Keep Motivated While You Work From Home
Undoubtably the world has changed. The reality is that more people now work from home and might do so for the forseeable future.
While it might seem exciting to be able to wear your pajamas around the house and avoid traffic jams, there is a real price to pay when you work from home.
Primarily, the overlap between personal and business life is almost impossible to avoid and for some people, it can be challenging to stay on top of their game when they are left unsupervised.
Here’s how to keep your productivity high when working from home.
What are some of the challenges when working from home?
Difficulty managing your time
There’s two ways your time management can become a problem at home.
On the one hand, you might feel as though you have more time than ever. After all, you don’t have to get ready for work or commute to the office. This could lead to you watching more YouTube than ever before and going down the social media rabbit hole, even though you only wanted to take a 5 minute break. Or maybe you get stuck into housework and before you know it, two hours have passed and you almost miss an important deadline.
On the other hand, because your working hours are more flexible, you might find yourself working non-stop, pausing only to eat. It’s easy to loose track of time when you don’t have colleagues asking you to join them for tea or lunch. But working beyond your 9 hours a day will be harmful to your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
In both cases, it’s important to be mindful of the time you’re spending working, and the time you’re wasting on other things and adapt accordingly.
When you find yourself at home, it’s easy to feel tempted to multitask your way through the day. But multitasking is less effective and proven to be unproductive. In fact, it can inhibit your ability to think and be more creative. It alters the way your brain works when you have to switch between tasks without completing any of them. You thus strain your mental capacity to focus and produce high-quality work.
No face-to-face interaction
Working from home means that you no longer have in-person interaction with your colleagues, peers and team members. This can be challenging for people who are wired for constant social interaction (extroverts).
Hosting online calls is one way to stay in contact with your connections.
How to stay motivated while working from home
While we are talking about productivity as it applies mostly to your working arrangement, we want you to keep in mind that many of these tips can apply to your exercise routine and heathy eating habits as well.
Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to work on your important health goals!
Create a plan
Success starts with a plan and direction. If you know where you want to be and you can put that into a plan and navigate towards it, then you’re on the right track. Working from home should be organised and strategically planned so that all that remains is the execution of the tasks for the day.
Consider that before you would take a packed lunch to work, but now you have the entire kitchen to yourself… all day long!
Decide beforehand what you’ll eat during the day so that you don’t land up scratching for snacks every few hours.
Leverage your To-Do list
What helps many people if they are doing their work from home is having a “to do list”. Even though this may sound unimportant, it can significantly help you to find structure and manage your tasks as you tick them off along the way.
If you’re accustomed to planning your daily, weekly and high-priority tasks then this will be easy for you. However, you need to consider that your environment has completely changed and incorporate that into your new list.
It’s important to prioritize sleep, because when you work from home, you might find yourself living life during the daytime and catching up on work late into the night!
Good sleep hygiene will also work in your favour to keep you feeling full of energy and concentration.
Create a dedicated work space
While not everyone has a home office or spare bedroom in which to work, it’s important that you don’t settle for working on the couch in front of the TV. This is too distracting and you could drift off into your favourite shows instead of getting focused on work.
In addition, your posture will be affected which could lead to headaches.
So set up a specific spot where you’ll do your work. Even a small desk in the corner of a quiet room will do.
Create your optimal routine
When it comes to working at home, you need to develop a sense of routine. This helps you to navigate your day with ease and control. For example, you might start your day with some yoga and breathing exercises. Having an optimized schedule as we’ve mentioned earlier can help to keep things organised for maximum efficiency.
There are few things as tiring as staring at your computer screen for several hours on end. It may seem productive to push several hours without a break, but it catches up and can lead to burnout.
Frequent recesses can also help to rest your eyes from the screen’s glary light. Optometrists even recommend eye exercises to help prevent and keep eye strain under control.
Purposefully change your focus
Now this goes with the point above “take breaks”, but when changing your focus, try to think of exciting things that will motivate you even more. Consider going on that well deserved holiday at the end of the year after all the hard work is completed. Think about some places you’d like to visit.
No matter what, you can still make mental plans to explore new destinations and discover new activities. The positive change of focus will do your mental status good.
It’s easy to become frazzled as you tackle work at your new setup from home. During your breaks and even during work, simply pause and do a few breaths. There are many types of breathing exercises and they can help the body cope under pressure and stress.
Breathing exercises help to increase the serotonin and dopamine levels in the body and thus is good for helping to reduce stress and anxiety. It has a positive effect on the “mood- uplifting” hormones and can help to:
- Naturally increase energy levels
- Help maintain focus
- Reduce feelings of anxiety
- Act as a natural painkiller
- Reduce inflammation
- Helps the body to relax and unwind
Dress for the occasion
Since you’re not going to the office, it’s easy to stay in PJ’s and pass the time like that. Subconsciously this gesture may lead to easy distractions as your comfy pajamas just make it simpler to “switch off” from work.
Instead, dress as you would to go to the office. Or at the very least, put on some smart-casual clothes that signal to your brain that you’re now in “work mode”.
Mind the distractions
Let’s define some major distractions that plague folks working from home:
- The kitchen – because it has all its delightful snacks and treats
- The TV – that could grab your attention for the wrong intended reasons
- Social media – because it can tempt you to keep scrolling for hours on end
Intentionally limit your exposure to distractions so that you can get your work done.
Get some exercise
Working from home can easily make you feel cooped up behind 4 walls. But, if you go outside a bit and feel the wind in your face and the sun on your skin it can be invigorating. Even going for a brisk walk can reset your mind, help you think creatively and strategically and set you up for success.
Treat yourself after a day’s work
Reward yourself for completing the hard work at the end of each day. It takes a lot to stay focused and to be productive from home and if anything you deserve some self-care.
Rewarding yourself can come in many ways for example:
- A small sweet treat to celebrate this success
- Have some imported coffee that you’d only have on rare occasions
- Enjoy an episode of your favourite show
- Have a bubble bath
- Let your partner spoil you with a relaxing massage
- Pamper your feet
- Enjoy a home facial
Closing thoughts about working from home
Let’s face it, working from home changes the dynamic of your life but it has many benefits as well. So long as you adjust to your new routine and maintain your normal levels of productivity, working from home could be your new normal.
As always, we encourage you to incorporate all your healthy habits into your new lifestyle so that working from home means prioiritizing health at home too.
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