When we talk about “working from home,” there are a lot of brain flashes. Visions of flexible timings and working in pajamas on the bed can be fascinating. To some, working from home is no less than a luxury, while to some, it carries its whole set of disadvantages.
Working from home has its challenges. The distractions, be it work or domestic, in remote working are endless. Setting your schedule requires strict self-discipline. If you are someone who is working remotely from home, then you’ll be knowing how difficult it is to keep the distractions at bay and focus on being productive.
To help you out, here’s a rundown of ten things you need to do to stay motivated while working from home.
1. Wake Up Early
Maximum people shudder at the idea of getting up early in the morning. But, its benefits are immense. Robin Sharma, in his book, The 5 AM Club, says, “Think of your cognitive capacity like a phone battery. You start at 100% and slowly throughout the day, your battery runs out before charging it again overnight.”
Therefore waking up early ensures that you spend time on one high-level activity without distraction. A solid morning routine is a key to your success as a remote worker. Getting up in the morning turns you into a more proactive and productive person.
Here are some tips for walking up early.
- Try to wake up at the same time every day.
- Do some exercises as it kicks your metabolism and helps you stay active during the day.
- Take control of things once you wake up. Map out your routine and work accordingly.
- Until your body gets comfortable with a routine, take the help of an alarm clock to wake up.
2. Define Your Workspace
Having separate spaces in your home for eating, working, and sleeping is the key to a balanced lifestyle. If you ask young professionals working from home, most of them would admit to working in bed, which, to a great extent, can hamper your productivity.
Work should not happen in bed; therefore, a defined workplace is the solution. Allocating a distinct workspace can affect your overall productivity within your work area. A specific table or an area of your home that you can utilize as space for work promotes concentration and creativity.
Here’s how to get it.
- Set a clear and distinct space that is just for work and outfit it accordingly.
- Invest in a good office chair as it helps you sit up straight for long periods.
- Things you require regularly, place them closest to your workstation. It will not only save time but protect you from distractions lurking around every corner.
- You’ll spend most of your time in the workspace, so outfit it accordingly. Surround yourself with things that positively impacts your creativity.
3. Dress Up For Work
Rolling out of bed and straight away working in your pajamas, seems incredibly tempting. After all, the best part about working from home is the freedom to wear whatever you want, be it pajamas or a T-shirt.
But, when it comes to work, clothes can affect performance. Some researches have shown that your alertness is affected by what you wear.
However, it doesn’t mean you put on a suit and tie and sit at your desk all uncomfortable. All it means is that put on some actual clothes that are functional, i.e., don’t work in sleepwear. A study done by Dr. Karen Pine, a psychology professor, stated that “When we put on an item of clothing, it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment.”
In simpler words, if you wear lazy clothing all day, you tend to act lethargic, thereby getting less work done. Therefore, create a job-specific uniform for yourself in which you feel amazing.
4. Make A Schedule & Follow It
Consider yourself in an office setting and prepare your schedule accordingly. Make sure you abide by a self-imposed schedule. Go by planning out your workday to accomplish the tasks you set out to do. There’s a good old saying that goes like, “If you don’t control your schedule, your schedule will soon control you.”
- Don’t let the comfort of home hamper your work. Prepare your schedule as if you are in the office environment.
- Decide your work hours. It lets you define a proper work structure, and gives you a routine to follow.
- Accomplish the daily tasks that you have set for yourself. Avoid carrying over unfinished tasks to the next day.
- Prioritization is crucial. It lets you immediately know what to start working on when you sit down at your desk.
- Do take a lunch break to refresh your mind. Prefer walking away from your workspace for lunch, or even better, go outside!
5. Reward Yourself
Since, in remote working, there is no external validation to know that you are doing a good job, start patting yourself on the back. Rather than waiting for someone else to do it, reward yourself whenever you hit a crucial task or objective. Once you’ve done something worthy of reward, treat yourself with anything that makes you happy.
Take a long break, or make yourself a fresh pot of coffee or go pamper yourself with some spa session or splurge in manicure and pedicure. You can even reward your extra effort by taking a small break to watch your favorite TV show. Give yourself the recognition you deserve. It not only makes you feel good but even works as a positive reinforcement for future tasks.
6. Socialize With Others
When you work from home, there are decreased social interactions leading to isolation and loneliness. Therefore, a daily dose of human contact is a must. Make it a point to get out and talk to other human beings.
Here are some tips for you.
