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How to Keep Motivated when Working from Home

Working from home has become a new feature of many employee’s lives. There are enjoyable benefits, such as time saved on the commute; but workers also find themselves facing an unprecedented motivational challenge. Here are some top tips for staying focused whilst working from home.

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1. Create a professional environment


Aim to create a dedicated area just for your work. This should not be somewhere that you would usually use for relaxing. You need to be able to sit with good posture for long periods, so try to avoid sitting on sofas or beds. Perhaps there is a corner of a spare room where you can squeeze in a desk, or a little used under stairs area that could be converted into a small office. Keep it as separate as possible from the rest of your home to help you maintain work – life definition.

 

2. Dress for work


This might seem like a strange suggestion, but psychologically it will help you get into work mode even though you are at home. Plus, you still need to look smart for those video conferences! Getting dressed for work mentally cues you into a focused, professional frame of mind. It might also feel like a confidence boost, reminding you of your smart, public self, after months spent in pyjamas! And getting out of the suit and back into the pyjamas at the end of your working day will feel fantastic, helping you delineate between work and life more fully.

 

3. Stay Organised


Everyone needs structure. There is nothing less productive than knowing you have a hundred tasks to complete, but with no idea where to start. Begin each day by reviewing what needs to be done, and creating a list. Then examine your list – what is realistically achieveable within your working day? What needs to be prioritised? Create a second, smaller list of tasks, that you expect to complete that day. Remember to be reasonable – there is nothing more demotivating than an unachieveable and endless list. Try and gauge what you can do in a single day, then enjoy ticking each item off, and switching off from work fully when you have completed the list.

 

4. Communicate


Remember, although there’s a physical distance, you are not alone. Do check in regularly with your colleagues, as this can act as a great motivator. Once you’re up to speed with their progress on a project, it will encourage you to play your part. Meetings via videoconferencing will introduce a reminder of the office that should set you back on track with your deadlines and goals.

 

5. The Ten Minute Rule


If you are really struggling to knuckle down to a task that you feel will be boring or frustrating, try using the Ten Minute Rule. The idea is that you promise yourself that you don’t have to do a task for longer than ten minutes. This can break it down into something that feels more achievable. After ten minutes of work, you can switch to something else. However, it’s usually starting that is the hardest part, and once you are ten minutes in, you may find yourself happy to continue and get the task completed.

 

6. Create a challenge


Sometimes it’s easier to motivate yourself if there is a sense of challenge or competition. With no-one else around, challenging yourself is the best solution! Perhaps you will set yourself a task, and see how quickly you can complete it. Next time you have to repeat that task, see if you can beat your own fastest time. Aim to keep creating personal bests! Try and analyse the way you work too. For instance, do you find you work faster when seated at the kitchen table? Or does having a big breakfast set you up for a really good working day? Learning these things about yourself will help you stay motivated. Remember to reward yourself as well – for instance, if you complete a particularly intimidating task, or achieve something swiftly, perhaps you earn yourself a coffee break.

 

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