Some days it’s hard to keep motivated when you work at home. There’s no boss watching from his office and no immediate repercussions if you goof off and play Candy Crush, instead of getting on with your work.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
- 1. Plan your day in advance the night before. Start with what is most valuable to your business, what will forward your work the most. List everything you want to do that day and write a 1, 2, or 3 beside each tasks. The 1’s are the projects you must work on today. The 2’s are things that you’d like to get started on if possible and the 3’s are things that could wait until next week, if needs be. Don’t fall into the easy trap of being busy at low-value tasks.
- 2. Close your internet browser window, unless you are researching. Don’t use Facebook, scour Twitter or Pinterest, or read the news when you’re supposed to be working. Before you know it 5 minutes has turned into half an hour and you will be behind with your work.
- 3. Work in short blocks of time. Set a timer on your phone for thirty minutes and work on one project during that time. When the alarm goes off get up and walk around for five minutes to refresh yourself. Get a glass of water or stretch your legs. Then work another thirty minutes.
- 4. Focus. Perform only one task at a time and give your full attention to that task. When you absolutely can’t focus; get up and take a short walk. Let your mind clear and then return to your computer with new energy. Working from home should mean less interruptions from colleagues who want to interrupt you to complete their own tasks.
- 5. Push through the hard times. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but sit in your chair and make yourself do the work. Put words on the screen, put paint on the canvas, play the notes on your guitar. If you want to work for yourself enough, you’ll put in the time and energy. The simple act of moving forward should help keep you motivated.
- 6. Determine your most productive time periods. Some people work best during the early morning, others late morning or afternoon. A few are night owls who do their most creative work at 2:00 a.m. Plan your schedule around your productive hours. Do the most important tasks of the day during that time.
- 7. Think about what it felt like to get up every morning and go to an office. You rushed out the door, drove in traffic for an hour, got stuck in traffic, hurried in the door late to see your boss scowling at you, sat at your desk all day doing work that bored you, and came home every night tired and grumpy. You wanted more. Now it’s up to you to hold on to what you’ve worked for and make it a success.
- 8. Write it down. When you think of a brilliant idea while you’re working on something else, take a second and make a note in your idea document or your notebook. Then get back to work. The idea is safely saved for another time.
- 9. At the end of the day, review your list of tasks. Marking off your completed projects will make you feel good and inspire you to work harder the next day. Start your list for tomorrow’s projects and then review them in the morning – you may find that after sleep your priorities have shifted slightly.
Remember why you’re working from home. Was your original motivation more money? Freedom to work from anywhere? Choosing your own work schedule? Spending more time with your children? Find a photo that represents your motivation. Place it above your computer and always remember why you do what you do.