Working from home is considered the norm nowadays. Whether it’s full-time job, freelance work, or part time employment to bring in some extra cash? Or maybe you’ve struck a deal to work with your boss from home a couple of days a week. Self motivation is key to getting your workday going to the right way. But how do you stay motivated working from home?
In the digital era from inbox to inbox, video Zoom calls to almost anywhere in the world. It’s become more common place to work from home. Which is great! More free time to plan and schedule your day your way. Right?
It is! But there are pros and cons to everything. And the main pros and cons with working from home are the same…
You are in charge of your day. Your day, your way!
How to stay motivated Working from home
So, what are your priorities when you’re working from home?
Suddenly you might miss that manager who was always on your case about if you had finished that assignment yet. You’re alone with your thoughts, you can’t go look for your friend to bounce some ideas off or let’s face it just to chat about nothing.
You have to set yourself a work from home routine.
Here’s some tips that will help keep you motivated while working from home.
1. Working From Home Is Still Work
Yes, you don’t have so much of a hassle of what I am going to wear today. I don’t have to run for out the door to catch the bus or get the car on the road before the traffic hits. Cutting all those things out is a major help.
You should still get up as if you had to do go out the door. Start your day right with a morning routine. Set your alarm. Getting up at a set time and getting dressed switches your mind set to work mode. These things should stay the same whether working from home or the office.
2. Organize Your Working Space
Your work space is important. Try and have a dedicated work area just for that purpose. Working from the bed or even the sofa can set up a casual state of mind. Which isn’t ideal for staying focused.
Make sure that it’s a place you’re not going to be distracted, that it is neat and organized and a place you enjoy working. A place of inspiration! If you have a corner you can carve out as your own home office for use. It doesn’t have to be a large a space.
Declutter and keep your area tidy when finished. This will set yourself up properly for the next day.
3. Plan Your Day In Advance
Create a schedule for yourself. You can do this week to week.
Planning it out the day or night before is better than doing it on the day. But even if it comes down to planning it on the day, setting an hour aside can really help. Do what you have to do. Write it out as a list in a diary use a digital calendar.
Having a wall calendar right in front of you is a good idea too. This way you won’t have to check your phone and get distracted by other things.
Lists can somewhat “trick” you into think that you’re doing more than you actually are. Half of the list might be no more than 10 minute tasks which can leave you with more than half the day left. The more you get ticked off the more you’ll want to finish the remainder of your list.
Remember to set a finish time for your work day. Working from home can completely blur the lines between work and “you” time.
4. Time Block Your DAy
Assigning times and seeing your day blocked out will make you prioritize better. Blocking out completed days for different things helps.
For example could be Monday research day, Tuesdays are reserved for meetings etc. Things might need changing up from time time or shuffling about but at least there’s some order and consistency to your week. It will take up less space in your thoughts!
I like to use both. I write out little things that come to mind in my book. Then I plan out similar tasks in blocks of time on Google calendar. That way there is a time start and finish for each task and I can see how each day is scheduled.
5. No Social Media
No social media. Notifications should be off. And definitely no social windows open on your computer. One reply, one like, can lead in to an hour plus of nothing! We’ve all been there! Where did that hour go? The same goes for watching YouTube or the TV being on. It’s going to be quiet but that should help with focusing.
Everyone works differently. But the less distractions the better! This will help you stay focused working at home.
6. Set Up A rewards System
It’s good to take small breaks through out the work day. Even if it’s to walk around the garden for a little for exercise. It helps to set up small rewards when certain tasks are completed throughout your work day.
This is one of the best tips from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. The whole book is amazing! I listened to it on Amazon Audible.
You can set up other types of reward systems with healthy food snacks (occasional treats too!) Or by planning a social for the end of the week. Which leads to the next tip!
7. Planning Breaks & Socials
One thing that might be missed the most is the social aspect of a work environment. The politics of the work place might not so much. But maybe the daily interaction with your colleagues is missed.
If you are have a team project you’re working on you can set up a challenge with your colleagues. And check in with them on a scheduled meeting once or twice for the day. Or stretch those check ins throughout the week.
Scheduling time for your social life is just as important now that most of the social aspect day to day is gone. A meal out with friends in the evening or a phone catch up makes all the difference. Its about getting your work balance and social life, balanced!
It gives you something to look forward week to week. If you do set up a lunch date on a work day get your top priorities checked off your list first. And set a beginning and end time for lunch so you can get back to work if need be.
Ultimately, working from home has it good and bad points. As with anything else! There’s a famous phrase that goes something like, “Self motivation is the only motivation.” But these tips will help you keep motivated when working from home!
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