- Go for a walk – Whether it’s a mid-day walk, go get out to get some fresh air.
- Social Networking – Various social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various instant messaging services, are no less than a blessing in today’s times. Chat with your friends or co-workers and stay connected to them. However, limit the time and energy you spend on social media sites.
- Take a class – Join a workout class or any group for some engaging interaction. It not only improves your health but also supercharges your work productivity. It enhances memory and decreases overall levels of tension and stress.
- Work at a cafe – Make your favorite cafe your workplace, be it once or twice a week. The physical environment has a significant impact on the way you perform. So when you leave the house for work, you feel like you’ve been ‘out’ for the day and brain reacts to these new surroundings giving a boost of motivation and productivity. You’ll likely be surprised by how much it helps you.
- Attend Networking Events – Be in touch with people or networking events taking place around you. These events are great to meet a lot of like-minded people at one time and form connections. Just make sure to find the right networking events worth going to.
7. Stress Management
A lot of people who work from home report higher levels of stress. Being your own boss comes with a lot of responsibilities. Feelings of isolation and disconnection can put your mental health at risk, thereby causing increased anxiety or stress levels. Combating work-at-home stress requires some efforts. Identify the sources of stress in your life and talk about your problems to someone.
Multitask effectively and stick to the schedule. Take walking breaks and find time for yourself outside of your work. No matter what you do, it’s imperative to draw the line between work and home, especially when both are happening at the same place. Most importantly adopt a positive attitude in life. Take charge of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems.
8. Upskill Yourself
With the world continually evolving, upskilling yourself needs to done at regular intervals to enhance your professional value. To future proof your career, you need to learn and pick up new skills and capabilities that will help you grow. Be it expanding your current skill set, or learning something completely new, upskilling is the perfect way to survive the competition. It even opens the door to new career prospects.
1. Look out for mentorship programs. Talking o someone with more experience is always helpful and helps you grow professionally. You can look online for programs or speak to your company for finding events that are happening in and around your city.
2. Study. There is no age of learning. You can still study while working. Indulge in some short online course or take evening/ Saturday classes on campus. There is a stack of courses designed to help you learn alongside your professional career.
3. Teach yourself a new language. With job markets becoming more globalized, leaning a new language opens up new doors of opportunities. You can go for apps like Duolingo that gives a free and gamified language learning experience, making the whole process of learning a new language simpler.
4. Start a Blog/Write a Book- Once you start writing, you’ll be amazed at its benefits. Follow other bloggers within your area of interest and start working on the content of your blog. It not only helps you improve upon your existing knowledge but even develops your online portfolio. If you already have a blog, be more active on it and start doing regular posts.
5. Be social media savvy- Becoming social media savvy could help you further your career. If you feel your social media skills are lacking, upgrade them. Take help from someone who is social media savvy or look for websites devoted to social media marketing tips.
9. Block Distracting Websites
Avoiding distractions when working from home is not an easy task. The Internet and particularly social media are such an intricate part of our lives. But, the notifications from Facebook, Instagram, and Skype, are a massive distraction while working, and tends to waste a lot of your valuable time. Fortunately, even with all of the distractions, there are a lot of apps designed to help you keep away and stay productive.
To block these distractions, you can take the help of some apps, like browser extensions that block you from seeing certain websites or desktop apps that only allows viewing the active window.
- Limit time spent on social media and web surfing.
- Try tools like StayFocused to block the concerned websites after you spend the minimum amount of time on them.
10. Fixed Finishing Time Each Day
When your personal life and your work are both under the same roof, it’s harder to balance. Irregular work scheduling comes with its consequences. It not only disturbs your personal life but also affects your health adversely. Always remember that “work is infinite,” but your time is not. So know a reasonable time to stop. Don’t lose track of time under the comfort of working from home. When does the workday start and end, should be fixed.
- Create physical boundaries between you and your workspace so that once working hours are over, you don’t go again and again to check up on just any last thing.
- Turn off any work notifications on your phone.
- Set the alarm for the end of the day to get yourself out of your home office. So fix some appointment right at the end of the day so that you get out of your office, no matter what.
- Use Task Scheduler in Windows to set up reminders to take adequate breaks.
Working from home has its perks. But, when the line between home and work gets blurred, it’s not always that easy as it looks. You have to be highly self-motivated to work from home.
Just don’t opt for remote working because everyone else is doing it. Go for hard self-evaluation before you choose for a home office. Keep yourself motivated. Stay driven and keep on regularly up-skilling yourself.