Excited. Relieved. Thankful. These are the initial reactions of some after hearing that they will be shifting to a work-from-home setup. Many organizations resorted to a work-from-home set- up last year because of the pandemic. And who would not like this set- up? Work-from-home means no travel time going to the office, no pressure on dressing up to impress, no loud co-worker, and other office distractions. However, after doing this for a long time, the excitement fades away. Staying productive is challenging, you miss the human interaction, long for the old times, and experience mental distress.
Here are some ways to stay motivated so you can be happy, healthy, and productive while working from home.
Make a home office
It is tempting to work while sitting on the couch or the bed, watching Netflix while using your laptop. But if you are serious about getting the work done, allot space in your home and convert it into your home office. Make sure that your dedicated home office is free from distractions and is conducive to work in. You may also set some ground rules with your family not to disturb you while working.
You can also decorate your chosen spot to look like an office. Make sure to put in the things you will need and you have easy access to your supplies, documents, and equipment. You can also decorate your office with your certificates, trophies, and other career memorabilia to keep you motivated.
Wake up early
Studies have shown that people who get up earlier are more productive than those who get up later. Being at home makes the desire to stay in bed stronger. However, do not fall into the trap of getting up late since you are just at home. Training yourself to get up early fuels your motivation and proactiveness in getting things done.
Wear the right clothes
Clothes have a strong psychological effect on our motivation and ability to work. Sometimes simply what we are wearing can affect our concentration, motivation, mood, and productivity.
Dr. Karen Pine, a Fashion Psychologist and a professor of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire said “When we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s professional work attire or relaxing weekend wear, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”
This does not mean that you need to wear a full suit or business attire. You can wear something that does not make you feel like it is your lazy day at home. Try to dress the way you normally would as closely as possible.
Create a schedule
Working from home gives you a lot of freedom on how to go about your day but having a schedule will make you grounded and can help fight off procrastination, disorganization, and a decrease in productivity. Knowing what work you should be doing and when you need to do it can improve self- motivation. Continue doing your to-do list: write down the important tasks that need to be prioritized, break larger tasks into smaller steps, and check off the tasks that you finished.
Take regular breaks
Working from home can make us work too long without stopping. You will just realize it when your body starts aching, or you suddenly feel drained.
Do not forget to take regular breaks to refresh yourself! You do not only get to rest when you take a break but it boosts your energy and vitality as well. You get to return to what you are doing with more focus and motivation.
You can go for a quick walk, go to the kitchen and make a healthy snack, play with your pet, watch a video or listen to a podcast, or call a friend. Make sure you take those breaks consistently every workday.
Rewards are great motivators. Create a reward system after accomplishing a certain number of tasks so that you have something to look forward to.
There are many ways to reward yourself. You can take a coffee break, watch one episode of your favorite series, eat something you like, sleep early, or early time out from work to do personal stuff.
Make sure that the rewards you are planning are good enough to keep you motivated but not too much that it will become a distraction.
Make sure that you love your job
Lastly, the most important tip to stay motivated while working from home (or any work set-up really) is to love your job. Appreciate the value of what you are doing. Find purpose in the things that you do, big or small. As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle.”