Estimated reading time: 5 mins
This year has seen more people than ever working from home. At first, the thought of it sounds great – you get the freedom to wear whatever you like, you don’t need to pack yourself onto a busy train or bus, and you get a better work-life balance. Yet this isn’t necessarily true. While these are all positive, after a few weeks, you can find yourself losing motivation. Without the usual routine and team behind you, it can start to feel solitary and your desire to work as hard as you would in an office slipping. You might find yourself clocking off work early, taking longer lunch breaks, and not getting as much done during the day. You no longer love the job you do, and each day feels more of a slog. This is why it is so important to amend your working from home routine to keep yourself motivated and working hard. Here are five tips for working from home to keep you motivated and achieve the most from your day…
Make a schedule and stick to it
When working from home, it is important you still stick to a schedule like you would on your normal workday. Get up at a reasonable time, have your breakfast, then get to your workspace for the same time each morning. Be sure to schedule reasonable breaks, including at least half an hour for lunch, where you get away from your desk. It can be tempting to stay sat at your desk to eat your lunch and not move from the spot all day, but this can be detrimental to your motivation and leave you feeling lethargic and unproductive. It is important that you also set a time to finish, and pack up and leave your workspace at this time. Working at home makes it tempting to continue with any tasks you have to do, but you need to get a good work-life balance to be your more productive self. You will walk back to your desk the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to work, rather than like you spend all your time working.
Write a to-do list and prioritize it
Another tip to increase your motivation when working from home is to create a to-do list and prioritize it. It can be all too tempting to include every little task, so you feel like you have achieved something, but it’s better to just put the main things in there in a concise and easy to follow way. Whether you need to do your accounts through a company like Pop Business, write a press release, or finish a pitch to a client, knowing exactly what you need to do in the day ahead is a big help. Put your biggest or most challenging task at the top – you will feel a sense of relief when that is done – and the one that will be quickest or that you aren’t as worried about at the bottom of the list. This way, you will be more productive, and your day will get easier as you go along rather than harder, which can impair your motivation. It could help to allocate certain amounts of time for each task so you don’t spend too long lingering on one thing and also time how long certain tasks take so you know this for the future.
Dress for Success
While working from home it can be tempting to swap your usual smart attire for sweatpants and an old tee. While this is undoubtedly comfortable, it has been found that the clothes you wear reflect on how you feel and act. If you dress for a day of work, you are likely to feel more confident, more intelligent, and achieve more. If you are wearing what you wear to chill on the couch at the weekend, you are likely to feel more relaxed, calm, and less productive. While you don’t need to dress in a full suit as you might do for work, just wearing something smarter and more presentable can positively impact your day.
Create a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated space to work is a massively important factor when working from home. While your dining table may seem like a perfectly viable place to work, the reality is that it is often far from you. Soon you may find yourself surrounded by your children, pets, household noise, and reminders of all the chores that need to be done and have got no work completed by lunchtime. To avoid this, it’s important to have a specific office room where you can close the door and just focus on the tasks ahead. It should be well equipped with a chair that supports your back and is separate from the “living” areas of the house. If you don’t have space in the house, why not transform a shed to an outdoor office? Or even go and try a local co-working space?
Be sure to check in with your colleagues
One of the hardest things about working from home is the lack of communication with other humans. While you may exchange countless emails and messages with other members of your firm, if you don’t speak to them, you could find yourself eight hours later, having spoken to no one properly all day. Be sure to engage in digital team meetings, and don’t be afraid to make phone calls to break up your day. Some things are much better explained when spoken in person and can often be misconstrued over digital messages. Phone calls are great to quickly check-in, ask any questions, and are much more direct than email. If you only have a small team and don’t want to distract them during the day why not call up a friend or family member to have some interaction? It is guaranteed you will feel much better after it and have a more motivated afternoon.
Working from home has many pros and cons that depend on the person who is doing it. If you find it challenging and that you have lost your motivation it is important to try the above to try and get it back. Remember that it is important to take regular breaks and if you are getting stuck on a task to leave it and come back to it later.