For some, working from home is normal. For others, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic marked the first time they’ve had to work from home for an extended period of time.
Regardless of whether or not you’re accustomed to working from home or if this is a new situation, it can be hard to stay motivated day in, day out. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do every day to figure out how to stay motivated when you work from home
1. Prioritize Self-Care
When your office becomes part of your home, it’s easy to let the lines between work and home blur. Unfortunately, this can lead to an increased risk for burnout
, causing you to lose engagement and motivation with your work. To prevent this phenomenon from occurring, consider the following tips:
- Stick to a daily schedule with built-in times for breaks and meals.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and avoid sugary foods that will lead to feelings of sluggishness in mere hours.
- Set boundaries with yourself, including when you’ll start and stop work.
2. Try to Limit Distractions
When you’re at home, it’s easy to be distracted – especially if there are others in your home. Some simple ways you can limit distractions include:
- Unplugging from social media.
- Turning off the notifications on your phone.
- Putting in headphones if you share your home office with others.
- Setting a timer for periods when you’ll focus primarily on getting work done before taking a break.
3. Create To-Do Lists
One of the best ways to stay motivated when working — whether at home or in the office — is to create a to-do list. Ideally, you’ll make these lists at the end of each workday for the next day. But, if that’s not feasible, start your day by making a to-do list. Consider writing down every task you need to get done, no matter how big or small. That way, if you’re starting to feel unmotivated, you can look for a small or simple task to do and cross off your list to regain some motivation.
4. Take Breaks
Working from home
doesn’t diminish the importance of taking regular breaks throughout your workday. Taking a 10- or 20-minute break from your work a few times throughout the day will help you keep your focus. On your break, consider going on a brief walk or getting away from your designated workspace. Doing so will help you mentally and physically disconnect and recharge so you can come back refreshed and ready to work.
5. Keep Your Space Tidy
When your workspace is cluttered, your brain automatically becomes stressed and flustered. If that occurs, you’re unlikely to be productive and motivated at work. That’s why it’s so important to keep your workspace tidy. Use these tips to maintain a neat home workstation:
- Dedicate 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each day to sort through papers and clean up.
- Invest in a filing cabinet if your job involves dealing with a lot of paperwork.
- Purchase inexpensive office supplies, such as manila filing folders, paper clips, and filing racks.
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6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re having difficulty figuring out how to stay motivated when working from home, it’s worth trying the steps mentioned above. Be sure to reach out to your manager or coworkers if you’re struggling to see if they can provide assistance.