Working from home is becoming more common than ever, particularly with more people freelancing and working for themselves. Planning and executing your own day sounds appealing, but WHF comes with its own set of challenges. Having a team around you and a plan to your day can be very motivational and allows you to stay on track. If you are a freelancer and don’t have a team to answer to, it can be easy to procrastinate and struggle to stay productive. However, working remotely can allow you to get more done as you are away from distractions and office chat. The key is to master a working from home routine which allows you to stay engaged all day. In today’s blog, we will provide our favourite tips on work from home motivation. These tips can increase your productivity whether you’ve been doing it for years and want to make some changes or are just starting and need advice.
How to stay motivated working from home
One of the most important skills when working from home is to set a realistic schedule with managing your workload. Our minds and bodies are made for routine and work best when following one. Structure your days out and always follow the same daily pattern. If your job is part of a company, you may already have set hours which is great. If you work for yourself, choose your hours and keep them the same every day. Start and end your workday earlier if you tend to feel more motivated in the mornings. If you find yourself achieving more in the afternoon and early evening, tailor your schedule to this.
Be realistic with your time. You know how long projects take so don’t procrastinate or try to squeeze too many goals into one day. A network meeting, marketing assessment and new blog completed in the space of an hour would be brilliant, but it’s not achievable. Eliminate stress and keep on top of work by rating projects on time and scheduling them in, using planning and list software such as Asana to visualise your day ahead and see which tasks you need to complete.
Stay connected to your team
If you work as part of a team, but you do so remotely, it’s important to communicate with them on a regular basis. This helps projects run more smoothly and ensures everyone is on the same page. WFH can sometimes feel lonely, so it’s great to log-on and catch up via Zoom or Teams, in place of “water-cooler chat.” If you run a team yourself, consider having weekly catch-ups with everyone and engage in a quiz or some virtual team building a few times a month. This is a real motivator for the individuals and allows them to feel closer to their coworkers.
If you have everything you need to work at home, it might be tempting to work late into the night and forget to schedule free time for yourself. Regular breaks to have a cup of coffee and a breather throughout the day are vital for focus, otherwise, you end up burnt out. Have a proper time for lunch where you’ll be away from your computer, sit in another room and eat your food. Upon your return, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to take on the next project.
Meditation is an important tool which allows you to slow your mind down, centre yourself and improve focus. This is a crucial habit in the busy modern world. Take ten minutes of your lunchtime to sit quietly, away from distractions and hone your mind. Exercise also boosts concentration and is vital for mental health. Even including a short walk in the park into your day can boost your mood and improve your work from home motivation.
How to stay disciplined when working from home
Discipline is a trait which can be difficult to master. In a world where there are so many distractions, allowing ourselves to become sidetracked is so easy. One of the biggest distractions, of course, is our smartphones. With social media apps so easy to jump into, constant notifications and messages, the temptation to pick them up and check “one thing” can easily lead to losing focus. Our advice is to pop your phone or any other device which is distracting away in a drawer, out of sight and out of mind. Turn it on silent so you won’t be distracted, and create set times to check any messages between projects. If you need to answer work calls, consider having a separate phone for this. Alternatively, turn the data/internet on your phone off so notifications don’t come through.
Whilst it may be tempting to spend the day lounging on the sofa in your pyjamas, this isn’t good practise to increase focus. Wake up and act as though you were going to the office. Have a shower and dress in some comfortable yet smart clothes, and ensure you have a dedicated work-space location. Hunching on the sofa can make you feel stiff. Invest in a proper desk area with a supporting chair so you can sit upright and comfortably. We would recommend keeping your bedroom as a haven, so don’t work or bring your laptop into this room.
Ensure you set healthy boundaries and privacy with partners, housemates and family members so they don’t end up being distractions. Agree with them certain times of the day where you really don’t want to be disturbed, or when your coffee break is if they need a quick chat. If you are having any issues with this, communicate with them so you can compromise and search for solutions to any issues.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog on work from home motivation to boost focus! Always understand that working from home successfully and finding balance is a process. If you are new to remote working, you will learn what works and what doesn’t as you go. It can be challenging initially to make choices and find a balance, but with practice, you can achieve it. If you experience difficulties related to remote working and you are part of a company, speak to your employer. See if they can give you any additional support to help your work from home motivation. This could be anything from time tracking software to a more comfortable work chair. Speak to your team and see if anyone is having similar issues so you can all support each other.