How many times have you gone on Facebook just to check the news feed for a moment, only to end up on your second cousin’s neighbor’s photos from last year’s summer vacation? Or went on YouTube to watch a tutorial and found yourself laughing at a random cat video 15 minutes later? Too many times.
How productive are you when that happens? Probably not productive at all.
Motivation and self-discipline are a freelancers’ worst enemies. There’s no regimented schedule like the one you get when you’re working in an office, no social interaction with co-workers, and no accountability via your boss.
So how do you stay focused on tasks even when you’re working out of a home office?
4 Ways to Stay Focused and Motivated When Working From Home
1. Get Up Early and Organize Your Work Day Traditionally
When you’re working from home, there’s none of that snooze button drama – when just five more minutes turns into an hour, there’s no one to scold you for being late because there’s nowhere to be late to. Oftentimes people who quit their regular 9-5 job because sleeping in sounds like a dream job usually find that it doesn’t really benefit them at all.
Instead, you should train yourself to get up like there is a traditional job to go to. This will get you in a routine that promotes productivity. Productivity peaks do vary from one person to the other; some of us are early birds, others are night owls, while some do most of their work mid-day. All in all, take some time to determine when your most productive hours are and set your work schedule accordingly (and stick to it!).
2. Separate Your Bedroom From The Office
Don’t work where you sleep is a lesson you learn early on working from home. Pajamas might seem like the most comfortable work attire, however, it is the most unproductive one. But it’s not just about what you wear – the same place you go to relax and sleep cannot be the room you’re trying to concentrate and get some serious work done in.
If possible, chose one entire room to be your office space. If not, then at least attempt to separate it in a way so you’re not looking at your kitchen sink while typing. Or staring at your pillow, because sooner or later, you will find yourself daydreaming on a bed in the middle of a work day.
3. Set Up a Workout Routine
One of the benefits of working at home involves being able to schedule certain activities you would normally postpone or not do at all if you had a full-time job. A regular workout would be one of these things, and when you’re working from home, it comes as an absolute must.
Most jobs these days are sedentary, especially when you’re working from home. If you think about it, you only walk to your kitchen to get some coffee or make occasional trips to the bathroom.
This way of life, in the long run, is extremely harmful to your health. No more excuses – get off your butt and hit the gym! If there are none in your neighborhood and the trip to the nearest fitness center takes too big a chunk out of your day, check out some home workout programs. Less, Mills, P90X, Insanity, or even Yoga are all workouts you can do from home.
4. Put on Some Real Clothes
Those who work from home tend to make every day casual Friday and choose the most comfortable set of clothes. Since there’s no one to see you there’s no point in dressing up, right? Wrong.
Just like you need proper workout clothes, you need a power suit for a day at the (home) office. You can’t just wear ripped sweatpants and a saggy T-shirt all the time. According to Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Herefordshire, when we put on an item of clothing, it is common to adopt certain characteristics associated with that particular garment. Throughout history, many clothing items adopted some kind of symbolic meaning. Whether we’re talking about professional work attire or casual weekend wear, what we put on inspires our brain to behave in a certain way that’s specific to that certain outfit.
Unfortunately, working from home is not suitable for everyone. Introverts can easily work from home without socialization with others, but people who enjoy the company of other people will at some point crave those water cooler breaks.
Even if you did choose this particular lifestyle, at times you will find yourself slacking off. It’s quite a common side effect. That is why certain disciplinary measures (so to call them) are necessary to keep yourself at the peak of productivity at all times.
- 4 Ways to Stay Focused and Motivated When Working From Home - August 29, 2017