Simple tips for staying motivated when working from home
Successfully working from home is an art that comes with practice. It has its fair share of advantages and perils, most of which is staying disciplined and motivated when working from home.
One of the main benefits of working from home is that I feel super relaxed and optimally productive. In a long time, I can self-learn and apply my thoughts. But not all days are the same, I am getting used to people assuming I am available all the time since I am…well…at home, distractions, dullness or work motivation issues.
Self-discipline and motivation are extremely important when there is no one looking over your shoulder when you want to get some work done. I realized by including a few tailored habits for working from home I am able to stay focused and motivated.
Here are some tips for staying motivated when working from home that I use.
Small goals lead to big gains
During my corporate job, I was usually told what is expected, what deliverables were due. But when you work as a freelancer or from home, you are your own boss and you have to decide and dedicate time to list your goals. Knowing your short-term goals will help you take everyday small steps towards an overall bigger goal. I set my daily goals to be quantifiable, e.g. apply a technique I learned on a project or complete reading 3 chapters of a technical journal. So at the end of the day, I measure my progress as well as challenges I faced that impede my progress and how to prevent them in the future. Setting self-created goals and consistently working on them can take time but procrastinating them will make you lose your passion to pursue them.
Schedule your time
Sticking to a daily schedule is a great way to cut off wasting time on small things we fret about every day. Instead of making a daily choice for the obvious things, embed them as part of your schedule, example, I know mornings are meant for an hour workout, some personal time followed by work. This way you occupy your mind with productive thoughts about work instead of draining your energy deciding the small stuff.
Learn to prioritize
I try to complete tasks that need a fresh mind in the first half and keep the more hands-on tasks for the latter part of the day. Also, getting 3-4 hours of solid work completed in the morning is a mood booster for the progress I make in the second half of the day.
Switch tasks to avoid boredom
I like what I am working on right now, for example writing this blog post. But there are days, where I spend an entire day wanting to get some work done but my mind will just shut. So, what do I do? I switch gears. Instead of getting fixated on that one task, I attempt to work on its auxiliary components, for example, taking and photo editing pictures that will go along with the post. Circle back and re-attempt working on the task you had paused to see if the swap helps give a push of perspective. Your objective should be straightforward, to complete the top items on your bucket list.
Take a break and chill
Fix coffee, watch videos, stretch few times, power nap…these are a few things I do to unwind while working from home. The common nuance here is to relax my mind and body from the work at hand. Let breaks be what they are really about, BREAK, from whatever you are doing. I realized that the seldom siesta I catch in the afternoon makes me more productive afterward…small things but they feel awesome.
Get fancy with weekly offs
In the past, having 2 day week off, I was used to cringing at the thought of Monday. I now work from Thursday -Tuesday with Wednesdays as a cherished weekday off. Wednesday is the new Sunday for me. Due to the flexibility of working from home, I have an option to chose my day off. Its great because I find less traffic, easier getting restaurant reservations or finding a great discount for weekdays. When you enjoy what you are doing and are not fatigued with all the travel, the one day off feels like a treat and guess what I look forward to the next day now.
Stay fit and fab
This year I want to get fitter and stronger. I look forward to my morning yoga ritual or evening walk. Research shows that when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better.
Fun fact, I am doing the 30-day plank challenge to build my core, currently on day 20 and I have managed to hit the 2-minute mark. Motivation all the way…
Secondly, working from home I don’t necessarily need to dress formally but I find it motivating to dress in smart casuals. Just a way to tell my mind to switch to “work mode”.
I am also looking forward to trying a few new co-working spaces and assessing if it brings motivation to work and is a productive option to add to this list.
Let me know what you think of these techniques and if they helped you.
It will be really cool to hear back from you !!
Featured image credit –Alexander Mils