Time management and motivation are two of the hardest things for me, and I think most people. I tried different software to help me, but I can never seem to match what I do in their little boxes. I am back to using a text file to store ideas and to do items. An important key to motivation is to choose the projects you are really interested in - things you really care about, and I love working.
Great input by all those responders and particularly relevant thread for freelancers and entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs. One challenge that I find is balancing concessions provided to earn market share which can lead to de-motivation if you are by nature money motivated, either to make ends meet or to improve your standard of living. The key is to pick investments carefully to make sure discounts for testimonials, links, volunteering to get your name out there are the most likely to have the biggest bang for the buck and then stay motivated by constantly reminding yourself of the reason for investing. Concessions made should be necessary and move your business forward towards your mid to longer term goals. I try to find projects with tasks that I like doing (custom graphics, video shoots and production, writing, SEO). On the Internet, you have to give to get. Think about blogs you follow, forums you participate in, questions you answer on social networks. These are investments to provide quality comments, stay current on trends, tools and techniques. Another big productivity obstacle for many is that managing email and social networks can impact productivity while sucking away the time without even noticing. These activities should monitored and limited to non-productive hours where possible. If you are an online marketer, it is easy to rationalize time spent on facebook or LinkedIn, but tracking time and impact is important. The question to ask, is the time that you are spending going to bring in you business or position your business in the market. If not, limit these social activities to before work, at lunch and after work. That has helped me. Like Will, I too use the change context (task 1, task 2, task 3, back to task 1) to keep it fresh/motivating. Be careful not to switch too often as there is an overhead for switching context, like when you run too many computer programs at once, your computer will begin to "thrash." If done carefully, I can get lots of work done and still be interested in what I am doing when switching contexts every thirty minutes or so.
Great topic, but I don't have time for this now. :)
Originally Posted by trizi