I work in a marketing role where I’m lucky enough to do some occasional working from home, but whenever I tell people this they always assume that I spend the day watching daytime TV in my pjs whilst answering the odd email. This is absolutely not the case! Any of you who work from home, whether that’s as part of your full time employment or as a self employed business owner, you’ll probably know this all too well!
Yes, working from home has its perks – unlimited access to the fridge for snacks, not having to battle in traffic or on public transport and being able to listen to your own Spotify playlists. But for me they’re some of my busiest, most productive working days. I completely get why some may think that it’s an absolute doddle and a bit of a doss but let me tell you, it is not. If anything, I get more done at home than I do in the office, plus there’s a lot of hard work that goes in to staying motivated and not getting distracted! For all those home workers out there, I thought I’d share some of the things that keep me motivated whilst working from home…
It can be tempting to stay in bed right up until the last minute and stay in your dressing down all morning, but that doesn’t get me in the right frame of mind to work. Instead I’ll get up with plenty of time to get ready for the day ahead. I often find myself starting my days a lot earlier when I work from home just because I don’t have to factor in travel time. I find that getting dressed, doing my make up and having my breakfast before I make a start wakes me up and sets me up for a day at my desk.
I work on a lot of different projects so my day can be quite varied, so I always make a list before I start! I love a list for keeping me on track, especially when my workload is big. Sometimes I will even go one step further and plan out how much time I want to spend on each task if I’ve got a lot to cram in. This makes me feel so much more focussed, and if something unexpected comes up, I can easily see if and when I can squeeze it in to my day. My new Getting Stuff Done planner, gifted from CGD London, is perfect for all of the list making! It’s also great for noting down your aims and goals for each week, meal planning and keeping track of your exercise and water intake. Perfect for busy lifestyles!
This is something I need to do a lot more myself, but I’ve started to try and take time away from my laptop at lunch time a lot more now. I’m one of those people who will eat at their desk and continue working, but that’s not always ideal. Even though you’re working from home, giving your day some structure like you would have in the office will make all the difference. Giving myself a short time away from the laptop, even in another room, to eat my lunch and focus on something else stops me from getting bogged down with work. Even if it’s just for a short time, taking a break is so important! After lunch, I go back to my laptop feeling refreshed and ready to carry on with the day.
For me, when I’m at home I’ll stick the radio or a Spotify playlist on that will motivate me but not cause too much of a distraction. I really struggle to work in silence, so I find some background music is enough, but the TV is too distracting for me!
This is probably the thing I would recommend the most as it’s made such a difference to my productivity! In our old house I tended to do most of my work on the sofa – I’d finish the day with a sore back having slumped over my laptop all day, and I’d find myself spending an entire day in the same room as that’s where we spent our evenings. Where we live now I’m lucky enough to have a room that can be used as an office, so I have a desk in there, perfect for when I work from home. Some days I’ll work at the dining table too, depending on how I feel that day. Both parts of the house give me somewhere proper to sit, plenty of space to do my work and I can then move away from them at the end of the day, into the living room to relax. That way I actually feel like I’ve ‘left the office’ and my day and night doesn’t all blur in to one.
What are your favourite tips to keep you motivated when you’re working from home? Let me know!