Full disclosure – I’m writing this from home right now and it isn’t easy! With so many distractions – cute pets, loud neighbors, a comfy pillow to fall asleep on – it’s pretty typical to find yourself unable to focus on the task at hand while you’re working from your house. While a lot of people struggle to stay motivated at first, it’s pretty rewarding once you get the hang of it. You can play your music as loud as you want, throw the laundry in the dryer mid-day, and wear your most comfortable pajamas all day long. Here are some tips and tricks for staying motivated when working from home.
Create an Office
If you have a home office, you may find that working from your house is a little bit easier. When you enter your office, you should be putting yourself into the mindset that you are now on the clock. That means treating it like your regular workplace – no loud TV in the background, no pets, no long phone calls with friends. However, we don’t all have the luxury of a home office. For the rest of us, it’s important to carve out a place in your house that’s just for getting work done (for me, it’s a small desk in my guest room) and committing to that mentality. It’s okay to get up and grab a coffee or go play with the cats once in a while, but when you get back to your “office space,” it’s back to business. If you’re working from your couch or bed, it’s somehow a lot easier just to flick on the tv or lay your head down and find you’ve gone four hours without getting anything done.
Start a Routine
One great part about working from home is how much time you save. There’s no need to fight traffic during your morning commute, wait in a long Starbucks drive-thru, or sacrifice your morning shower because you slept in. Unfortunately, rolling right out of bed into work isn’t going to work for most people, so it’s still important to have a routine in place to get your day started on the right foot. Even the smallest routine, like pouring yourself a cup of coffee, will help you get into the right mentality to start your day.
Stick to a Schedule
I know from experience how easy it is to start your day a few hours late when working from home. I also know how easy it is to find yourself still working into the night. Give yourself a hard start and end times each day, with a mid-day lunch and occasional breaks to stretch your legs. Use an app like Due Time Tracking to take account of how you spend your time and make sure you’re making the most out of your day. Then, give yourself a little leeway – it’s okay to check Facebook once in a while or browse for Alexandria houses for sale – but try to keep the personal stuff to a minimum during work hours.
For those who have just moved from an office environment to working from home, you may be feeling a little lonely during the day. Many people find motivation through communicating ideas with coworkers or even just the energy of having others around. Luckily, there are services like Slack that help you stay in touch with your team while working from home. For those of us who find distraction in other people, well, you’re in the right place.
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