How to Stay Motivated

Workshopshed: Patrick Bailey looks at how having a creative hobby down your shed a can help your mental health

Patrick: A workshop shed is more than just a place to have fun with a hobby, work on projects and crafts, refine skills and techniques, and learn how to handle new materials and tools. It can help to keep one focused on doing meaningful things and improve productivity in all areas of one’s life.

Maintaining a workshop shed has the potential to become a fundamental piece of one’s life purpose. It can bring joy to people and provide them with a sense of wholesome satisfaction. It can be the satisfaction of accomplishing something alone or the joy of sharing a passion.

New ideas for projects don’t have to come from books and videos on woodworking, welding, etc. Just as good or even better is to find people with similar interests and learn from, collaborate with, or mentor them in various projects and crafts.

How Maintaining a Workshop Shed Can Help With Our Lives

Finding such fulfillment in your workshop shed is more likely if you know why you are pursuing the hobby. An institution can’t function well when it doesn’t have a mission statement. Without this, they will be lost and won’t know what to do or why they do it.

Just like these institutions or companies, humans can also become lost, confused, or out of sync without any personal missions or focus and motivation.

Your main interest in life or whatever brings you the most satisfaction can be a vital clue in your search for who you are. The time you invest in your hobbies, such as maintaining a workshop shed, is also time that you are investing in your passions, your life’s purpose.

Additionally, getting busy and focused on meaningful activities in life can help people maintain mental health.

When you feel as if you have a purpose in life, you will feel more motivated to live. You are doing something that you love. You may be doing something which may benefit you or other people. And it feels good to be important, needed, valued, or contributing to society for the good of others. This can keep away feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even boredom.

Moreover, the more satisfaction you experience, the more positive feedback you receive from making meaningful things like your crafts and projects, the more inspired you will be to do more crafts, more projects.

What to Do When You Lose Your Motivation

That motivation doesn’t always last, however, and sometimes you barely have the drive to finish a project you started. You might be working on a metal sculpture for days and then just suddenly stop before it gets finished. That’s not just a waste of the time you’ve already invested in it, a disappointment; you actually feel out of sync, like you’ve suddenly lost your purpose in life.

To avoid this situation, there are some tips to help you stay motivated and finish your project or goals:

  • Visualize every detail needed to achieve your goal, even the smallest one. Imagine what you want to achieve—what your sculpture will be like, how you will do it, how it will feel like in your hands—every detail that you wish for in the result.
    This is what some athletes do: They visualize and imagine what their performance will be and how they will win even before the match occurs. And they keep doing this until it becomes engraved in their minds.
    Visualization can help people reach deep down in their minds, tap it, and bring out their creative presence to pursue their goal. The mental image that a person creates can give them the confidence to pursue and complete their goals as if it were already a reality.
  • Divide one big task into many small tasks. Break down your project into separate and smaller tasks, set a target deadline for completion of each task and the project as a whole, then complete them one by one. Fulfilment will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by too large a goal and give you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each incremental step.
    For example, if you are thinking of creating a statue, you can start by gathering all the materials. Then once this is done, you can start shaping or arranging the materials.
    Don’t become so stressed at the enormity of a task that you give up on it or fail even to start it. By dividing the whole project into much smaller, simpler tasks, it can help transform an enormous goal into a much more manageable one.
  • Reward yourself whenever you finish a task. There may come a time where you feel down about doing a task, or maybe you hate or dread the idea of working on it. The best and most powerful way to be motivated is to set out some milestones along the way and reward yourself after completing each one. Finished cutting pieces to its correct size? Go give yourself a coffee break or rest. Take the time to enjoy the completed mini goal. Before you know it, you will have more drive and motivation to reach the next stage or milestone on your project.

Distractions that Affect Motivation

Sometimes all it takes to lower motivation is a distraction, something that diverts our attention or throws us off. Modern life contains many, positive and negative, including:

  • Digital devices. Our cellphones, TV, laptop, computer, or other gadgets may become a distraction to our projects. Keep them away from your workshop shed unless you are waiting for an important call, text, or email.
  • Unexpected roadblocks. Sometimes the distraction is that the work is not going well. You’ve made a mistake and don’t know how to correct it, or you don’t know to move on to or achieve the next step. Uncertainty can sap your motivation. Relax for a moment and think; a new and different approach may come to you. Don’t be discouraged.
  • Substance use disorder (SUD) or abuse. Some people think alcohol, drugs, and other substances can inspire creativity, but not usefully. They are just another distraction, another thing that can hurt motivation, and not just for your workshop shed.
    The continued use and misuse of drugs affect several parts of the brain, but they don’t improve them. One of these is the basal ganglia, which regulates both motivation and feelings of pleasure. Drugs overpower them so that only more drugs will give pleasure. That’s why addicts seem lifeless and void of motivation, other than getting more drugs.
    Ending drug use requires more effort than these other distractions because it is both a physical and a mental disorder. You can’t just lock yourself in your workshop shed. SUD requires medical and psychological treatment through a dedicated rehabilitation and treatment center such as Mountain Springs Recovery.

When things are going well with your metal- and woodworking projects, the work is its own kind of distraction, a healthy one, and motivation isn’t a problem. When it’s not, maybe these tips will help you refocus your efforts.

About Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer whose work mainly revolves around the latest news about addiction, mental health, living in recovery, and breaking the stigma connected to them.

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