Here I have put together nine helpful tips that will help you stay motivated if you might still be stuck working from home. Even if you are just simply being at home without having to work, here are some great tips that can be helpful to everyone.
Establish a Workspace
For most of us our homes are the place where we rest and we re-charge our internal energy levels, but now, a lot of us are finding that our work has somehow transitioned into our homes and that can become a little stressful. One of the key elements in working from home successfully is to have a dedicated space for your office setup. Regardless the size of your home try to find a space that allows you to work somewhat comfortably and gives you the freedom to leave and comeback without having to put everything away each time.
Try to set yourself a daily routine and start with waking up early. This is a discipline that is difficult for a lot of people because there is very little motivation to actually do it. Why should I get up early? I no longer have to commute, and my boss certainly isn’t in the next room looking at a clock. When you get up earlier you gain more scheduling flexibility throughout the day which can increase your productivity and benefits your emotional wellbeing.
Put on real clothes. This sounds kind of silly, but it's very easy to wear the clothes you rolled out of bed with all day long. Humans have a psychological connection to what we wear, for example; when we are dressed up nice we feel important and possibly more confident. When we are in our sleep wear, we are relaxed and less motivated than normal… and you don’t want that affecting your work.
Create a Plan
It’s a great habit to start scheduling all of the tasks that you must complete in your day, and maybe even the steps you are going to have to take to complete them. All you have to do is make your list, begin your workday, and simply checkoff the tasks as you complete them. Checking off the completed items will help motivate you because you will clearly see that you are accomplishing your goals.
Schedule Social Media
In your fantastic new home office, you have unrestricted access to the internet, and no boss looking over your shoulder. Surfing the internet or hanging around on social media can unknowingly become a huge consumer of the time that you would have spent working productively. Social media can be a constant mental interruption that distracts you from focusing on your work. Within your daily schedule, plan specific times to scroll and comment with your online community. When you schedule this activity and transition back to work you will find it easier to complete your tasks without interruption.
Anyone working from home can tell you that one major issue for them is constantly getting distracted. Whether it’s children, social media, the pets, or all those eye-catching moving objects outside of your window, they all slow down your ability to be productive. Let your family know that you need to get your work done and that you might need some silence to concentrate. Get comfortable with closing your email or any of your apps while you are trying to get work done. Leave your phone in another room if you have to, but eliminate as many distractions as possible to stay focused on what’s in front of you.
Do the Hardest Thing First
Mark Twain once said “if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.” In this case the frog represents the worst task you have to do today. I always begin my workday by doing the most difficult task of the day first. It’s probably going to take the most effort and the most time, but once it is done, all of my other daily tasks for the day somehow seem easier. And if that doesn’t seem to work for you, try to alternate your challenging tasks with other tasks in order to keep workflow moving forward, and to keep your motivation high.
Working from home can be difficult because you will be constantly balancing your work life with your personal life while trying to keep yourself productive and disciplined. This can leave you feeling over worked and exhausted. Try rewarding yourself with simple things like, as soon as I completely finish a task, I can reward myself by getting my favorite snack. You could try something like, if I finish three tasks, I can watch my favorite show or go on-line for an hour. Be mindful to not over reward yourself, but if done well you should find yourself re-energized each time you get back to work.
End your Workday.
Make sure in your daily schedule that you clearly define the end of your workday. A downfall to working from home is that work and play seem to blend. When your focused and on a roll, there is a tendency to forget about time and overwork. When we overwork, we lose more of our motivation which directly affects our productivity. End your workday at an exact time and recharge your energy levels so you can do it all over again tomorrow. If your schedule is a blend of work and personal off-and-on things, then try to define your workday in hours. Set a specific number of hours in the day that you are going to work and keep track of them throughout the day. Once you reach that hour limit, stop, relax, and enjoy your time off. And that brings us to our last helpful tip of this section...
One of the greatest parts of working from home is the scheduling part. YOU are in control of your own schedule not someone else. Try your best to schedule some time to exercise even if it is only a walk. Although exercise is exhausting, walking, running, or working out will give your energy levels a boost. This will get you thinking more clearly and increase your motivation levels which in turn will improve your productivity. There’s one more sneaky part to staying healthy at home, and that is to stop eating out of boredom. Stop circling the fridge or looking through the cupboards every time you walk into the kitchen. Eat at scheduled times and only snack if you are actually hungry.
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If I can help you or others with even a small business tip, I will feel rewarded. You can’t do everything yourself so don’t be afraid to ask questions on my Facebook, LinkedIn, or Contact Page. As a consultant, I find a great reward in transferring my knowledge and skills to help others succeed. Please "Share" this with others. Vaughn Bonsteel is a Business Consultant and Safety Consultant helping business move forward toward their goals.