Learning self motivation

My home has been crowded lately. Its been me and my mom for a while, and this summer my brother joined us. I didn’t think about it when he first moved in, but i haven’t shared a house with the two of them since 2005. And I haven’t shared the same room with my brother since I was 7 years old.

Now, I love my family, but this living situation is tough for me – especially since just last year I was living in my own nice apartment, organized exactly how I wanted. Given this state of affairs, my creative energies at Techshop have largely gone towards improving my living space – to make it more livable for 3 people living close together.

But I have  a problem, I have trouble managing myself. All the other jobs I’ve had involved working for others, on their schedules. Now that I’m trying to work for myself, on my own schedule – I have to learn a whole new skill set. One thing I know for sure is that to be productive, I MUST get out of the house. No matter what I do, when I try to work or be creative at home, I just end up wasting time.

I first learned this lesson back in high school – the beginning of junior year, my grades had been getting worse and worse. Not because I didn’t understand my classes, but because I wasn’t doing the homework. Sometimes I just didn’t do the work at all, and then when I did do it, I was usually late. But then I got a girlfriend of sorts (it was complicated). She went to the library after school to do her work, and since I wanted to be around her, I followed. Just 1-2 hours at the library with her – even subtracting time for flirting and goofing around – was worth more than an entire evening at home. Even after we went our separate ways, I continued doing my work outside the house, and my grades kept getting better – because I was actually doing my work on time.

It’s a hard lesson to accept, because when I’m at home – my bed is just so comfortable, my cat is just so warm sitting on my lap, and snacks are just so close at hand…I wish I could get work done there, but I can’t.

So this week I’ve made sure to get out of the house everyday, as early as I can – even on days when I don’t have any actual projects to work on. Yesterday the whole wood-shop was reserved for a class, so I couldn’t get any work done. But I just sat in the Techshop lounge and sketched up ideas for my next projects. It was time well spent – I made 5 sketches in the same time I would have finished 1-2 working at home. I’ll post some of my sketches soon.

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