7 ways to stay motivated when working from home
With the recent push for ‘social distancing’ and the government’s concerted efforts in keeping all of us safe, a growing number of non-essential businesses have implemented a work-from-home policy. For some of us, this new development might not exactly feel ‘new’, but for those of us that are rookies to this remote-work set-up, it could easily feel like a venture into the unknown. But fret not remote-work newbies; there is hope.
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Today we’re giving you our tried and tested tips to help you navigate this new work set-up. And if you’re wondering if they actually work, the story you’re reading right now was written from none other than my humble abode.
Get up early and get ready for work like normal
We know it’s tempting to stay in bed and get that extra five minutes of sleep, but getting up early and going through your normal morning routine will help set the tone for the rest of your work day. So, have some breakfast, jump in the shower and get dressed. Makeup is optional, but if it helps put you in a more motivated mood, then by all means, reach for that lipstick, girl!
Make a schedule
The biggest challenge about working from home is losing productivity because of distractions. One way to avoid this is by making yourself a schedule. This will also give you an opportunity to break down your work load and help your organise your priorities for the day.
We’ve found that coming up with a list of ‘non-negotiables’ (aka any job that needs immediate attention) is a great way to start.
From there, give yourself a timeframe of when you need to get it done. As you tick things off your list, you’ll find you’ll feel more productive and in control of your work.
Set up a work station
Whether it’s that bit of space at the end of the table or a dedicated home office, setting up a work-only zone is key.
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Ideally you want a spot that is away from the rest of your family to avoid interruptions to your work flow. It also helps to let them know of your work hours and if noise is an issue in your household, noise-cancelling headphones are a good solution.
Finally, treat your work station with respect. Keep it tidy and make sure to pack up at the end of your shift.
Turn off notifications
Though you may feel pressured to respond to every e-mail in .5 seconds to prove to your team that you’re actually working, replying to every notification can actually mess with your work flow. Unless you’re waiting on a really important e-mail, make a habit of only checking your inbox several times a day.
Take breaks when you have to
It’s easy to lose track of time once you’ve found your rhythm. This is why it’s important to take ample breaks to help refresh your mind and avoid overextending yourself.
Whether it’s taking this time to have a light snack, practice meditation or walk around the house and say ‘hi’ to your family, taking breaks when you need to is paramount to a productive work day.
Julie Kratz, executive coach and author, says it’s perfectly fine to communicate with your manager when you need a break to unplug and recharge. Sending a simple message is not only a great way to let them know of your whereabouts, but encourages a supportive online working environment between and your colleagues.
Stay on the move
A quick Google search will tell us that living a sedentary lifestyle has some pretty nasty side effects to our health. So carve time out of your day to exercise.
Here is a list our favourite apps for at-home workouts that don't require you to set a foot outside. You’re welcome.
Set strict boundaries
So, you’ve reached the end of your work day. You may be tempted to cross-off one last item on your to-do list, but we’re telling you now; it can wait tomorrow.
A few things you can do is to mentally close your door on work is to set an alarm on your phone for when office hours are over. Once it starts ringing, cut yourself off, change into some cozy sweats and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Main image screen-grabbed from HBO series, Sex and the City
What are some of your work-from-home tips? Tell us in the comments!