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Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home

Lesson 8 of 10

Find Your Sources for Motivation

Darren Murph

Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home

Darren Murph

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Lesson Info

8. Find Your Sources for Motivation

Lesson Info

Find Your Sources for Motivation

Sources of motivation. So we touched on this a little bit earlier. It's an an interesting question because when you go into work, you go into an office, your motivation is well, I can't be the weak link here. I've got all these people relying on me. Everyone else here looks like they're trying really hard. Everybody got dressed up for work today, they came to work today they're doing a great job. Your motivation sort of hits you as soon as you walk in the door. We never walk in that door. Where is your source of motivation? So what I love to talk about is being the coach and the player in this is a construct that really only applies to remote workers where you need to coach yourself on what do I need to be more timely at? What do I need to get better at in terms of organization? How far behind am I on this project and what do I need to do it? And then you have to step aside the jekyll and hyde thing and say thanks for the information, coach. This is what I'm going to do to stay on the ...

team and it's it's totally a mind trick it's the same person, but you don't have that coach from the office. All of the time to tell you what you need to do and a lot of that is just making deliberate checkpoints with yourself, maybe it's weekly, you said a reminder on your reminders app of choice ever know what have you and you say, you know what? I need to check in with myself and I actually living up to what I said I would do in the office this week and you have to switch sides to the player it's like, you know what? It's it's on me to prove that I'm still worthy of being on this team. Put yourself in the pressure cooker, so this is this ties him with putting yourself in the zone. So with me, if I had the right music, I had the right software in front of me, I was in the zone, but I also worked best under pressure, and remote workers for some reason tend to fall into that category more than others. And I would say if that's you go full bore if you weren't best under pressure when you say, you know what, I've got an incredibly tight, maybe impossibly tight deadline. I have no choice but to get this done, I'm going to get in the zone, there's, I have no excuses. There's no office distraction. Maybe I'm slinging around in a taxi cab. But you know what? It's not in office. This is the life I chose let's, get it done. Putting yourself in the pressure cooker goes a long way to getting things done, and I compare this with the office worker if you show up from nine to five, maybe your first few hours are really hacked. Give three hours of nonstop meetings you have a lot to do, you're getting things done and then people step away for lunch. But you're kind of still in the zone. Well, when you're at work, you think, well, I'm going to be here so five anyway, maybe I'll load up facebook. Maybe I'll kill some time when you put yourself in the pressure cooker and you don't have that construct of well, I have to be here anyway. Force yourself to get through mortuary of work and shorter amounts of time because the benefit is on the other side of that work is whatever you want to do see at the office if you get done with your work in advance. Still got two more hours at the office, but if you're at your home office boy there's some motivation to get that done early, get scrappy, put yourself in the pressure cooker. And be willing to learn and embrace new passions if you see something come up at work and you're not really familiar with it. But you can tell no one's jumping on this jump on it, it's, it's like challenge yourself to learn something new. You'll impress everyone else around you, and you'll probably be good at it. Yeah, I have a question about setting the deadlines for yourself on day like I like right now, I have this project where the guy was like, uh, it's like, you can choose your dad line. I was like, ah, instrument in three weeks we'll be there like, ok and he's like, yeah, of course it's, it's it's up to you, you know? And then I find myself like doctors. Almost three weeks are done. I'm stilling I like I almost didn't started tio know that. So you know what? People usually there's usually the camp that procrastinates religiously or never procrastinates and really, a lot of it boils down to you have the opportunity to say I could take three or four weeks to do this, but what if he would have said, I have a week to do this? You would have probably been done but then things come up like, you know, in the middle of this in the middle of the streets he came up with me with another project and I had to do a lot of reading for that project so I would definitely not like I'm not able to do it because I need like to spend a week off reading to get myself into like new project yeah well with things like that if they if they bring a new project to the table then obviously there's the chance for you to say this changes things this is going to set a new deadline but it doesn't one thing that remains constant is with an initial project the faster you get done with what's happening initially if something crazy happens you would rather have the first section done then that to be on top of something else and so I go back to my wife's wedding photography business she promises clients to get every photo back edited by a certain day but internally on her own internal counter she puts a deadline that's actually sooner than that because she wants to have some sort of buffer for this's the amount of time that if things go terribly wrong and they don't go wrong the benefit is four days or whatever it may be of not having to work on this particular project anymore and you exceeded the client's expectations because you've got it to him early so of course it doesn't always work out like that but whenever you can build a buffer in, do it try to get things done faster than you tell the client because life happens in a lot of times you do have to extend what you meant by get scrappy yeah, so that cz really just uh going out and finding things to do like if you're in an office environment and you think I'm humming along I'm doing all the things that I'm being asked to do maybe you should go out and find one more thing I know this sounds like absolute insanity but you got to remember in a remote role you're gonna be the first one to be forgot