For many office-based employees, working from home may seem like the dream, with its flexible hours and zero commuting time.
However, it’s not as perfect as it seems, because it’s way too easy to lose motivation when you’re stuck at home, alone, and left to your own devices. If you’re a demotivated remote worker who can’t seem to push yourself to be productive, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on to find out how you can stay motivated while working from home:
Follow a Work Schedule
Remote working arrangements remove the pressure of having to get up early and consistently work throughout the day. But it also means that it’s much easier to stay in bed longer than you should or take five-hour breaks to watch TV. Avoid falling into this trap, as you’ll likely push all your work to a later time and end up feeling too lazy and demotivated to finish it.
Enter self-discipline. Be strict about following a daily work schedule to stay on top of your tasks. Esther Adeniyi recommends planning your day like you would a regular one at the office to avoid wasting time on procrastinating. Have a daily, weekly, and monthly plan that you can follow. And while you don’t have to work 8am to 5pm, strive for a consistent schedule that works for you. Whether that’s 9am to 6pm or 12pm to 8pm, just be sure to stick to it.
Take Planned Breaks
Another thing to avoid is those five-hour stretches of just watching TV or scrolling through your social media feeds. The Atlantic suggests working for 52 minutes straight and then taking a 17-minute break, but there are a lot of variations of this technique and the division of time is really up to you.
This way, you won’t feel tired or lose motivation too fast since your work is spaced out throughout the day. However, it is important to practice self-discipline and be strict about how long your breaks are.
Even if you don’t necessarily enjoy talking to people, you’ll find that being isolated and alone when working from home can be quite discouraging. The good news is that your colleagues most likely feel the same, so reach out to them!
Aside from the social aspect, a crucial benefit of communicating frequently is that you can ask for help and learn more about the job, just like you would in a regular office environment. Your remote work supervisor probably already knows this and should have arrangements in place specifically for communication. A feature article by Yoss points out how remote work managers have a responsibility to establish effective distance communication protocols, whether it’s in the form of video conferencing or in-app chats. It’s still up to you to use these sessions to your advantage by ditching the shyness and asking things about your field, getting clarification on certain rules, or raising concerns about a client.
Start Exercising Regularly
Part of the dangers of working from home is that you may start leading a more sedentary lifestyle. Research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reveals a strong link between sedentary behaviour and depression, which will likely demotivate you and affect your quality of life. Thankfully, you can minimise this risk by exercising regularly.
Exercising in the morning is particularly beneficial, as Business Insider notes how early morning workouts boost cortisol levels that help keep you awake and energised throughout the day. Moreover, it also helps you sleep more soundly at night. Together, these two benefits can make your daily tasks easier to do since you’re well rested and fully awake.