18th March 2020 / by Sarah Mundy

How to stay motivated when working from home

In these unprecedented times, many of us have been asked to work from home.  This may sound like an exciting opportunity to manage their own time, do those odd jobs around the house and, of course, get on with the day job.  As someone who works from home and often remotely from my clients, I know how difficult it can be to keep up motivation and productivity. There are always distractions, especially if there are others in your home working remotely, or you have children.  You might experience loneliness, lack of routine, concern about not being involved with the team, which can spiral into discontent and negative thinking.

In order to work from home and be efficient, you need to be disciplined and responsible for rewarding your own successes. If you are feeling unmotivated and not working to your optimum level, try applying these steps to improve your output. 

1. Create a working environment

If your idea of working from home consists of sitting in bed or in front of the television with your laptop, it is unlikely that you will be very productive. If you have a spare room or study to use as an office space, keep anything work related in there. Creating a working environment can get you in the right headspace that you need to work productively. 

2. Get up at your normal time

It can be tempting to enjoy a lie in or stay in bed all day when you work from home, but you’ll be more productive if you actually get up and start your day as you normally would.  You are already “in credit” with time, as you will not be doing your normal commute, so you could use this time to do some exercise, a short walk or cycle, to really stimulate your day.

3. Dress for work

Although it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas, be sure to get dressed and ready for your working day. This will make you feel more awake and ready to tackle the day, after a few hours of sitting in your bed, you will probably begin to feel groggy and less productive.

4. Organise your day

If you set out clear objectives for the day ahead, you are more likely to stay focused and achieve your self-recommended deadlines.  Create a list of tasks that you need to complete and tick them off as you’ve completed them throughout the day.  We can often find we are doing our “home admin” before getting on with our day job, to “get it out of the way”.  Set yourself a target of doing your work priorities first and then give yourself permission to do the other admin or home jobs.

5. Manage your workload

If you have a lot of tasks to complete for a large project, or you have administration tasks piling up that you are yet to begin, it can become stressful. If you are working from home and taking this quiet time to get some admin tasks completed, then try to separate them into manageable chunks to complete throughout the day or week. Planning and mapping out your workload in this way should stop you from feeling overwhelmed.

6. Check in with your colleagues

It can be easy to feel like you are working alone when you work from home, however, although this might be true physically, don’t forget about your colleagues who are also working at home or in the office. Use your technology (Facetime/Skype/Zoom/Microsoft Teams) to keep in touch with your colleagues and boss about your work or the status of a project will make you feel more connected with what’s going on in the business.  It’s a great tip to schedule regular chats with your colleagues and offer time to share thoughts, ideas and build a positive mindset together. 

7. Give yourself breaks

Breaks are important to boost productivity. When you plan your day, build in a break for lunch, and enough time to allow you to go for a walk and get some fresh air. You will feel rejuvenated when you return to your desk to tackle the rest of your day.

8. Reward yourself

It may motivate you knowing that you need to complete a task and send it to your manager by a certain deadline, but for those who don’t work under anyone, you should try to come up with ways of rewarding yourself at the end of each task or day. This little boost can give you what you need to move onto the next job and keep up your motivation. 

It isn’t always easy to maintain your motivation, but by putting some simple steps in place you will be giving yourself the best platform for to deliver your objectives. 

Still finding it a struggle, contact me at sarah@smundyconsulting.com or 07990 597192 and we can work on a personalised plan that can help you achieve the best for yourself.

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