Greetings fellow work-from-home warriors!
If you’re the type to roll out of bed two minutes before your first meeting and jump on Zoom while still in your pajamas, this is for you. While there’s something to be said for eliminating that exhausting commute and no longer needing to brown bag a depressing excuse for a lunch, working from home still certainly takes its toll on our mental health and motivation at times.
So if you’re feeling those signs of WFH burnout — a short temper with colleagues, disinterest in what used to excite you, and just plain old apathy towards your job — read on, because we’ve got a few quick tips that are bound to reinvigorate your spirit, and provide that boost of motivation you’ve been looking for, with or without caffeine!
Change Up the Scenery 🖼️
There’s no doubt that working from home has its advantages — but staring at the same four walls all day without any contact to the outside world is downright unhealthy. It doesn't matter how many steps you might squeeze in during your lunch break — at the first sign of monotony, you should mix things up!
Try moving your office to a different room, listening to a new playlist, or rearranging your calendar entirely. We are creatures of our environment, and you might be surprised at how much a simple little change can impact your motivation and productivity. The key is to be open to trying new things and experimenting with what works best for you. Maybe you’re actually much more of a night owl than you originally thought — if so, take advantage of your flexible work schedule, and when you feel that afternoon lull in energy, step away from your desk and do something active instead! That way, you'll be able to squeeze out every bit of night productivity instead, and zip through your inbox in an hour after dinner rather than trying to keep yourself from dozing off at 2pm.
Even better, try spending one day each week (when you don’t have many meetings) working at a café or co-working space to change things up. Setting up shop in an inspiring place with other people working remotely around is bound to get your creativity and passion for work going again. Plus, you might get to do a bit of networking and meet some new friends!
Map Out Your Entire Day in Advance 🗺️
Sometimes, our to-do lists are really just one never-ending bottomless cycle. Sure, you've somehow survived the day, but most times it feels like you haven’t even made a dent into your list of tasks — sound familiar? Yeah, same here.
That’s why it’s so important to identify the top priorities for the day. Highlight that one thing that needs to get done in order to keep things moving. In fact, if you can get into a daily routine of identifying your top priority first thing each morning, you’ll be much more likely to be focused on the big picture, rather than getting bogged down in the details. It’s even better if you physically write down your main task each day. Check out these printable daily to-do lists to help you stay organized and goal-oriented day-in and day-out. After a few weeks, it will become second nature and you’ll even be able to track all of the progress you’ve made along the way!
Having a singular, clear goal in mind each day is bound to help you stay on track and feel accomplished at the end of the day. Plus, it will help prevent your deep work flow state from being interrupted by pesky emails and unnecessary meetings on lower priority tasks.
Separation of Church (Work) and State (Logging Off for the Day) 🚪
By far the biggest challenge of working from home is making sure that the line between work and personal time doesn’t get blurred. When you're working from home, it's easy to fall into the trap of working extra hours or having Slack notifications and emails interrupt your morning before you’ve even technically logged on for the day — that 7am emergency from your manager? We've all been there.
Mixing work and play is bound to lead to a feeling of being constantly "on” which is unsustainable, and after just a few weeks, and even in the most calm work environments, you’re bound to be burnt out. Instead, remove notifications from your personal cell phone and try to ignore any late night messages guilt-free. And whatever you do, DON’T check your email first thing in the morning while you are still in bed. Your mornings should be your sacred personal "me time" — rather than getting sucked into your work day as soon as you open your eyes, make sure you run through your entire personalized morning routine (even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes!) before you even think about checking in online.
By establishing clear boundaries around your work schedule, your colleagues will already know when you're logging off for the day, which means they'll be less likely to bother you outside of your designated work hours. This can help you recharge and come back to work the next day feeling refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges — you’ll be a better employee because of it, we promise!
Get Into a Routine Without Distractions 👾
It's easy to get distracted by social media, email, or other unintentional interruptions while working from home. Consider using website blockers or apps that limit your access to your phone when you are trying to get into a deep work flow state. You can also try turning on airplane mode or putting your phone in a different room during work hours to avoid the temptation to check it. Set up a space that is quiet and distraction-free, and maybe even consider using noise-cancelling headphones or a white noise machine to help you focus.
Using a Pomodoro Timer is another great strategy to help ring out short bursts of productivity during the day. Fill up that cup of coffee, throw your phone in airplane mode, put on an ambient playlist and set 25 minutes on the clock — before you know it, time will have flown by and you’ll be cruising through that project you’ve been dreading and procrastinating on all week (turns out it probably wasn’t that bad after all!)
* * *
So there you have it — a few obvious yet effective tips to boost your motivation while working from home. Working remotely is both a blessing and a curse, because with the freedom to work in your pajamas often comes the temptation to take an impromptu nap or binge-watch Netflix. But by creating a routine, setting achievable goals, and eliminating distractions, you’ll be ready to get down to business.
And remember, it's okay to take breaks and prioritize self-care — after all, the beauty of working from home is the flexibility to create a schedule that works for you! With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to maintaining your motivation and crushing your goals, one day at a time in that cute home office of yours.
Thanks for checking out The Deep Clean, Tidy Plan's blog full of tips and advice to help you declutter your mind and build good habits. We're all about self-care, productivity, organization, and are here to assist you on your personal growth journey to become your best self!