Working from home can be quite a challenge – especially at first. Whether you're home alone and the house is too quiet, or too loud with kids running around, you may find it's tough to stay on task, get your work done and feel productive. Fortunately, the following strategies can help you stay motivated when you work from home.
1) Start your morning right.
Your morning habits can either make or break your day! It is essential to start your day off right, mentally and physically. Like anything practice makes perfect. Everyone is different, so it is important to figure out want gets you into a peak state of mind, whether that's a cold shower, exercise or even as simple as listening to music while you're getting ready.
You can easily research what morning structure works best for you. Be sure to keep yourself accountable!
2) Put on actual cloths.
It's incredibly tempting to roll out of bed and get straight into work. With no co-workers and not having to leave home, what's the point of dressing up?
Studies have shown when we put on clothing; it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. For every person, clothing has symbolic meaning to us, whether it's 'professional work attire' or 'relaxing wear' our brain primes itself to behave in ways consistent with that meaning. In other words, if you are content to wear 'lazing clothing' from home, you more likely to act lazy. And therefore, get less done.
Now I'm certainly not suggesting that you have to wear a suit and tie every day while you sit there by yourself with no one to appreciate your striking style. But something I like to do is put on jeans and a nice t-shirt which seems to be enough. The whole point of this exercise is to get mentally ready, so you're in a productive mindset.
3) Establish a dedicated workplace.
Like most people, it can be hard to get out of a comfy bed, so you might feel tempted to work from it.
Experts say when you work from your bed, it can interfere with your sleep and ultimately affect your performance and energy the following day. Most sleep experts recommend reserving your bed for sleep and sexual activity.
Create a workspace somewhere else other than your bedroom. The kitchen table, the desk in the living room or might have a spare room you have just used for storage, Utilised that space as your work environment. This will get you into a work mindset.
4) Schedule your day.
Time can easily pass you without having a structured workday. Over time you might notice yourself getting started later and later in the day, having that extra timeout to have a coffee or watch scroll through social media, this can cause you to stay up later at night to finish off work or you might find that you quickly get off track or distracted while working. And projects that used to take you 30 minutes are now lasting 3 hours.
Therefore, you must have an exact schedule. Establish when to start and end work.
5) Set realistic goals.
While you might say to yourself "today I'm going to complete 20 different tasks by a specific time; the reality is we demotivate ourselves by setting unrealistic goals.
A great book I suggest reading is – "Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy" in a nutshell Brain .T Explains – "The frog is that one thing you have on your to-do list that you have absolutely no motivation to do and that you're most likely to procrastinate on.... Eating the frog means to just do it; otherwise, the frog will eat you, meaning that you'll end up procrastinating it the whole day".
When you first start your day, write down five to seven tasks, starting from the number one thing you've been putting off to the most straightforward task. You'll find yourself not only getting more done but also being a lot happier! Make sure you tick off each task as you go and give yourself a short break as a reward!
6) Work in small blocks of time.
Small blocks of time are all about planning what you'll be doing in a specific timeframe. This can help make big tasks feel more manageable. Breaking down specific tasks can help motivate you, giving yourself steppingstone to achieving the overall outcome.
Let's say you give yourself 30 minutes to complete one invoice, then telling yourself you need to complete 20 by lunchtime. You'll feel less overwhelmed and more enthusiastic. I suggest putting on a timer - 30 minutes on & 5 mins off.
Surprisingly, you'll notice your productivity go through the roof and distractions minimised dramatically.
7) Limit distractions.
Do you struggle to get back on task once you've been distracted? If this is something you seem to struggle with see below a few key things you can do immediately to keep you focused:
Mute all phone notification – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc.
Only check your email once an hour.
Place your phone on "Do Not Disturb" until you complete a specific task.
Work in a quiet environment – if you enjoy music, make sure there are minimum lyrics.
If your working from home with kids keep them occupied to reduce how often they interrupt you. Give them tasks to do and check on them at planned certain times.
Establish some ground rules about what constitutes a legitimate reason for them interrupting you while working. Then, you can reward them for playing well on their own with a chance to do something extra fun when you're finished working.
8) Mind, Body, Spirit – Reward yourself!
There's nothing worse than just working for the sake of working without anything as a reward or something to look forward to. You must reward yourself! Once again everyone is different and enjoys different things so I suggest looking into things that will improve all three of the below, throughout your day:
Mind: Meditation, Reading, try a Puzzle, Dance, learn a new skill, play an instrument.
Body: Walking, Gym, Yoga etc.
Spirit: Doing something to help someone, reading or listen to something uplifting.
The above are just a couple of suggestions to help get you thinking; you can also mix them in together for example; Go for a walk while listening to music or something uplifting.
Hope this helps anyone who is struggling to work from home!