Staying motivated when you work from home
By Craig Watson on 18 January 2018
So you’ve made the decision to move out of the traditional working model, but there’s only one problem — you struggle to find motivation when working from home.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! It can be easy to get swept up in the glamour and lure of it all, only to realise that it’s not so easy when you’re sitting alone at your desk with no colleagues to keep you energised and on track.
Are you a music person?
Some people work really well with music playing in the background, whilst others need absolute silence.
If you’re the former, it might be worth investing in a small Bluetooth speaker to keep tunes playing throughout the day.
If you’re the latter, we’d suggest looking at a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Although you think your home might be quiet, there’s still plenty of background noise that can filter in. Garbage trucks, barking dogs, screaming children, birds, cars, sirens … the list goes on!
Make a schedule
Just because you’re at home, and not in a physical office, doesn’t mean you can ignore a schedule. Set out what you need to do, and by when, and plan accordingly. Prioritise your tasks and work through the list. Review it regularly, and adapt it as required.
It sounds simple and obvious, but it can be easily overlooked when you’re in the familiar, comfortable environment of your home.
Regular breaks are crucial
Stand up, step away from your computer and take a break. It doesn’t need to be long — even 5-10 minutes of stretching, walking, drinking tea/coffee or patting the dog can help. It gives your brain a chance to reset and recharge before burying yourself deep in your tasks again.
Close social media
It’s easy to leave your Facebook account open in the background while you work, and it’s even easier to promise yourself you won’t check it. But we’re all human, and it happens, and before you know it, you’ve spent 30 minutes looking at the profile of your next door neighbour’s aunt’s sister’s friend’s son. Close any distracting webpages (YouTube, we’re looking at you!) and maintain focus on the work you’re supposed to be doing.
Set up the right environment
It’s important to have the right working environment at home. Make sure it’s separate to your normal living areas — kitchen, dining, bedroom — and make sure it’s got everything you need. Computer, printer, stationery, chair — whatever it is you need.
Go a step further and personalise it — photos, artwork, decorative pieces — anything you need to make it welcoming and colourful will help to motivate you to stay there and keep working.