I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit smug this morning when I saw people tweeting about going back to work after Christmas. Although I did go back to work today, I didn’t have to leave my house and head into the office, or even get dressed!
If you’ve never worked from home before, you may be thinking “Wow, what a life,” but if like me, your office is also your bedroom, you may know of some of the struggles to motivate yourself to actually get things done.
Here, I’ve put together some tips for getting motivated when you work for yourself or from home.
Set out a special space in your home for work only
In an ideal world, we’d all have our own fancy office where you can shut away the world and focus on your work. But in reality, this isn’t always an option. I share a house with my friend, and unfortunately, she wasn’t up for sleeping on the sofa, whilst I used her room for my office. So, I turned the corner of my own bedroom into my workspace.
Make it something to look forward to
Even if you love your job, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after a long break, such as Christmas or a holiday. This is why you need to make it something to look forward to. Luckily, I received a lot of working-from-home related gifts for Christmas, including some nice stationary, comfy clothes, candles and even a coffee machine. I made sure this morning that I had a fresh pot of coffee on the go, as I filled in my new weekly planner (a gift to myself oops).
I also got ‘ready for work’ in one of my new jumpers that I bought in the New Year sales. By the time 9AM rolled around I was raring to get some work done.
Plan out your day, week or month
I sat this morning and planned out everything I needed to do today, which was a lot seeing that it was my first full-day back after Christmas. Every time I complete a task, I tick it off my list. This makes me even more motivated to complete the next one.
I also mapped out an outline of all the work I needed to get done this month, which really helped focus my brain.
Set working hours
For me personally, it’s hard to keep to set working hours. Social media is a constant thing, and people will often interact or message clients at all hours. Still, I try to set my main working hours between 9am and 6pm. This is when I’ll mainly check and respond to emails, arrange meetings and interviews and do the bulk of my work. I find it hard to switch off from work, so it’s important that I force my brain to ‘clock out’ at the end of the day.
Take a break
It’s your first day back, so give yourself a break. I personally find it quite difficult to write after a few days away from my laptop, so I wasn’t too hard on myself when it took me a little longer than it would normally. Again, I had plenty of coffee to keep me going and made myself a nice lunch to feed my brain.
Leave the house
If you really can’t stand being on your own at home every day, head somewhere else to work. Make use of your local library, or find a nook in your local coffee shop. You could even search for co-working spaces in your area – they seem to be popping up in quite a lot of cities now, but you may have to pay a membership fee. Alternatively, if you do have a spare room (or even shed) where you live, look to see if you could convert it into a home office.
Get in contact with your friends and organise something nice for the end of the week. Even if you just meet up for coffee, getting out the house and speaking to real life people can seriously help when you’re working from home. Sometimes I go days without properly speaking to anyone or leaving the house, so it’s important I have fun dates in my diary to look forward to. If no one wants to play, there are plenty of Twitter chats to take part in!
How do you motivate yourself when working at home? I’d love to hear your tips.