18 September 2017

Staying Motivated Working from Home

Working from home definitely has it's ups and downs. It has flexibility, you can work in your PJ's if you wish, and you don't have to leave the comfort of your own home. However, home is where distractions can be, so it can be really hard to focus down.

When you're in an office you're in the working environment, so it helps you focus, knuckle down on your work and really feel inspired. You don't get the same thing when you're at home. There's no one else around you to spur you on, bounce ideas off of, or motivate you. But there is a tele, kitchen filled with food and potentially a ginger cat who wants your attention.
Like, all of the time.
So how do I focus? How do I make myself knuckle down and get on. How do I motivate myself when I'm working from home? I'm not going to lie, it's a lot easier said then done. Especially with the ginger cat issue.
I'm still doing this to be completely honest, but the closer I'm getting to a set routine the easier I'm finding it to focus and concentrate. I have a morning routine pretty much set now (video coming up soon) and that really helps to wake me up and get me in the mood for work. I found when I was just going from bed to laptop I was still sleepy, not really with it or in the zone. However, now I've started getting up and treating it like I would if I were physically going into an office - up, breakfast, coffee, dressed and made up. Then I feel like I'm more awake and ready to start my day.
Distractions are all over your home, such as your TV, your own laptop, your phone, the cat, the washing... So remove yourself from these physically as much as you can. I found it really hard in my previous home where I had to work in the lounge as the TV was there, the washing was there, I could see chores that needed doing and it was all in my sights. However, in the new home I have completely separated my office from anything like this. My office is a separate room, where there is no TV, no fridge, only my work laptop, and I can't even see the washing. It's so much easier to concentrate like this and I do feel like I'm going to work, as opposed to staying from home. Can't do much about the cat though.
You would probably do this in an office anyway if you were going to get another coffee or tea, or going for a toilet break. Do exactly the same at home. I try to take ten minutes away from my screen every couple of hours where I'll check my phone, the blog, get a coffee/drink and whatever. It just helps to give my mind a break. They say when you're revising for exams you should study for 20 minutes then take 10 minutes off, and keep going, as your mind can't concentrate or take good information in after that time. It's the same for work I find. Take breaks little and often and you'll find the work you do is far more constructive and productive because of this.
I'm still working on this - but I'm a full believer that the happier your work space, the happier you'll be working, and the more organised your work space, the more organised your mind will be. We're still building out my office, but my desk is a lovely little space that is tidy and has bright yellow colours, and a plant. Obviously. I love having this little space that's just work focused and I'll be popping up some motivational postcards and such on a board above my screens when I get the chance. But I just feel happy to be here, I don't dread it.
This may not apply for everyone, but I genuinely find if I have music as a background I get more done. It just allows me to concentrate on what I'm doing and blocks out any outside noise from my street or neighbourhood. I have a Spotify playlist where I throw any songs I hear from other sountracks that I find really get me in the mood and motivated as well, and that's generally the playlist I stick on when I have a project I need to get stuck into. If you're not a music person, which is fair enough, then find something that helps you concentrate and use this.
So that is my main tips on how I stay motivated! It is super hard when you're working from home, but I have found that just these things have made it so much easier to really concentrate and get on with my to do list.

Oh - and what do about the cat? Well, who'd want to disturb that cutie? Work around him, of course #whipped
Much love, Lisa May xx


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