We’ve probably all worked from home at one point or another, and found ourselves in the odd predicament of having the freedom to relax and the little voice inside our heads that says we should be working. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the random day where you decide to work from home and you wake up with every intention of sitting down at your computer at 8 a.m. and be productive, but instead you find yourself sitting on the couch with your computer in your lap at 1:30 p.m. and you’re on the 5th episode of your favorite TV show. Meanwhile your computer has shut off from lack of use.
So when you’re working from home, how do you prevent days like this from happening?
1. Sit down at your desk
One of the most important things I’ve learned while working from home is that even on days where I think I have mindless tasks to accomplish and that I can finish them while watching a marathon of Law and Order: SVU, I cannot get anything done while the TV is on. Now I know what you’re thinking… “I can do that. I can get my work done during the commercial breaks.” or “I won’t get sucked into watching. It will just be background noise. Background noise always helps me concentrate.” Let me tell you, if you take that approach you’ll wind up with one thing checked off your to-do list and the feeling that you wasted an entire day. Sit down at your desk and focus!
2. Recreate the atmosphere you have at work
If you listen to music while at work, turn on music. If you light a candle at work, light a candle. If you have motivational sayings up in your office, put up some motivational saying in your “home office”. Whatever it is that helps you concentrate at work, try to do the same thing at home. The feeling of structure and a working atmosphere will help you forget that your cozy looking bed is calling your name.
3. Create a to-do list
I’ve always found that if I have a list of things that need to get done, I am more able to sit down and get things done if I can see how many things I have left to do. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment to see things crossed off my list rather than if I just sit down and try to get things done throughout the day. Once my to-do list is all crossed off I can quit for the day.
4. Take breaks
When you’re at work you don’t usually have a ton of freedom to take a walk, wake up a little bit later than usual, or even watch TV while eating lunch (though maybe try to limit it to one episode). Most people don’t get to work from home that often, so while you’re home take advantage of it (as long as all your work gets done).
5. Wear something that makes you feel productive
I know that sounds silly, but for me if I were to work in my pj’s all day I would get absolutely nothing done. I would feel lazy and want to curl up in a ball, but if I’m in jeans and a t-shirt I feel like I’m ready to work. It’s different for everyone, so try it out. Try wearing your work clothes, jeans and a t-shirt or even your pj’s. Find something that makes you ready to work!
So there you have it. My 5 tips to staying motivated while working from home. Do you have any tips to add? Leave a comment in the section below!