and so being proactive and saying no teamwide does anybody need a hand? Does anybody need any help on any projects? And of course you need to have the bandwidth to do it but if you do make sure you are open about hey I'm willing to help out it helps people not forget you and if you're running your own business, I mean there's even more motivation to do it because if you take and I'm going to take a one more project, I really think I could do it this more revenue for you that's one more contact for you and it helps drive efficiency in my engadget life I didn't think I could write a post any faster than thirty minutes until I had on then it was done in twenty and I said, wow, this's actually possible, you know, even weightlifters there's no way I could do to fifty on the bar until you did and then you think you figure out ways to do it and if you put yourself in uncomfortable situations really amazing things happen and I think in the office what kind of taught to not do that whatever is comfortable I found a career track I'm just going to keep going it's comfortable when you're outside event you don't have the benefit of the doubt, so you might as well challenge yourself whenever you can it's never backfired you take on an extra project and everybody knows it's extra and you don't quite finish it on time but you do finish it I mean, how that's not a negative at least you finished people give you lots of credit, lots of kudos for going out there and trying because most other people won't do that. So what a pose a question here what do you love to do after work or outside of work? And what excites you most about shutting down and quote unquote clocking out so what people here like to do with, you know, network travel no, we would get along great long walks long may long walks on the beach is just like the postcards says you just can't beat it I'm going skiing ski that's amazing yeah right right so I like to learn new things do you okay that's also your hackathons yeah because I love that yeah e I mean we're talking about the fun things to do you know while you're working do you find that that definitely you know kind of helps break down the day so you can actually you know you you enjoy yourself part of it and then you get to work as opposed to just like working the entire time you know it can get kind of you know I guess depressing after why can't know it absolutely I mean truthfully one of the things that motivates me most about continuing remote lifestyle is the thought of working nine to five until I retire is just stricken cz me with fear I mean it's just it's so I mean it's it's like the work version of prison it really is I mean that gives you zero flexibility to predetermine time when you can enjoy yourself outside of work that's that's no way to live I mean it's just that the human condition the human soul was built for more than that way we have to express ourselves in mohr than and then what we do and of course I encourage everyone to try to find a job that's fits your passion so that you feel like you're fulfilling that but everybody has to have something else out of work uh yeah for myself I love to go hiking oh and I can't really do that at night because you know I'll injure myself right? So but the thing is if I break break free from work from twelve to four to go hiking some of the best ideas I've had for solving climate problems has happened two miles in sweat pouring off it just it just happens it's it's hard to explain why does that happen? But when you're outside of the conventional space your creative juices are allowed to flow and amazing things can happen when you get outside of that and I don't think a lot of people ever try that because if they're stuck in an office when are you going to try that? So my point here is that as a remote worker you're largely or at least to some degree more than you would be in an office in control of how your dais segmented now there are some days where a client hits me with a conference call it is the only time they can do it and it conflicts with when I want to be gone that happens every day is not going to be perfect but when you work remotely you do have more flexibility to schedule calls outside of the normal time so I work in the new york times on but I've had clients all in all different times that I've taken calls at nine at night my time because I'd much rather be on a call when it's dark and I can't hike anyway and have that hour in the day to myself to do whatever I want and mostly was why would you take a congress calling nine at night like my brain is completely shut off by nine tonight? Well that's because you worked the nine to five and by five you're completely shot and I actually saved some of that for later and so it allows you to do crazy things like take on clients in different time zones because you can take calls at nine or ten at night and it doesn't bother you whatsoever and clients appreciate that too, because most of these clients have lots going on during the day so if they're able to fit you in in a different time, you're doing them a favor as well. So whatever it is that you love to do after work outside of work, I mean there's your fuel toe work harder, smarter and with more focus uh, I touched on this a little bit earlier, but especially in a in an organization where they expect you to work eight hours a day and you have certain projects and duties that air do every single day if you're in an office and he worked really hard really smart really focused and you get eight hours of work done in six you aren't going anywhere you're killing tom for two hours for no good reason but if you work on your own turf and you get that work done in advance, you have lots of options you could take on a new project really impress everybody at work maybe work towards a promotion you could break out a little bit early go enjoy some sunshine well deserved you could take on a client of your own you could say you know what? I really want to start my own thing on the side with the stability of this full time job this is the perfect time to do it, but the point is when you control the day and you control the hours, you have motivation to work harder, smarter and bacon some extra hours for you to do things outside of work. If you're in office, you're going to be stuck there and it gets people very little motivation to work faster, harder and above average. Yeah, so I brought up the question that I had around like, what is your advice or your take on showing up being available, taking on more and at the same time owning your time? Yeah, uh initially if it's if it's a new arrangement where you just convinced your manager to let you work remotely