When it comes to staying productive and motivated, the ideal working conditions can be different for every individual. Some people get more work done in the office, while others prefer to get work from home jobs because it’s more suitable for their lifestyle.
In some cases, however, a work from home (WFH) setup has become more of a necessity than a preference.
People who are forced to adapt to this kind of work arrangement might find it challenging, especially in the beginning. They may have difficulty focusing on their tasks due to the different distractions at home or experience a drop in energy because the routine has grown dull.
Tips to Help You Stay on Top of Your Work
If you’re new to working from home or in need of fresh ways to stay motivated, consider the following tips to help you stay on top of your work:
Find a Spot to Dedicate as Your Workspace
When you’re working from home, it’s very easy to be tempted to work in bed or on the sofa. These may be very comfortable spots to sit in, but they may encourage you to rest and relax instead.
Instead, look for a space in your home that will let you sit comfortably but maintain the right headspace for work and productivity.
For example, if you have a spare room in your home, convert that into an office and do all work-related tasks there. If you don’t have a home office, you can designate a spot at the dining table or set up a desk in a quiet corner of the living room.
Make sure this space is only used for work, so place all your work essentials here and keep unrelated items away.
Dress Up for Work
If you don’t have video conferences that require you to look presentable on screen, you can very well work in your pajamas all day. While this seems easy and comfortable, the lack of effort may also be keeping you from being productive.
Instead, get into the right mindset for your work day by dressing up for it. You don’t have to put on a full suit, but choose clothes that make you feel confident rather than staying in your sleepwear or loungewear.
Getting ready for the day also helps make your body and mind feel more awake, so you feel less tired and are more focused to accomplish your tasks.
Create a Schedule
Without a specific work schedule, time can easily pass you by. You might find yourself getting sidetracked and completing 20-minute tasks in two hours.
You might also start your workday a bit later and extend your work hours into the evening. This may cause your work to be delayed and you to sleep later than usual, which will affect your energy the next day.
If you want to stay on top of your tasks and enjoy quality sleep in the evening, create a clear schedule for the day.
Set aside a time to start and end your workday. Also, stick to this schedule as much as you can for a more structured day. It will help you have ample time to work and enjoy your leisure activities.
Make a List of Your Daily Tasks
Listing everything you need to accomplish can help you stay motivated. It ensures you have a guide you can refer to for what you have to do. It also keeps you on track to meet all your deadlines.
Some people make written to-do lists, while others prefer to use productivity apps to manage different tasks. Either way, make sure to tick off items on your list as you complete them throughout the day.
Seeing your progress can be a good motivator for getting more things done.
Whether you’re working from home alone or with your kids, you might encounter distractions that keep you from focusing at work.
If you’re alone, consider putting your phone on mute so you won’t get distracted by constant notifications. You might also put your phone in “do not disturb” mode until you complete your tasks.
Another option is to only check your email once every hour and focus on your task the rest of the time.
If you’re working at home with kids, keep them occupied to limit the risk of interruptions. Give them small projects to do and check on them at certain times so you don’t worry.
Also, establish rules about what would be considered legitimate reasons for interrupting you while working. Then, reward your kids for playing well on their own with fun activities once you’re off the clock.
Communicate with Team Members
Working from home can feel solitary at times, which can be a reason for the lack of motivation. It helps to remember that other members of your team are working remotely as well, and that you have the option to engage them virtually.
When appropriate, schedule a meeting to give updates on your work progress or send a message asking for their input when you’re having difficulties.
Reaching out and asking for help when you need it can help you feel more connected with others and more motivated to work.
Although working from home has many advantages, staying productive and motivated requires a bit of effort.
It may not be possible to recreate the environment of a busy office, but following the tips above can help you get into the right mindset. This will allow you to stay energized and focused on accomplishing your tasks.