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Three Rules for Staying Motivated

How to Focus on the Task at Hand

Photo via Kaplan

I work from home. That means I own my time, but at a cost: I am always lacking in motivation! At a traditional job you might have a boss grilling you and pushing you towards a deadline, but when you’re self employed that falls on you.

There are distractions everywhere you look! Whether it's Netflix, YouTube, or even just cleaning, you can't escape distractions. There’s no point in avoiding distractions, all you can do is learn to embrace them and stay motivated.

Over the past few years of my writing, I have tried to teach myself the skill of motivation and am still learning. These three rules have always helped me to reorient myself and stay on track. I would recommend these rules to anyone lacking motivation today.


Motivation is not a physical struggle. It’s an internal one. However, your physical surroundings contribute to your mindset.

With my writing, I like to have a dedicated workspace where I can zone out and focus on the task at hand. I listen to music, detox from social media and try to get myself into a good writing zone.

Creating a space that you can easily work at will help you to focus your mindset on the task at hand. A focused mind is a non-distracted mind.

Is there too much noise pollution at your office? Then listen to music. Too many distractions around? Then lock yourself away from them if you can.


Motivation is the key to a productive day. The best way to begin any productive day is by exercising.

Before I sit at my desk to write I try to go for a walk, run, or even just do a few push-ups. I get antsy if I sit still for too long, but after exercising, I always find that I can sit and work for longer periods of time.

Maybe from exhaustion, maybe from the built up adrenaline; either way it helps to stay focused on the task at hand.

Another pro to exercise (aside from being beneficial to your health) is that it helps to clear your head and it helps you enter that mindset I mentioned earlier.

I always walk to clear my head. Once I get back I always find that I'm in a more productive work zone.

Clear Your Schedule

Now that you’re in the right mindset, you’ve cleared your head with exercise, all you have to do now is sit down at your desk and work. You look at your phone, you have a meeting in half an hour ,so you give up your work to prepare for that.

Sound familiar?

Getting into the right zone is nothing if you have other priorities. If your work is your priority then make it your priority.

I get that this can be hard if you have a family and other work commitments, but if you are committed to your writing or whatever you’re doing then you need to find time with a clear schedule.

No distractions, just you and your work. You will be surprised at how much you can get done with a clear schedule.


Staying motivated is one of the hardest things that a writer can do. When everything is there to distract you it can be hard to focus on what’s important.

These three tips have helped me to prioritise what’s important with my writing. I create a work mindset, I exercise to help me stay productive and motivated and I clear my schedule so I have time to write.

I hope that these three rules for motivation will help you as much as they’ve helped me.

- Chris Gutteridge

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