you're going to be more scrutinized than ever before that would be the time where you may put you on the back burner for a bet and put work on the forefront maybe take on a little bit more than maybe even you're comfortable with just approve I could do this I'm built for this and so on so forth if you're a freelancer especially it's much easier to say I'm going to take on this project that the client thinks it's going to take four hours in under every expectation is should but if you figure out work flows to get it done in three that's an extra hour that you earned back so it is it does vary from job to job but I still say even in even in a typical office environment most people will give you projects based on the assumption a set assumption of time and if you're able to do it faster if you can decide what it is as long as you get it done as long as you meet that deadline if you need to submit something by twelve noon on thursday but you're done with it by ten people are still going to be stuck that you got it done by twelve noon on thursday and then that actually two hours it's up to you I mean maybe it's just got to feel out the vibe of the workplace that if you feel like maybe you've been lacking a little bit of you've been a little bit behind, maybe that's a signal that let me let me take something else on for these two hours, let me just offer my help to anyone else in the network if you think you know, I've been slammed, I've been just going way over and above mentally, I just need a break, maybe you go hiking for those two hours. The point is it's so much better toe have options, then to just be in an office and it's like, well, I'm done with this thing early, my reward is I get secretly check facebook for two hours, not very much of a reward, so bucket list gets riel, this is one of the chapters in my book on dh, you know, I've just I've just taken a liking to a bucket list in a very, very real way, so when my wife and I got married, we went to hawaii for our honeymoon amazing place if you've never been go for honeymoon or anniversary or just for kicks just got make sure you go. And we said, you know what? Let's, let's build out a list of things we want to do, places we want to go impacts, we want tohave, it doesn't necessarily have to be travel bucket list is usually associated with places you want to go but it can also be things you want to accomplish maybe you're a fitness buff and you want to be able to bench to fifty that's a bucket list call maybe you are travel freak and you want to see one hundred countries kind of put him in order of when you want to knock him out too many people don't take this seriously it's the kind of thing where I'll get back from somewhere a few years ago I got back from kawai and I was talking to someone and I said, yeah, we just got back from quiet was amazing and they say, oh, that place has been on my bucket list forever and then the next sentence it's like so you hear about jim's promotion wait a minute, why don't we finish this conversation about where you want to go and why you just totally blew that off like this is your one life it's your one chance to do the things you want to d'oh and if you so casually brush something like that aside, are you ever going to make time to do it and it's like this is a get real with yourself moment and I think when you work remotely it just hits you much more riel because no longer can you blame the office yeah for the for why you're blowing off the bucket list whatever it may be you know the office isn't you're not beholden to that office anymore? The only reason you are doing these things is because you're putting forth the effort to do them so I would seriously I mean this is it's probably best homework assignment you'll get create a bucket list think about what you're seeking check in with yourself monthly or quarterly whatever makes the most sense update your bucket list you know every place I go we add two more places and that's the way it should be, you know, it's like if I ever get to the end of it that's a real problem it's got to just keep growing someday needs to be today I mean, this is motivation if nothing else is and again it doesn't have to be travel maybe it's helping out in the community effort that you've been saying, you know, every christmas someone so does this, but I just don't have the time to do it you know what? Figure out a way to do it and this goes back to what do you do with those hours? If you if you calculate the hours and compare it to what your bucket list is, you say all right, if I can shift this project this way, I can make time for this and, you know, to some degree life is a game of legos on a calendar just trying to build things up here and free things up here. But the bucket list helps make it real and hold yourself accountable to it.

Class Description

If your soul is drained by a daily commute or you work in a role that you're sure could be done from anywhere, join Darren Murph for Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home.

In today's knowledge-driven world, too many employees are squandering precious hours away from their homes and family. Find out what it takes to build a career and life that gives you that time back. Darren will teach you how to: 

  • Advocate for a remote role
  • Cut out unnecessary distractions 
  • Perfect your home office
  • Improve your personal communication skills
Working remotely removes a massive inefficiency and enables you to live and work with more flexibility. In this class, you'll discover the tricks to setting yourself up for success in a remote role and how to ensure a smooth transition in the workplace.

Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home with Darren Murph will prepare you to prove your worth in the remote marketplace, erect an office wherever you are, and give you a newfound appreciation for work and time.

Click here to join the LIVE studio audience in San Francisco!

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Top Apps for Working Remotely

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Living The Remote Dream - Nonlinear Workday

Living the Remote Dream - Preparing for a Remote Transition

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Full of valuable information. Talks about pro's and con's of working remotely. I already work remotely as a freelance graphic designer but Darren had plenty of tips that I will implement for myself. Class moved at a nice pace.

MIke Woitach

Love it! I've been working from home for two and a half years and have been struggling with my productivity. This helped me think through the classic sticking points and how to think about my day.