6 Ways to Keep Motivated If You Work From Home.
When you are sat in your hot office, surrounded by machines, managers breathing down your neck and that one person who keeps sniffing with the cold, working from home seems like a dream come true. I am sorry to burst that bubble but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Working from home can be amazing but it also has its flaws. The risk of procrastination is very severe and cabin-fever is sometimes your best friend. Our SEO/ Digital Marketing industry is definitely an indoorsy career. After working from home for a while now, I have refined my coping mechanisms. So here is how to stay up to date with your workload and remain sane in the process:
Get yourself a view.
Nothing gets the juices flowing like a good view. It doesn’t have to be special but something to give your mind a micro-break. A good view draws your attention outside so it also does relieve the symptoms of cabin-fever. Having a view helps block out the fact that you are inside all day- especially if it is a beautiful day, get that window wide open!!! Don’t have a window? Then use that initiative and improvise. Buy a painting or something. It allows that space for you to zone out for a while and focuses your energy where you need it most. Your work ethic and sanity will suffer if you’re in a box room as if you were back in the office.
Make sure you give yourself a designated workspace in some part of the house. The last thing you want to do is move around because you’ll run the risk of merging your work life and personal home time.
Give yourself a goalpost.
Don’t you hate that feeling when you know your manager is watching your every move? It is a pain to have somebody breathing down on you but imagine if they weren’t there? You might be tempted to do nothing and get behind on work. This can happen really easily at home if you start the day without a plan. Set out what you plan to do for the day and commit to it. It means that you can focus your energy on what is important and compartmentalise the week’s workload. Writing down daily goals will help keep you on track and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
Get out sometimes.
Overworking at home is a very real prospect, and it can damage your morale beyond repair. Sometimes it is easy to get carried away before you know it, it’s 9 pm and you’re already past your bedtime. By doing too much you can end up burning out and the quality of your work takes a nosedive. Your productivity will take a hit if you work solidly for hours on end. At the other end of the spectrum, you’re at risk of cabin-fever and being distracted. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped. It is difficult to be in the house all day, all night and all week. Therefore, the best thing to do is once you have finished a project or are feeling overwhelmed, get outside. If you have dogs, give them a walk, if not, head to the shop for more coffee. That way, it gives you a break and allows you to return to your work with a clear mind. The exercise doesn’t hurt either.
The same theory works for your actual working time. Sometimes it is good to move somewhere else and give your environment some variety. Like an internet cafe. If it is nice weather, get outside and get some work done in the sun.
Don’t work in bed!!
When I first started working from home I struggled to get out of bed. I was enjoying the fact I didn’t have an alarm to get up for- nothing wrong with that! Naturally, I thought: what’s better than working at home? Working in bed! I can hear your cringe already. It was just so easy to pull my laptop across and type away while I lay in the old pit. Although this is a dream it blurs the lines between your work and personal life. It is hard enough to separate ‘work’ and ‘home’ at the best of times but the last thing you want to do is hamper your sleep. I found that I was lazy when working because I was in my sleepy place, and I lay sleepless at night because I also worked there. A well rested healthy mind means healthy work ethic. It was a strange couple of weeks. Nowadays, I even leave my phone in the other room so I am not tempted to read emails late at night. A structure is key!
Get food on the go.
I love my food. Absolutely love it. Trust me. I am not one to be left hungry. In saying that, I always find myself forgetting to eat when I am on a roll. I’ll get my morning Coffee and plan to eat something to start my day, lunch comes and goes, and before I know it, it is dinner time. On the other hand, when lacking inspiration or motivation it is easy to eat your feelings. The best thing I have found to do is get some food on the go. We have a slow cooker in the house so I put it on in the morning and let it simmer throughout the day. Every so often I will smell it and give it a stir. It usually reminds me ‘ooh, I am hungry’ and I have something to eat. You might think this strategy will make you eat more, it actually makes you look forward to dinner and not snack on rubbish. In theory.
Make the most of your freedom.
The whole point of working at home is having the freedom to work as and when you like it. Make the most of this! Don’t feel like you have to keep working if you’re worn out and there is nothing to do. On the occasional, once I have finished what I planned to do that day, I finish up and head on out. After a long week or weekend of hard work, it is a bit of a treat. Reward yourself. Go for a meal with friends or just enjoy the fact that you now have a long weekend. When you come back to work on Monday morning you will be refreshed and ready to smash the new week. Looking after yourself means you get the most out of your work!
The Key to success!
The key to working at home looking after yourself and giving your day some structure. Break up the day and allow yourself some space to separate your work life, with your home life.