhaps you can split your day in two shifts to accommodate your personal preferences and or/home responsibilities. Strive to stick to that ideal every day and schedule some fun, relaxing, or non-work related activities during the off hours.

5.) Attitude is everything – how you deal with problems when they come up has an effect on your motivation, and your productivity. Negativity, fear, and insecurity can slow you down, sap your energy, and increase your stress level, because they force you to stay focused on problems. Thinking positive and feeling confident, on the other hand, can lead to an attitude of “I can,” which keeps you focused on finding solutions to challenges.

Action step: think of a problem that has been bothering you, and come up with at least one positive thing that can come from it – be open to the answers that come to you, even if you resist them. If you can’t come up with any on your own, ask someone for help – they may be able to see something you can’t. Then, from that more positive outlook, brainstorm some possible solutions to it, or things you can do to better deal with the situation.

Give yourself permission to accept that motivation takes effort and persistence. It’s easier to drown in the busyness, to look down, rather than up. So if you’re constantly working on keeping yourself motivated, you already have plenty to be proud of.

Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer Claudine Motto helps home office geniuses, entrepreneurs, and independent professionals get organized and in control of their workload so they can reach their goals with less struggle and less stress. For more productivity, time management, and office organizing tips, go to To set up a complimentary 20-minute productivity coaching session, visit