So it’s been a little over a year since I finally made the jump and started working at home full time. It’s been a rocky road with some ups and some definite downs, but it’s been amazing. Some days I’m crazy busy, while others I wake up around noon and put myself to bed early.
The hardest thing about working from home is staying motivated. I’m not too proud to admit that, YES, it can start feeling monotonous. However, I have some tricks that help me stay motivated. Hopefully they can work for you too!
6 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Work At Home
Get Adequate Rest
So the most important tip I have for staying motivated when you work from home is to get adequate rest! Rest is crucial when you’re trying to start and manage a small business or even just managing a family. It can be tempting to work longer because you get to do it in your pjs or in bed, but you have to remember, you’re still working. If you work at home on top of a 40 day job, a 60 hour parenting job, or other obligations, you’ll make yourself overtired and less productive. So, while it’s tempting to stay up late and get up early, you’re better off letting yourself sleep until you naturally wake up and putting yourself to bed when you feel your eyes drooping.
Make a To-Do List
Next, make a list. I’ll admit– this is something I fail at. I will make lists sometimes, and other times I will just work on things I want to work on. But list makers really are more productive than people who just wing it. Making a list is important because not only does it keep you on task, but it also tells you when to stop. When you make a daily or weekly to-do list, you can alleviate a lot of your stress by knowing that everything will get done and you can feel accomplished without feeling overworked.
Work at Home From 9 to 5
Another important aspect of working from home is setting your offtime. Again, it’s incredibly tempting to just work all the time when you get to work in your pjs, but working day in and day out will just make you tired and you’ll start getting resentful of your job. The best part about giving yourself hours when you work from home is that when you have “working hours” you have “off hours”! Oh yeah, and don’t forget to take two days off per week, too!
Take Frequent Breaks
When you work in an office, you get three to four breaks a day, right? Two fifteen minute breaks and a break for lunch. When you work from home, you can sometimes need even more frequent breaks because you are looking at a screen for a long time. When you are doing a lot of computer work, it’s best to work in 45 minute blocks. On your break, get up and walk around for fifteen minutes. These frequent breaks are good for your physical health, good for your eyes, and good for your brain. They also give you that important time to brainstorm.
Change Your Scenery
Okay now, as weird as this is, I happen to love being in my own space 90% of the time. But I’m kind of introverted. I get that most people get distracted by being in their own space all the time and are actually more productive with a scenery change. You can go to the coffee shop, the book store, or even just the park to clear your head. Take your work with you if you want, or take just a pad and pen to jot down ideas. You can even rearrange your office at home every few months to keep the space fresh, adding or switching your decor. Sometimes some new wall art can literally give you a new perspective!
Get Out of the House
Last– but not least, of course– you have to get out of the house sometimes. I’m not talking about just a change of scenery and still working, I mean do something else that doesn’t relate to your business at all. I generally take Saturdays to myself so every Saturday is “self-care Saturday” and I do fun errands and go to a figure drawing group that I love. I think everyone, even if you don’t work at home, should find one social thing to do- basket weaving, a pottery class, or anything else.
With these tips, you can work at home without going crazy. I promise you, it’s possible. It can even be a great lifestyle for self-starters and people who don’t need the constant social interaction many jobs have. When you work from home, you get to set your own hours and pursue your dreams, as long as you keep in mind that it is a job! You still have to take care of yourself, even if you work at home.