Working from home is kind of the new normal for many professionals these days. A large number of writers, tech geeks, journos and many others are increasingly working from home which means they are away from a regulated office environment, working with virtual co-workers and supervisors and self-administered office hours. Did that make you think, nay I possibly can't do that, why but? Do you think such a lack of formal office environment will make you slack? Your apprehension is not totally baseless. We would by human nature tend to put work off, laze around in bed for some more time, try to keep ourselves locked up in our home office as if we are under house arrest and most importantly find keeping ourselves motivated and productive- a struggle. I really like what the Inc. article says on productivity and working from home. Want to read it, click here.
It's not as hard as it sounds, please don't drop your ideas even before giving it a shot, please! I work from home myself and over the years have found a few basics which help me stay up and running. I'll pitch in my basics, you add yours to the list.
#1 A little bit of discipline goes a long long way
Waking up early or at the time at which you would, have you been commuting to office sets the right tone for the entire day. No slouching here, ok guys! I understand it might be very difficult to push yourself to do this when you do not have any nose twitching at you when you get late into the office. But this regimen encourages productivity. If you can leave your dearie bed at a set time, it induces proactivity. I will say, force yourself into this schedule, mornings are anyways the most productive time to get work done.
#2 Stick to a workout regimen
Listen up, self-discipline is the foundation to stay motivated when working from home and working out will only help you stay that way-disciplined. Working out keeps you fresh, breaks the vicious circle of sedentary work style and gives you the much-required burst of energy and motivation. Move yourself lazy bones!
#3 Dress up for work
So, did you think that you will sit to work in your pajamas? Like really!! No ways. I get a feeling that I am still in my slumber if I roam around in my pajamas after I am out of bed. Dress as you would, have you been in a regulated office space. Believe it or not, this gives you an office feel, and you take it much more seriously. Ya, I know it has something to do with our psychology, it’s all in our head. You do not need to suit up, of course, but you can put on your jeans and tee, please.
#4 Home office is a formal office space
Don't even think about sitting on your bed and working, it will only make you even more slouchy. At least get a separate desk and chair. Don't take your laptop and sit on the bed and start typing. You cannot get into that work mode unless you get into the working soul. Getting up on time to 'leave' for work, getting dressed and getting to your chair to start your work- with all the 'in the office feel' you are all fired up to start for the day.
#5 Try to cut down on distractions
Social media I say! I tend to get distracted by WhatsApp notifications and it gets hard to resist myself from checking who sent me a tinker now. The same goes for Facebook and Twitter. Same with you right? Try to keep these at bay. Picture this, you are in a deep reverie trying to accomplish a task and a tinkling from a message jolts you out and snap! Your thought process is broken. That's not nice, right? Distracting your attention and nipping your motivation, keep it away guys!
#6 Try scheduling work
I am that kind of person who needs to have at least some sort of plan to go about the day, a schedule kind of, how I will go about the day, what I have at hand and where I am expected to stand at end of the day. Are you that kind of a person too? Try scheduling your day, it keeps you motivated to achieve whatever you have charted out, provides a goal of sorts to you. Again, has to do with the mind and the plan getting ingrained in your psyche.
#7 Give yourself that well-deserved break
When you work from home you can miss being around your co-workers, interacting with them and discussing work and life. It's very important that you take regulated breaks in between, get up take a walk, it gives you a stretch as well. So, get around, it's required, it helps cut any feeling of loneliness that sometimes builds up when you work from home.
#8 Keep a tab on stress levels
Because conversations and discussions don't happen that much stress levels tend to build up, and that's not good at all. Not good for your motivation level, not good for your health either. So, try to monitor the work pressure. When you feel the graph is going upward, get up, take a stroll, jump on to Skype with a colleague or get into a call with your supervisor to discuss work. Trust me helps a lot!
Ok so did that give you a heads up on keeping your motivation level all fired up? At least a little bit, I believe! You know, the whole world of remote work is about the independence and the freedom to choose your own schedule and cutting down on commute, but sometimes it brings along loneliness and isolation. So, it’s very important that you SOCIALIZE, talk and interact even if it is via Skype or Zoom video chat or stepping outside to take a breath of fresh air. Balance working from home with intermittent face-to-face interactions and add to that some heavy dose of self-discipline, it could just be the best job in the world.