Staying motivated in 2020 has been a big challenge for everyone, and most certainly nannies; lockdowns, furloughs, WFH families, and changing responsibilities have hit many nannies, hard. And not to forget the most challenging of all challenges, losing a position to the impact of the pandemic.
So how do we keep motivated and stay positive through all of that? And also, better set ourselves up for a brighter 2021?
To help answer that, our friends at Mindshine have provided six top tips around personal motivation and productivity.
But one second, before we dive into Mindshine’s tips, take a moment to accept that it’s ok to not feel so great at the moment. It’s been an incredibly tough year, and that’s bound to have affected your level of motivation and positivity.
Mindshine’s Tip Number 1: Find time for your mental wellbeing
Many of us regularly carve out time from our busy schedules for physical fitness. But do we do it for mental positivity and motivation? Whatever tools you use – be it another app, a book or a simple moment of quiet reflection or meditation – it’s just as essential we do this for our overall wellbeing. And especially so in the digital ‘always-on’ world in which we all live.
Taking an everyday moment to relax, recharge, reflect and plan can be just the ticket for creating more positive, can-do vibes across the rest of the day.
Tip 2 for Staying Motivated: Be fair to yourself
We all put pressure on ourselves to get through as much as we can – particularly nannies!
We create running lists of tasks that MUST get done. And the list only ever seems to get longer while the time available stays fixed. And by doing that, we increase feelings of pressure and anxiety.
Having unrealistic expectations about what can or must be achieved often creates a fog that reduces one’s overall productivity – we get paralysed by the number of things we have to.
Take the pressure off by planning out what you can REALISTICALLY achieve, rather than what you think you need to get done.
Tip 3: Get into the routine of planning your week
Find a moment to think about what the week ahead looks like and plan it out – give yourself a guide; start with the big things that can’t move and then plan out the more flexible tasks.
Sidebar: As nannies, you can 100% guarantee this plan will not happen as intended. From a pea in an ear to missing shoes – the week will go off-plan. But, a little like a seating plan, if a new ‘guest’ arrives at your weekly time-table, you can more easily accommodate it around everything else, so long as you know where everything else fits in.
Sunday evenings are a great time to do this as it takes the stress (and sometimes fear) out of Monday mornings. When planning, create time for YOU. Be that physical exercise, mental wellbeing, or just having some time out with a friend for coffee and cake. You are a priority, so make time for you.
By doing this, you are setting yourself up for success. But to be successful, you have to see it through.
Tip 4: Write stuff down
Getting stuff written down takes it out of your head. It doesn’t matter whether it’s post-it note, notebook or digital note on your mobile – get it written down, so things are no longer floating in your head but caught, collected and anchored.
Writing tasks down not only helps with your anxiety around tasks, but it also gives you a structure to adapt as your week or day develops – remember the seating plan example. And it helps with your overall productivity; ticking things off is an important activity that enables you to move from one activity to another with clarity and satisfaction.
Tip 5: Plan your day
Planning your day more effectively can make a huge difference in motivation and productivity. Be realistic about the hours you have available and the length of time it takes to get things done. Allow for distractions and breaks and those little things that ALWAYS creep into the day. So make sure you give them a place in your day plan.
Top tip: The Mindshine app offers a free tool called ‘Plan your Day Backwards’ – check it out. It could be the right tool for you. I now apply this approach every morning, and it’s helped me get stuff done.
And Staying Motivated Tip 6: Celebrate Your Successes
Celebrating successes is all about brain training – train your brain to enjoy the feeling of reward that comes from accomplishing a task. Put the effort in, get a reward out.
And if you’re struggling with motivation (as many are), start small. Get a quick win under your belt early on in the day (get dressed and ready for work at a set time) and reward yourself on successful completion (make a cuppa and check your Instagram).
Create your victories – it doesn’t matter how big or small they are as long as you acknowledge them. As you grow your powers of motivation and productivity, increase the challenges you set yourself. But don’t rush it. Build your productivity over time, as you learn and benefit from new routines and structures. Train your brain back into being motivated and productive.
Feeling motivated to give it a try?
Remember, any new routine takes a while to bed-in before it becomes effective. So, if you do try something to help with motivation, give it a bit of time and effort to see if it works for you.
Here’s to staying motivated whatever the times we are going through.
Mindshine is a self-care app – think of it as a personal trainer for the mind.
The app offers a wealth of bite-sized courses that, over time, help users to be more effective and fulfilled in everyday life.
Either look it up online or in your app store. They offer all users a two-week free trial which is well worth taking up.