Staying productive when you’re not in the right frame of mind is a tough one to overcome. With phones, the internet, television and a whole load of other distractions there to bleed away your time, staying motivated is near impossible. As I freelance for half of my working week nowadays, motivation is key to success and productivity isn’t always easy, especially with working from home for the vast majority of it. Aside from the obvious conditions of putting away your mobile devices and disabling social media on your PC, I’ve come up with a few successful ways of ensuring that you are as productive as possible, even when distractions are everywhere – a guide for how to stay motivated when working from home.
Write down your tasks for the day and stick to them.
I don’t know about you, but I find that writing something down and giving myself a deadline to achieve it really motivates me to get it done. I almost see it as a challenge against myself and I’m usually really disappointed if I don’t manage to get everything done. Separate the tasks you need to complete into Essential tasks for the day and then the things you might like to get done if you have the time- this stops you from the doing the easy, unimportant stuff first and prioritises the things that have upcoming deadlines.
Give yourself a break when you need one.
No one can work solidly for hours and hours at a time – giving yourself a break every few hours allows you to retain the productivity and motivation that you need to complete a task to a high level and working solidly without a break will definitely put a strain on your life. You’ll find that the work you produce isn’t as high in quality and you’ll feel drained and unwilling to get on with things. Take breaks to increase productivity.
Remind yourself of the bigger picture.
People have a reason for doing everything – I choose to freelance alongside my job as a way of earning an additional income, making it easier for me to save money. This will get us towards our goal of buying a much bigger home – somewhere we can live for a long time and build a family around. This is my bigger picture and normally if I’m feeling unmotivated, thinking about not achieving this picture gives me the kick up the butt that I need. If you’re struggling with how to motivate yourself to work and the bigger picture isn’t necessarily working, then treat yourself as appropriate when you successfully complete a task.
If you’re freelancing, treat it as though you’re actually going to work.
I’ve found that I’m much more productive when I get myself up early, dressed into work-wear and in the right frame of mind for doing work. Whilst it’s really an appealing thought being able to work in bed and in pyjamas, realistically it doesn’t work as you won’t be seeing the work that you’re doing as actual work. Putting on a nice pair of trousers and a blouse and setting myself up in the office, phone turned off and out of the way, puts me in the right mood for writing and working and I find that I get a lot more done than if I lounge around the house in my dressing gown.
How do you stay motivated when working from home? Let me know in the comments!