When you're a super seasonal business like myself, it can be pretty hard getting through the quieter times. Obviously knitwear doesn't sell quite as well through the Summer as it does through the winter and when there's distractions of beautiful sunshine, friends popping round for coffee or housework around you (if like me, you work from home!) it can be hard to stay focused on your work. I work so much through the Winter and Christmas season I do give myself a bit of a break in the summer, I think that's important. Surely there has to be some pro's to being self employed! But it's equally important to make sure I do work hard and get lots of things done that I'm unable to do through the busy winter period. So after years of trying everything out I thought I'd write down my tried and tested ways of keeping motivated through quieter times.
One of my biggest ways I keep motivated is I write lists for everything; work and my personal life! It keeps me on track, motivated, and once I've ticked something off it feels so good. If I'm feeling super unmotivated (a rainy monday morning especially!) I do 'timed lists' Where the night before I'll write out my times for the day and fill them with jobs ie. '10am-11am - write my blog.' It sounds super strict but it really helps me stay on top of things that need to get done without being so distracted. You can also play games with yourself to try and beat the timer! This is great because it keeps me on track and I'll be less likely to get distracted.
Whether it's daily, weekly or monthly I plan things I would like to achieve within the time frame, then I use my lists to implement those plans. Otherwise I find time really flies and you have the danger of weeks going by and you not achieving anything you wanted to. For example I do a lot of making stock for the Christmas season over the summer so I can say within x amount of time I would like to make 2 ponchos in every colour and so on. Then each day I know what I need to be knitting.
3. Social ban.
Now we all know how easy it is to get swept away looking at Instagram all morning only to reaslise it's 11am and you haven't actually achieved anything. I find this one especially hard but putting your phone down, having a timed ban or even putting your phone in another room can can work for me, but again it's something I really need to work on.
Make sure your environment is inspiring. Whether that's cleaning your studio on a Friday so when you walk in Monday morning it feels fresh or if it's taking yourself off to your favorite coffee shop for a couple of hours to write that blog post you've been putting off for months. I find where I am and how my environment is really affects me and can really change how well I work.
5. Take time off.
It might sound silly but giving yourself a break in the quiet times can actually give you more energy when you work. Through the Summer I started to give myself a Friday off whenever I could as I end up working a lot of weekends over the Christmas period. So it's like a little prize and means I'll be more motivated on my working days to achieve as much as I can.
I hope you've found this interesting, do let me know if I've missed anything out and what your ways to keep motivated are!