Staying motivated while working from home

Friday September 11, 2020

Working from home for an indefinite period of time and remaining motivated can be quite challenging. There are a lot more distractions, less communication (and sometimes) less accountability compared to working in the office. However, this does not mean that working from home should be difficult or impossible. If you follow these little tips and tricks, you will become an expert at remote working and find yourself being and remaining, more productive.

1. Get organised. Start your day early

Usually, the commute to work will wake you up and get you ready for the day. When working from home, going straight from your bed to the laptop can be quite jarring. It will be beneficial for you to plan out what you will be working on ahead of time. Try preparing your schedule and a to-do list the day before, making it easier to get started when you wake up the following day.

This organisation will help you feel more productive and put you in a work mindset from the moment you wake up. After you’ve completed a task, cross it off your to-do list, this technique is not only effective but extremely fulfilling and will help keep you motivated throughout the day.

2. Get dressed

Keeping your normal morning routine is important to ensure you are in the right mindset. Wake up, shower and get dressed the same time every day, as if you were going into the office.

Staying in your pyjamas or comfortable lounging-around-the-house-clothes might make you feel sluggish and uninterested in work. Getting dressed into something more business casual, will not only improve your state of mind but will psychologically prepare you for work. Telling your brain that it is not time to relax.

Likewise, changing out of your work clothes at the end of the day will help you settle into your home-life routine and help your brain understand that work is over.

3. Follow regular working hours

When working from home, you can easily get drawn into starting and finishing work either earlier or later. It is important to be consistent and follow normal working hours, this will not only keep you accountable, make you readily available to your colleagues and manager but also help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

4. Create a home office

Being in the comfort of your own home, you might be persuaded to work from your couch or even in your bed, but this will probably impact your level of productivity. Working at a desk or a designated ‘workspace’, will prepare you mentally for a day of work.

Doing this will also help you separate your work life from your home life, which can be quite a difficult distinction to make when you’re continuously working from home.

5. Stay in touch with your colleagues

There are so many, easy ways to stay connected; download apps like Skype, Zoom, Teams, etc. Make sure you catch up regularly over a video chat with your team. Schedule in a morning and afternoon meeting/catch up where you can check in with each other, see how your team is faring and of course, discuss your work. Seeing each other will make you feel closer and more connected. You will still have a sense of connectedness and collegiality.

6. Use your time effectively

To ensure you maintain efficiency and enthusiasm throughout the day, it will be beneficial for you to organise your day based on your own productivity levels. This can be achieved by saving your harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace for them.

If you are a morning person, complete your more challenging tasks in the morning, or vice versa for those who find themselves to be more productive in the afternoons.

7. Take short breaks, keep hydrated and exercise or stretch regularly

You should not stay glued to your screen all day; it is important to take short breaks and ensure you stay hydrated. Get some fresh air, open a window, go for a walk around the backyard (or even step onto your balcony); try to do some light exercise in your home. This will give your mind time to reset and give you a pair of fresh eyes for when you return to your work.

Not to mention, exercise releases natural endorphins which boost happiness and interest levels which are important for productivity and keeping your spirits high.