For a few months I have been struggling to get things done. Like many people at this strange and anxiety provoking period, my motivation has fallen through the floor. To get back on track, I wrote my goals for July out and stuck them on the wall in my office so that I would be reminded of them often and find my mojo. Did it work?
Well, July’s plan wasn’t all plain sailing. I was still struggling to concentrate and motivate myself and my anxiety and frustration was through the roof at times.
In the end, I decided to be gentle on myself. I hadn’t had any time off work since last July, so this seemed like a good time to do it. Instead of staring aimlessly at my laptop hoping for some inspiration, I did something equally useful, forgot about work did something practical and useful instead. I redecorated the lodger’s room!
A change is as good as a rest
When I set my July goals I didn’t know my lodger would move out so suddenly. She was struggling to pay the rent as she lost her job due to the COVID situation and was spending all her time at her boyfriend’s anyway.
I mentioned that I wanted to give the room a refresh so they came and moved all of her stuff out so that I could get on with it.
So my week off work didn’t involve lying on a sun lounger drinking cocktails. But a change really is as good as a rest and I actually enjoyed getting the painting done. I even put a coat on the downstairs loo, which was a small job I had been meaning to do for ages.
I used paint that we already had and, as I said in my weekly round up, spent a grand total of £40 on my revamp.
The room has now gone on spare room.com in the hope of finding a new occupant in the next few months. I hope we find someone who can tolerate a naughty puppy. We shall see!
Let me remind you of my goals for July.
1# Getting up early
As I am generally more productive early in the day, one of my goals was to set my alarm for 6 am so that I could get up, do my yoga practice and take the dog out without taking too much of a chunk out of my working day.
In the event, this has happened naturally. I tend to wake up much earlier than Mr S anyway, but faff about reading or browsing the internet. This month I have got up and got on. So I have achieved this goal and mean to carry on. It makes sense! Goal achieved.
2# Track my hours
I wanted to see exactly how many hours a week I actually work. When you are self-employed, you don’t have to do a 9-5 type schedule and it is easy to get side tracked.
For the first week, I faithfully tracked my hours worked and what I was doing in a little notepad I kept my my laptop. As I suspected, I wasn’t working as much as I should do! Oddly, this didn’t improve my focus much and actually drove my decision to take a week off to find my motivation.
It also made me realise that I need to block off chunks of time to do each of the work that I do. My approach has so far been a bit piecemeal. So, instead of doing a few hours of eBay here and there, a blog post every now and again, looking at freelance jobs as and when, etc. I need to be a bit more organised about what I do and when.
More about that in my August goals. I didn’t track my hours for the whole month, but I didn’t really need to as it achieved its purpose.
3# Sort my unlisted stock and office space
I made a good start on this, organising my ‘pile of shame’ into boxes and sorting out the area where I keep my packaging. However, it isn’t clear because I have also bought more stock, which is now in the pile again!
I guess this is the way of things as it’s never going to be ‘done’. It’s an ongoing project and I just need to keep it reasonably tidy as I go. So this is semi-achieved.
4# Go through my listings and reduce prices
I did this early on, and just as well, since I then sold a few items that had been sitting around for ages. July has been a very slow eBay month, partly because it always is in the school holidays, partly because I have listed less often and also partly because the shops have reopened and people were probably grateful to get out to actual shops for a change.
Happy with this goal.
5# Increase my freelance writing
I haven’t done any work on this, since I took time off for DIY instead, so this will go back on this month’s goals.
6# Read the damn book!
The book in question being a puppy training manual. Nearly there! One chapter to go, and Archie has also attended two puppy training classes.
He is making some progress, although seems to have become a hormonal teenager. He flirts with every dog he meets, male or female, and is showing a lot of interest in getting intimate with his bed. Think he may be heading to the vet for the chop soon!
Not quite achieved.
If I am going to continue to find my mojo, and keep myself on track, I need more goals for August.
Goals for August
1# A bit more DIY
Having done the lodger room, I am now really keen to get the hallway repainted. It’s so tatty and has been bugging me for ages. However, I can’t afford to take another week off, so will just aim to sand and paint the cupboard doors downstairs.
Little and often will hopefully get the job done. I already have paint for the walls, but have run out of gloss. This means a trip to the DIY store at some point to buy more and some sandpaper.
2# Training every day
There is little point in taking Archie for training if we don’t practice it at home, so I plan to spend at least 10 minutes each day going over what we have done in class.
3# 100 eBay listings
This old chestnut! I try to do this every month and am usually just under. Even with my week off, I managed 80 last month though, so definitely could have hit or exceeded this target.
4# Actively find some freelance opportunities
Carried over from last month, I need to give this some time and thought.
5# Time blocking to find my mojo
I plan to spend two days on eBay, 1.5 days on the blog and at least half a day a week on freelancing. This will leave me time for my DIY efforts as well.
I have written these out and they are on my office wall, replacing July’s goals. So, I may not have fully achieved them, but I created the extra goal of decorating the lodger room, which was fully achieved. I’m feeling good about that!
Let’s hope I continue to chill out and find my mojo during August. What are your goals for the month and how did you do with your July goals?