Small Business owners often work from home. I’ve done so for 13 years now, and…
8 Ways to Stay Motivated When Working From Home
Technology has allowed more people than ever to work from home and whilst this may sound like a dream come true to some people, sharing your living space with your working environment can be often be difficult.
People who spend most of their working lives in their own homes will know that it can be hard to stay motivated and meet deadlines. It’s easy to slip into a routine which results in low levels of productivity and you can sometimes lose the motivation to keep going.
Here are 8 ways to stay motivated when working from home:
1. Make the Perfect Working Space
If you are planning to work from home, you need to have a suitable space. Consider turning a corner of a room or a bedroom into a home office where you can close the door when you finish work. Having your own workspace will also help you to separate your work life from your private life. A comfortable office which allows you to focus on your work is very important and will help you to reduce distractions and increase motivation.
2. Dress for Success
It might feel good to be wearing your pyjamas at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and without any co-workers around it can seem like a waste of time to get dressed for work however, wearing “work clothes” will help you feel as if you are at work and stay motivated during your working hours. You don’t need to put on a suit jacket or wear a tie but often wearing clothes which you only wear when you are working will help you to stay motivated.
3. Schedules and Lists
It’s important for you and the people around you that you keep to a schedule. It’s easy to start work later than you usually would and you may find that you’re reducing your regular working hours and working into the evenings and/or weekends to make up for it. It’s best to set your working hours and stick to them as routines help people to stay productive.
You can also make lists of everything you realistically want to achieve that day. You can break up your larger tasks into smaller tasks and tick jobs off as you complete them. This will help you to remain focused on current tasks and get more done with your time. It’ll also give you a realistic snapshot of your productivity for the day, so you can track how you’re utilising your time, celebrate your wins and motivate yourself to do more.
4. Take Breaks
It’s very important that you get a break away from work. Ensure that you take regular breaks away from your desk to refresh and keep yourself focused. It’s easy to take longer breaks than you usually would because there is nobody around to tell you to get back to work, so it’s important to stick to your time schedule to resist the temptation to delay returning to work. The regular breaks only need to be for 5 or 10 minutes each, and if you schedule an hour for lunch, you need to make sure that you only take an hour and not two or three hours.
5. Exercise Regularly
Working from home gives you a lot of flexibility and scheduling time for exercise during your day can give you more energy. Moreover, a good workout can help to clear your mind, burn off frustrations and aid a more restful night’s sleep too. A clear mind and added energy can help you to work harder and stay focused for longer.
6. Reward Yourself
If you don’t have somebody checking your work, it’s easy to get distracted. When you complete big tasks and meet important deadlines, you should give yourself a reward. This could be something as simple as a luxurious soak in the bath, a cup of your favourite tea or perhaps a lunch date with a friend or loved one. These rewards will help you to celebrate your achievement and to stay focused on getting tasks completed.
7. Stay Away from Social Media
It’s easy to get side-tracked and immersed in social media and a few minutes checking your Facebook wall can easily be a waste of a large proportion of your day. With nobody looking over your shoulder, watching funny videos on YouTube, chatting on Twitter, or sharing photos on Instagram can be too much of a distraction. If you can’t stay away from social media, then you could try a free tool such as Cold Turkey to block sites during your scheduled working hours.
8. Talk to People
Working away from other people in your own home can be a lonely experience. You may spend the entire day sitting at your computer without speaking to a single person. If you strategically schedule in time to contact or meet your clients or colleagues, you can feel more connected with what’s going on. This will help you to remind yourself that you are at work and not just relaxing at home. Of course having a mentor or coach to talk to and keep you on track can be invaluable too.
Staying motivated when working from home isn’t easy. There are many distractions and nobody to hold you accountable. You only have yourself to ensure that you meet deadlines and it can be difficult to stay productive.
It’s best to separate your working and private lives as much as possible when working from home as this can help you to keep a healthy balance between the two – improving productivity, motivation, relationships and sanity!
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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