How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home
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Staying motivated when you work at home all day is really hard sometimes. I have been working from home for over 5 years now, so I am somewhat of a veteran, at this point, in my work from home career.
I have worked a full time job as well as being a wife and mother, which has it’s own challenges. Now, I work for myself at my own company (the benefits were amazing and my boss is pretty cool too! 😂 ), and I also homeschool my lovely gem of a daughter who is about to be 11 years old!!!
When I first started working at home I have to admit I was a little nervous about how well I would do. I was surprised to see that I excelled where many fail.
I think some of it came from my personality, some of it came from the nature of my job (and the fact that I tend to be a “workaholic” naturally), and still some of my ability to self motivate came from being a homeschooler most of my life.
So what is my big motivational secret?
I have lots of them, but these are the most basic and easiest to implement. These things will help you reclaim your wasted days at home and get you back on track for a super productive (and fun!) day of work ahead!
Log Off Of Social Media
This one is a bit tricky for me as I am literally paid to be on social media all day. YIKES! One thing I learned really fast was not only do I really need a social media marketing tool to help me manage all the tasks that I have going on each day, but I also really needed a way to completely separate myself from the noise of my news feed where scrolling was more natural than breathing. I did use a few tools before I ended up with the one I am currently having a love affair with (shhhh… don’t tell my husband! 😂 ). Right now I use CoSchedule for all my content management and planning for social media and blogging which helps keep me motivated and on track for the day. Gone are the days of news feed distraction and lost hours to Pinterest… LOL!
Minimize Notifications On Your Phone
This may seem like a no brainer, but you would be SOOOO surprised how many times I forget to do this. I literally set my phone to night mode when I am working now so that I do not get notifications while I’m working. I’m so efficient at this now that I am the butt of our family joke about me not answering anyones phone calls! Um, yes, I’m working, but thanks for coming out, y’all! 😏 Silent doesn’t work for me because my silent setting on my phone still vibrates (so I still look to see who is trying to contact me). On iPhone you can literally schedule your phone to go into night mode at a specific prescheduled time of the day so you will not forget, even if you… do forget🤔 . This also has settings to allow you to receive calls from your favorites only, so if you have someones calls you need to take that day, throw them on the favorites list and you are good to go! To see how to do this on iPhone simply go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled ON. Picture to the right shows my personal settings. Feel free to change them to suit your needs. This will help you set a regular schedule for working time which will establish a pattern. Which leads me to…
Keep a Timer on your Phone at the Ready
Time… that dirty four letter word in the work from home world is always the hardest thing to overcome. Traditionally, research shows that working in 20 to 30 minute time blocks helps our brain to perform faster. So, I always use my timer on my phone to set time blocks. If I am having a hard time getting through something in 30 minutes, I will likely save it for a later point in the day, when I have had a chance to walk away from it, and then come back to it once I am motivated and inspired again. Never feel guilty for taking a break and walking away from something. All of us are built differently and we work differently. I work really well at night and through the wee hours of the morning, and I always have. Sometimes, our brain needs to rest and find a solution subconsciously before we mistakenly move forward with a haphazard plan of action and try to force something to happen.
Use Your Calendar to its Fullest Potential
You could call me a bit of a calendar addict. I literally schedule my blocks of time for almost everything in my life. But it WORKS. When I know that I have time to clean my house later it doesn’t bother me so bad that there are dishes in the sink while I am working because I know I have time to get to that and that time is not now. In one second I have eliminated guilt and frustration with my inadequacies or the mountain of things to do that I can not get to right that minute. Give yourself time to work, play, and rest. As you can see, I even schedule in “Personal Time” for myself each day! It is vital to your work life balance and it can not always be all about one thing. Everything in moderation, my dear!
