When it comes to working from home, everyone always seems to point out the obvious benefits. There’s no long commute to work, you don’t miss out on family time while stuck at the office, and you don’t have to deal with going out in inclement weather.
While working from home seems like the best thing in the world, it can also be a challenge. When you’re home, you have plenty of distractions, and this can cause you to lose focus on your job, forcing your career to suffer. In order to be the best possible employee while working from home, you need to stay motivated.
The following are six ways to help you stay motivated while working from home.
1. Set a schedule.
When you work when you want, it will hurt your productivity, and you’ll just continue to procrastinate until you completely destroy your career. Instead, it’s very important that you create a schedule and follow it every day. For example, are you going to work eight hours five days a week, or are you going to work ten hours four days a week? If you work part-time, you also need to create a schedule.
This way, you’ll know exactly when you have to work and when you don’t, and you can plan your other responsibilities around this. If you know that you should be working, then it will help keep you from being distracted by something else.
2. Get dressed.
There’s something beneficial about being able to work in your pajamas, but lounging around in comfortable clothing could make you more likely to fall asleep instead of work hard. No, you don’t have to dress up in business professional attire every day, but it’s very important that you still make yourself look good. This way, you’ll be more motivated to work hard, and it also separates your home life from your work life. If you want, you can always squeeze back into your pajamas at the end of your workday.
3. Have a designated work area.
Working in your bed is not going to end well. Instead, you need to set a designated work area that you can go to every day to work. Make sure all the distractions are gone, so remove the television, comfortable couch or whatever may distract you in that room. Now, when you’re in that space, you know that you have to work and not play, and this can keep you motivated. Explore ways to organize your home office. Having a well organized work space can be motivational.
If you ever find yourself struggling to be productive in your home office, try moving to a coffee shop or local café for a quick pick-me-up. You’ll be able to put yourself somewhere without any home distractions (such as sleeping or cleaning up), and this can help you to get some work done. Just don’t take too long people watching or getting a new snack every five minutes, otherwise you’ll completely defeat the purpose.
4. Go to the office.
If you still have a home office, you should go in and work every now and then. This will allow your coworkers to see your face (so they don’t forget about you) and it will be nice motivation to get to talk with other people face to face instead of on the phone or via email. Try to make it a point to attend meetings in person when you can, as this will certainly remove the monotony from working from home.
5. Set small goals.
Setting small goals for yourself can be a great way to stay motivated while at home. For example, you can tell yourself that you can take a 10-minute break after you finish a certain project or send a certain email. This way, you’ll be achieving your daily responsibilities without losing the drive.
6. Take breaks.
Nobody said that you have to work for eight hours straight. Everyone deserves a break, and staying motivated means taking breaks. Be sure to take your required lunch hour, and take small breaks every couple of hours. This way, you’ll be able to remove your mind from work and get a fresh start when you get back.
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Glenna Baker is a freelance writer for Rev.com. Glenna shares her own experiences in time management and organization that helps her enjoy the successes and benefits of working from her home office.