How to Keep Motivated When Working From Home : Under30CEO How to Keep Motivated When Working From Home : Under30CEO
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How to Keep Motivated When Working From Home

| July 31, 2013 | 9 Comments

Work From Home

Working from home isn’t always the great gig it’s made out to be. If you’re one of the growing numbers of people who do work from home, you’ll be only too familiar with the potential problems of staying on top of your game from the comfort of your home office. Here are a few ways to keep motivated, stay productive and hit your deadlines.

Stay connected

Keeping in contact with your colleagues, bosses or clients is a brilliant way to avoid cabin fever. It’s a safe assumption that you’ll be a little out of the loop if you’re at home and the rest of your team are office-based, so make sure you bridge the gap with regular updates. It’ll keep disruptions to a minimum and make sure that you’re performing just as well remotely as you would do in the office.

Clock in, clock out

While one of the many benefits of home-working is flexibility, you’re heading for trouble if you don’t establish a regular routine. Try to start your day in the same way you would if you were going to the office. Stick to office hours, make sure you’re dressed and ready before you sit down at your desk and try to take breaks at the same time each day. Whether you stick to a corporate schedule or make up your own, you’ll establish a working pattern that’ll help you maintain your professional standards.

Set your boundaries

It’s a familiar situation; you’ve just sat down to work and someone decides it would be a good time to phone you to discuss something completely unrelated to the job. It can be anyone; a friend, your partner or – more often than not – it’s your mother. Unless it’s urgent, try not to answer personal calls during work time. Breaking off from tasks can be seriously distracting. Stay strict about separating work tasks from personal tasks and you’ll be much more motivated and stop work from spilling over into your free time.

Your workstation

A space in the house that you dedicate solely to your work is an absolute must-have. Of course, we can’t all have a home-office. But during the day your kitchen table can double as your desk. You could turn the cupboard under the stairs into a nifty little workspace. Just try not to work on the couch – or worse still, in bed.

Manage your time

Keep tabs on the amount of time you spend on each task you do. When you work from home you can often find that your working day gets longer and longer through patchy productivity. If you fill out a timesheet it’ll really help you keep your energy levels up.

Meet people

Working from home doesn’t mean you need to chain yourself to your desk. If you find you’re getting lonely or you miss the social interaction of the workplace, make it a point to schedule meetings at least every other day. You can go to see potential clients, your partners or a colleague who always manages to give your mind a kick-start. It’ll get you out of the office and boost your energy levels no-end.

Schedule regular breaks

You can quite quickly find yourself in hermit mode when you work from home.   If this happens you’ll pretty soon come to hate your computer screen. Make it a point to get out of the house during lunchtime – and you should always take a proper lunch break. Run errands, meet a friend or just go for a walk. A change of scenery could be all you need to help you return to work with some of your vim restored.

Break out the of the bubble

Isolation is a major motivation-killer when you work from home all the time. Stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry by attending as many conferences and networking events as you can find. It’ll keep your knowledge current and introduce you to peers and potential collaborators. It’ll also create new business opportunities you’re just never going to come across if you’re chained to the kitchen table in your PJs.

Amie Brook works at Printerinks.com. They are an online provider of Brother ink cartridges. Amie enjoys working as a content writer, in her spare time she plays the guitar.

Image Credit: www.businessweek.com 

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  • Michael Luchies

    Thank you Amie! As I read this I am working from home in pajama pants and next to my Shih Tzu Chewy.

    These are spot on! The best motivator is getting out and meeting people through conferences and other opportunities. Also a 3-hour trip to the coffee shop can be the best thing for productivity every once in a while. The most important thing is to take notes on what works to you and exploit them.

    Try listening to music without words, scheduling time at a coffee shop at least once or twice a week and taking a walk during your lunch break. Those have been my best additions to my work day from home.

    Thanks again for the article!

  • David Yarde

    Great article Amie!

    I agree with Michael, the best motivators I’ve found have been getting out and meeting people, as well as sticking to a strict routine/schedule.

    I’ve also found working with a view of nature, whether it happens to be a workstation with a view of the outdoors or a picture hanging in my office has helped in keeping me relaxed and focused on the task at hand.

  • Michael Luchies

    I like that idea David! Going to print out some pics from my trip to Tennessee and hang them up.

  • Cara Murphy

    Thanks for the tips- we can even be applied if you work in an office and need to find ways to focus and motivate yourself.

  • http://www.callboxinc.co.uk/ Oliver Scott

    The only advantages from working from home is you save gas money and time—the idea of convenience should be the same level as working in an office. Workstation control is also my favorite part of working at home. Having a workspace away from your room can void you of distractions (I personally suggest remodeling your basement with an office design).

  • Sandra Harriette

    I resonate with ALL of these!

  • Mike Darche

    Really nice tips in here Amie! I think there’s a delicate line for the “staying connected” tip. It’s easy to stay too connected and then find yourself distracted or unable to focus on the actual task at hand. You just need to make sure you can disconnect and “Manage your time” when you need to get things done!

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