What’s your idea of working from home? Do you think it’s all about working in your sleepwear from the comfort of your living space?
Or perhaps you think you can indulge in a binge-watch fest during the day and complete your work at night? Since you don’t have to get ready and commute to your workplace every morning, there won’t be any rush to wake up in the morning as well.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
The Perils of Working from Home
Despite the preconceived notions about working from home, the reality is far too different. In the absence of structure its easy to find ourselves overworked or underwhelmed. Worse still, you’ll often feel tempted to wake up late and jump right into work from your bed.
Also, remote working can intensify your feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is because you don’t get to personally interact with too many people, such as your coworkers and juniors.
Retreating into your home and minimizing social contact can take a toll on your mental wellbeing as well. Moreover, it can become difficult to effectively segregate your personal and professional life.
If you continue this practice in the long run, you’ll eventually end up losing the motivation to work towards your goals. This, in turn, will harm your productivity and work performance. That’s why you need to be particularly alert and use the right techniques to motivate yourself while working from home.
The good news is that maintaining a positive mindset while working from home isn’t rocket science.
A few simple lifestyle changes can go a long way to help you maximize productivity. From outlining a daily routine to getting a healthy dose of the outdoors – there’s a lot you can do to motivate yourself. This is particularly crucial considering that remote working is becoming the norm owing to the COVID-10 pandemic.
How To Be More Effective While Working From Home
Here are a few simple tips to help you stay motivated and keep a positive outlook while working from home:
1. Wake up on Time
When you’re working from home, the temptation to stay in bed for a few extra minutes is too real to resist. Before you know it, you’ll lose track of time and end up snoozing your alarm all the way to noon. Needless to say, this is going to adversely affect your work output.
That’s why the first priority while working from home is to start your day on a positive note. To begin with, decide on a comfortable time to wake up every morning. Even if you aren’t a natural early riser, try fixing a wake-up time that you’re comfortable with.
Also, try not to dive right into your work the moment you wake up. Give yourself a few moments to relax and plan your day. Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and take some time to savor your breakfast. Having a calm and refreshing morning routine can go a long way to help recharge your batteries for the entire day.
2. Create a Daily Routine
Procrastination and laziness are some of the most serious offshoots of working from home. You might think you’re going to save plenty of time by not commuting to your workplace every day. But, in the absence of a strict routine, you might end up wasting the time you’ve gained. Things can become particularly challenging if you’re working as a freelancer juggling multiple projects and clients.
That’s why it is essential to outline a daily routine and allot time to specific activities. It’s especially useful in compartmentalizing your life and helping you prioritize various tasks throughout the day. For instance, if you work in the morning, you could set aside a few hours in the evening for household chores.
Likewise, you can dedicate a few days of every week for grocery shopping and other errands. You can even squeeze out some time to go to the gym or hit the bar with your friends after a hectic work-day. The key is to efficiently manage your time and ensure that you make the most of every minute you save by working from home.
3. Create a Dedicated Workspace
If you want to maximize efficiency and productivity, you need to segregate your living space and workplace. As a rule, make sure you don’t work on your bed. Even if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, get a small study table inside your bedroom, and create your workstation there. Alternatively, you could use a separate room to create a home office.
If you’re living with roommates or family members, make sure you restrict their entry to your workspace. Let them know your work schedule and politely ask them to not disturb you during that time. Also, make sure you get an ergonomically designed office chair to help you work comfortably for long hours.
4. Dress for Work
No. Working in your sweatpants or other comfortable clothing isn’t a great idea. You might think that in the absence of any coworkers, there’s no point in dressing up at all. But wearing your cozy pajamas throughout the day will only end up making you more lethargic. On the other hand, wearing professional attire can help put you in the mind frame to work hard.
5. Put Your Phone Down
So what if your boss isn’t physically present to monitor your work? It doesn’t mean you have the liberty to browse the internet and watch cute cat videos during work hours. Before you know it, you’ll end up falling deep into the rabbit hole of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. That’s why it is essential to avoid using your phone for any personal tasks during work hours.
6. Create a Reward System
In the age of social media and OTT platforms, you’ll have to battle way too many distractions while working from home. Instead of letting these distractions overpower you, use them to your advantage. For instance, if you enjoy watching a particular TV show, don’t finish all the episodes in one go. Instead, work for a couple of hours and reward yourself by watching one episode.
Or treat yourself to some Insta time after you finish a long-pending assignment. The key is to turn every distraction into a reward and motivate yourself to work hard and earn it. This can be instrumental in helping you maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home.
7. Explore the Outdoors
Even if you’re working remotely, you need a regular dose of sunshine and fresh air to lift your spirits. Make it a point to go out for frequent walks or just plan an impromptu picnic with your family on a weekend. You can even join a walking tour of your city or just cycle around in your neighborhood. The idea is to let your mind relax and focus on things other than work.
When you’re working from home, the onus of time management and productivity is on you. Maintaining a daily schedule and creating a dedicated workspace can help you balance between your professional and personal life. Also, rewarding yourself for accomplishing goals and meeting deadlines can help boost your morale.
Have you used any other techniques to motivate yourself while working from home? Share your tips in the comments section below.