Go for a Walk Or Short Workout
This is one that took me a LONG time to get the hang of. I would find myself mentally and emotionally drained at the end of the day so finding time to workout after working was out of the question, and because of life situations and working toward getting out of debt at the time, I had one car and my husband left the house for work at 7:15 each morning. So, if I was going to go to the gym it was 5:00 am for this girl. I hated it at first, but grew to love the ability to get up before the sun and be home before everyone else is even out of bed. It had put a little damper on my night owl tendencies, but I think it is worth the trade off in most cases. Since my husband has come to work for me at home, I can go a little later in the morning now! Yay for extra sleep!
Always Take a Lunch Break
I struggled with this for the longest time and still don’t always do a great job with it. (Those are the days I pretend I am intermittent fasting 😂 ) A nice lunch break always seems to help me just have the mental break that I always need and also to take a few minutes to check in with my daughter. I get those few precious moments to enjoy the fact that she is learning about the life cycle of animals in school and what story she read that made her laugh that day. I literally get to have lunch with the coolest human ever. Take the break… it will be so much more worth the time in the end. You feel like it will hinder or interrupt your flow, but I promise you, it will not!
Have A Check List
I am a bit of a nerd… there I said it! I love school supplies… like really. So one of the things I have always been good at is making lists, (with my new notebooks and fun new pens of course). So when I got a little more advanced in my ways I decided to try some new techniques of doing the traditional “to do lists”. I now use a printable list from RosieOrPapier on Etsy, which I have linked for you so you can get it too if you like. I print one every other day and then when I am finished with what I could get done that day I simply write my list for the next day, and include my tasks that were not completed. I love that they have tons of other printables for planners available in the same theme so you can literally plan a whole home organizer if you like or simply get this $3 sheet and print as you go!
Set Clear Expectations Of Your Schedule For Others
We always hear the saying that “everyone is given 24 hours, it’s up to you how you spend it” but I think the GUY that said that was exactly that… a dude. Lets get real for a second. When you are mom or wife your time is NOT always your own. You are pulled on by a thousand different demands needing you and ONLY you. How do you overcome that as a work from home girl boss? Set boundaries. Schedule in times when you take phone calls. If you have youngsters, teach them how to respect you and play quietly while mommy works for 20 minutes (and use part of their nap times). This is good for you and for them, they will learn quickly that your work does not revolve around them and it will help them to develop those very precious and important problem solving skills which so many young ones lack these days. Draw clear and firm expectations of each person around you and do not allow your time to be eaten up with distractions. Working from home is as legitimate as anything else and this should be respected accordingly.
Drink Tons of Water
Most of the time when we find ourselves losing motivation, we are actually dehydrated. Many people go throughout their day and never drink enough water. Besides being good for your skin, hair, digestion, and mental clarity, water is also an amazing energy drink. Yes really! My husband drinks 16 oz of water each morning and when he does he feels an almost instant energizing alertness come to his body. He swears it is better for him than coffee. I also have a friend who is a nurse and she explained that a cup of water actually wakes up multiple organs in your body first thing in the morning. Water is nature’s way of waking everything up. Just think of what happens in spring. It rains and all the flowers come out. It is the same with your mind and body. I started drinking a gallon of water a day and I have found the biggest difference in my attitude and ability to get through the mid day slump that hits most people. The one pictured is my current fav and is from Urban Outfitters and is a very reasonable $18, so rest assured, it’s what all the cool kids are carrying these days! 😉
Remember WHY You are Doing The Work!
this can be the hardest and most critical part of staying motivated. Think of the dream or goal that led you to doing the work in the first place. Do not spend all your time looking at the hundreds of little tasks and things to get done. Remember why you started this journey. What is your BIG picture? What are your goals? Write them all down and have them in a place you can look at each morning, or before you start your work for the day.
My final piece of motivational advice: do not get discouraged. You can do this and have the life you have always dreamed about! It is only one step away from where you are. Very quickly it will become that one step closer to where you want to be. The journey of a thousand miles begins with what? …a single step😯 . Set small and attainable goals and then go for it! You can do this! I believe in you and I am cheering you on from the sidelines. I really am… and I would love to hear from you in the comments.
If no one else tells you today: you are powerful, you are capable, you are unstoppable, and you are one of a kind! Go get ’em girl!