You have probably read tens, hundreds, if not, thousands of self-help or motivational books and articles on how to stay motivated working from home, but have you ever felt like none of those seems to enter the brain to help you on how to get motivated at work?
Trust me – I’ve been there, done that. Still doing…I mean, working on my bad habits and stuff that almost always causes me to have no motivation to work from home.
Well, having worked full-time from home for the past two years, I had too many moments of me scrolling Facebook and Instagram, or working on house chores, or getting distracted when people start texting me on social media, instead of tending to my work tasks dutifully during work hours.
No doubt, I still do all of those, but with more consciousness of my actions now that helps greatly towards maintaining that much-needed work from home motivation, thanks to personal experience and some self-reflection.
So blabbering aside, here’s a list of 11 work from home tips that you can apply to help you stay motivated working from home.
How To Stay Motivated Working From Home? Try These 11 Ways For Yourself!
#1 Set Up A Cozy Yet Neat Workstation
Initially, this was a tough one for me. My desk was full of Things That Should Not Be On A Normal Work Desk – sewing kit, a high school trophy (?), snacks, contact lens cleaning solution, abacus (??), cosmetic pouch…I could go on. And I had to create a conducive work corner, and I only had THAT desk to work with.
However, once I decluttered my space to allow for my work laptop and notebook to settle nicely, with a small indoor plant as a finishing touch, I found myself feeling happier and relieved even to see such a nice desk ready for working. It’s like you finally remove some subconscious weight from your mind about that whole clutter, and you’ll begin to feel some sense of motivation flying back to you.
#2 Schedule Ahoy!
Just when I thought setting up a neat workstation is rather a pain in the butt, scheduling is much worse in my opinion. I’m not known to be a good scheduler of my own plans and routines – I suck at it hands-down. Goodness knows how I manage to survive at work…but despite my dislike for scheduling, I recognize its importance and train myself to make scheduling a habit instead.
This act of scheduling is also inspired by a good friend of mine actually when we discuss how to stay motivated while working from home. She shared that, at the end of each day, she will sit down and plan her to-do list for tomorrow before bed. It doesn’t have to be like, 101 items, but about five to six tasks that you want or need to complete by tomorrow. And I find this a more likeable scheduling if you will.
Of course, different people may have different ways to schedule and plan their work day. Just find a style that works for you.
#3 Make Goals
It took me a while to realize that making small goals actually sets the tone of the day. A continuation from point #2, slot in goals as you plan for the next day. What would you like to achieve for the day at work? Take note that you don’t need to state a huge goal, just mini-goals will do.
Think of these small goals as accomplishments you would like to achieve that will help with staying motivated while working from home. It could be as simple as waking up early for a good breakfast before work (as such in my case; as much as I love breakfast, I also love to sleep late lol), or finish writing X number of articles, make Y number of sales calls, as long as your goals are achievable in a day’s time.
And even if you end up not completing that goal, that’s still okay – because the main goal is to help you stay motivated enough to attempt your work tasks than swimming in repetitive dread.
#4 Get Your Priotitties– I mean, Priorities, Right
Jokes aside, I like this one book by Rory Vaden called Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. In his book, Rory shared this golden nugget of truth that prioritizing is not about creating more time for ourselves – we are just shuffling our tasks around according to importance and urgency mostly, but the act itself does not generate more time since you still have only 24 hours to work with a day.
Prioritizing right, according to Rory, is about considering not only the task’s importance and urgency, but also, to factor in significance – how long will the task matter apart from how much and how soon does it matter? When you take significance of a task into account, this will aid you in prioritizing work items that have greater long-term impact first rather than focusing on almost everything that seems to be important and urgent in your eyes.
You may be interested in: 10 Powerful Tips That Will Lower Employee Turnover Rates
#5 Shower Before You Start Your Day
Wait what? Is this even a legit tip? But no kidding – I’ve tried showering late in the afternoon many a times (please don’t replicate this bad habit) and I do find myself feeling not as fired up in the morning to tackle my work-related tasks as compared to making sure I give myself a nice shower before attempting work. So yes, do shower before you start your day – it certainly helps!
#6 Coffee Is Love
High-five to all the coffee lovers out there! I will feel like something is amiss if I don’t start my day with a nice cup of coffee. And it feels like my Motivate-o-meter bar just shoots up after a few sips.
So go ahead, make yourself a nice cuppa before you get hustling! If you aren’t a coffee drinker, just get something like a freshly brewed tea or a glass of refreshing juice to activate your Motivation Mode. It definitely helps in my case!
#7 Mute That Phone
This could be an arguable pointer, but speaking from experience, muting my phone helps me stay more focused and motivated working from home without added distraction. Not only that but I feel more at peace typing away at my computer knowing that there’s no sudden ringing or notification popping sounds every few minutes.
I also find myself scrolling through social media less, as more time is spent thinking about tackling tasks on hand. It doesn’t mean I don’t check or laugh at a few posts at all (I’m no work robot, breaks are a must every now and then), it’s just that the frequency is much reduced and I can focus more on the job. The only downside is you could be missing out on important calls so this is rather situational for a work from home tip.
#8 Reward Thy Self
Who doesn’t love rewards for achieving something? Working from home can be quite a bore especially if you have to do it almost 24/7 like me, so it’s nice to give yourself a pat on the back and a reward or two for doing a job well. It can serve as a motivation to hit all your mini-goals of the day, like allowing yourself eat a favorite snack after completing a block of tasks, or granting yourself a night out after a successful project completion during the day. You deserve it, people!
This doesn’t work as great as coffee for me, as I’m a person who isn’t a fan of challenges. But I’ve tried pitting up myself against a mini-challenge or two, and I must say it does help to boost my motivation when I’m feeling pretty game for it. Mini-challenges go pretty well with rewards, so if you are rather competitive by nature, mini-challenges could serve as a wonderful way on how to get motivated working from home.
#10 Get Up And Out And About, On And Off
Sometimes, you may be asking yourself how to keep working when you’re just not feeling it. And short breaks are one of the key answers to generating the motivation to do work when you find yourself slowly feeling unmotivated working from home.
While it is nice to be able to sit down and remain focused and motivated while working from home, do remember to get up and about occasionally! Take necessary breaks, go out of the house for a while, check on your pet or plants if you will. Having short breaks in between is essential to regain motivation at work.
#11 Self-Care Is Crucial
Okay, this is already quite a long list but I want to end it with a reminder on self-care. I know it’s easy to lose yourself in piles of unfinished mess called work, but remember, work is a neverending thing, however, your life is too short to just work all the time without proper rests!
Good self-care includes getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, taking a healthy well-balanced diet, working on your hobbies or any other activities that you love for relaxation. Many people tend to neglect this part, myself too, but do make it a point to set aside time to enjoy life and de-stress. You don’t want to end up falling into the trap of self-defeating thoughts later on.
No More Stress In Figuring How To Be Motivated To Work!
There you go, the 11 tried and tested tips if you ever find yourself running out of ideas on how to stay motivated at work especially when you’re confined to working from home. Hope these ways help, and even if they don’t, just keep trying out and experimenting different methods to tackle no motivation to work from home.
Do you have a favorite or go-to tip to get motivated to work? Do share with us in the comments!