Getting motivated for work can be challenging, especially when it’s from home. At home, you have a million and two distractions that make it hard to get in the zone and focus solely on the work at hand.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to overcome that lack of motivation and ensure that you’re ready for the day’s work ahead.
If you’re already working from home or plan on working as a freelancer or remote employee, make sure to implement these tips:
1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s true, as harsh as it sounds – comfort kills your motivation to achieve your goals.
Due to COVID-19, working from home has become the new normal for many. Unlike before – when you reported to an office everyday and were in close contact with others.
Working from home makes it impossible for anyone to require you to dress up or be at the “office” by a certain time.
For many, this has been a dream come true. However, lounging around in your pajamas all day and being loose with your time will definitely affect your desire to perform, whether you realize it or not.
As human beings, as soon as we begin to get comfortable we have a tendency to stop growing. I highly recommend you take a personal inventory and identify those areas of your day where comfort might have started taking over.
Are you dressing as nicely as you could be? Are you taking caring of your personal grooming? Are you sitting upright in your chair? Are you conducting yourself like a professional?
The more seriously you take yourself, the more seriously others will take you and the more motivated you will be.
2. Make a Schedule
Being a schedule-oriented person has many benefits besides obviously being able to complete tasks on time.
Time has a tendency to slip out from underneath us when we don’t keep track of it. When we clearly know what we have to do and when we have to get it done by, our level of motivation increases.
It’s easy to make exceptions with your time for friends, family and other distractions while working from home, but it’s vital to begin training yourself to stay on track by making a schedule at the beginning of each day and sticking to it.
The more you get done, the more motivated you’ll be to do more. It’s a self fulfilling cycle.
While working from home, you need to set boundaries for yourself and make sure the time you’ve scheduled for work is spent doing just that – work.
The more you focus on doing only the scheduled task at hand, the more often you’ll find yourself dipping into the “flow state”.
In this state, you’ll get more done in less time and feel better about it. The “flow state” is that state where time ceases to exist and good work is flowing from your finger tips, effortlessly.
3. Cut Off Distractions
I can’t stress enough the importance of avoiding your phone and social media during your scheduled working hours.
A simple task that is only supposed to take 15 minutes can turn into a multiple hour endeavor if you’re on social media while working. The longer your work drags on the less motivated you will be to complete it.
Social media is literally designed to grab our attention. “Hey! Checkout this new notification! So and so messaged you! Oh, did you know they got married?”
You don’t, however, want to completely disregard your notifications throughout the day, because you want to make sure you don’t miss any important emails.
For that, I advise designating some time at the end of each hour to check your email. Make a pact with yourself not to open any other apps unless you have a legitimate reason.
It can be very difficult to resist the urge to check messages, notifications, news and other exciting things. But, if you focus only on your work at hand.
You’ll probably get more done in less time which will give you even more time to catch up on your notifications once your work is completed. How’s that for some motivation?
4. Established a Designated Workplace
Get out of bed and get to a desk. It won’t cost too much, but it will significantly boost your work efficiency and help to keep you motivated.
Your bed should be for sleeping and sleeping only. Your couch should be used to relax and unwind.
If working in pajamas has the ability to make you feel sleepy, imagine what the effect of working where you sleep is.
Working where you sleep and sleeping where you work might not be so bad in the short run, but it will eventually begin to disrupt.
Your sleep schedule and could also have an affect on the other spheres of your life as the lines between work and regular life begin to blur.
5. Take Breaks
Working in front of a screen for hours on end can be draining and demotivating at times.
Remember that you are not a machine – you’re a human, and humans need breaks.
We know that extended periods of screen time is not the best for our health. Who knows what the true long term affects will be in a few decades?
Take a few minutes every hour and give yourself a break. Step outside if you can, go for a brief walk, check the mail, use the bathroom, eat a snack.
Get yourself out of your work environment for a few minutes so you can come back refreshed and ready to work.
6. Read Motivational Books
I know. Most people roll their eyes at the thought of reading a motivational book, but the truth is that a good story or belief shifting idea has the ability to change your entire outlook on life and the work you do on a daily basis.
I recommend reading every single day. I know that sounds like a lot.
Especially when you have a ton of work on your plate, but I’m not suggesting you read hundreds of pages every day. Just read one page every day from a motivational book.
It might be a good idea to take a minute or two and read your daily page right before you get started with work. That way throughout your workday you can meditate on what you read that morning.
It is a subtle shift that if done consistently, can completely change who you are as a person. Leaders are always readers. Although you may not be leading an organization, you’re always leading yourself.
Working from home can be hard, even in the best of circumstances. Apply the strategies listed above and you should begin to see incremental improvement.
At the end of the day only you can get yourself motivated for work. It’s an inside job. Find the spark within that allows you to break beyond the barrier of monotony and to take your work to new heights.