Simple Ways to Stay Motivated While Working From Home

Updated on August 27th, 2020
How to Stay Motivated

Many individuals find working from home to be tough—especially initially. From daytime TV to piles of dirty laundry, there are umpteen distractions.

And sometimes, a comfortable seat on the beanbag and night tracks don’t provide the same type of encouragement you get from a suit and an office cubicle.

Whether you’re home single and the house is too calm, or you’re back with the family and the children are out of control, you may find it’s challenging to stay on track, get things done, and feel contributive. Luckily, the following strategies can help you stay inspired when you work remotely.

1. Create a Schedule

Without a structured work schedule, time can fly away from you. You might find that you start procrastinating your work hours later and later as you sip an extra cup of caffeine. Then, your productive hours extend later into midnight, which causes you to wake up late the next morning.

Or you might find that you quickly get distracted or off track while working. And tasks that used to take 30 minutes are suddenly lasting 2 hours.That’s why it’s mandatory to have a definite time table. Establish a time to start and finish work.  Follow it as much as possible.

2. Establish a Dedicated Workspace

You may be tempted to work in bed. After all, it’s probably the comfiest space in the house.But when you associate work with your bed, it can interfere with your sleep patterns. And trouble sleeping will affect your productivity the next day.

Most sleep researchers recommend reserving your bed for sexual activity and sleep. So even though your bedroom might feel like a comfy space, create a workstation somewhere else. A workspace in the corner of the living room or the kitchen table might be better alternatives to your bed.

3. Work in Small Blocks of Time

Blocking out small amounts of time slots—and planning what you’ll do during that time period—can make big tasks feel more achievable.You might find you have more encouragement when telling yourself that you just need to finish one invoice in the next half an hour, rather than telling yourself that you have 70 invoices to create by post-lunch.

Scheduling your time can also hold you more responsible. You’ll be less likely to get lost on smartphones when you know you only have 20 minutes to complete a project. And you’ll be less likely to postpone when you’ve given yourself a tight timeframe.

4. Limit Your Interruptions and Distractions 

You might find that you stumble to get back on work each time you’re distracted. You can stay motivated by limiting the interruptions and distractions you experience.This can mean muting your phone notifications and only checking your emails once every 60 minutes. Or place your phone on “Don’t Disturb” until you complete a particular task.

If you’re working remotely with kids, keep them preoccupied to reduce how often they disrupt you. Give them assignments to do and plan to see them at a particular time.

Prepare some ground rules about what constitutes a valid reason for them disrupting you while working. You can then reward them for playing well on their own with a chance to do something extra fun when you’re done working.

[Also Read: Hidden Signs of Depression]

5. Practice the “10-Minute Rule”

It may be challenging to convince yourself to start working on a task you really don’t want to do. Whether you know it’s going to be yawning, frustrating, or just really challenging, convincing yourself to get started is difficult.One of the most brilliant ways to get moving on something you don’t want to do is applying the “10-minute rule.”

Remind yourself that you only have to engage in something for ten minutes. Then, after the 10-minute slot, you may go for a break if you want.

More times than not, you’ll probably find that at the 10-minute mark, you’ll choose to keep going. Usually, getting started is the challenging part. But once you do, it’s simple to keep the tempo going.

6. Reward Yourself

You might find your work great when you know there’s a little reward waiting for you. For instance, tell yourself you can watch your favorite show if you finish your work by 6 PM.

Or tell yourself you can have a mug of your favorite coffee as soon as you complete this project.A little reward can often go a long way toward motivating you to get work done productively. And it’ll help you know what you’re capable of achieving.

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[Also Read: How to Improve Self Acceptance]

7. Challenge Yourself

Often,  little challenges can help get you moving too. For instance, you might try to write a certain amount of words in half an hour. Once you notice how many words you write in half an hour, you might try beating that during the next half an hour time slot.

You might also discover some new things about yourself. Maybe you type quickly when you’re sitting at the dining table or have a better focus right after dinner. Uncovering these things about yourself might help you set your day up for productivity.

Being conscious of your time helps you use it smartly. And challenging yourself in some way can provide the extra incentive you require.

8. Practice Good Self-Care

You’ll never be at your most exceptional if you’re tired and running on sugar and caffeine only. You need tons of rest, a healthy diet, and the right self-care strategies to work at your peak.But meeting your social, physical, and emotional needs right now will be a bit more challenging than usual.

Intaking a healthy diet might not be as simple as limiting your trips to the neighborhood store. And video calling with friends isn’t the same as meeting in real life. 

So look back every once in a while and question yourself what else you can make to better take care of yourself. As your stress level spikes, your self-care should improve right alongside it.

[Also Read: Self Care During COVID-19]

Bottom Line

Working remotely can be tough in the best of conditions. But if you find yourself working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, the added stress of the circumstance will make it harder than usual to stay inspired.Be willing to cut yourself a little slow if your productivity isn’t as expected.

Instead of pulling yourself down for not being motivated enough, you might find a little self-compassion that goes a long way toward helping you give your best.

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