Written by Gemma Clarke
Without the structure of a physical office and set working hours, carrying out your work from home can be a test of discipline. It’s easy to lose focus when you’re surrounded by distractions, just as you can quickly lose motivation when much more fun things call your
So, how can you ensure you stay motivated when working remotely and not allow this freedom to jeopardise your career? Here are six tips to keep your focus and productivity high so that you can effortlessly balance business with adventure.
1. Start the day with self-care
The way we begin our day plays a huge role in the energy, focus and motivation we feel. If you roll out of bed and straight to your desk, you’ll find it challenging to begin your workload, let alone get through it all. However, starting your day with self-care practises like meditation, yoga and exercise will give you more enthusiasm to get going. By doing something healthy and nourishing every morning, you’re less likely to experience energy slumps or get distracted come the afternoon.
2. Create a schedule that works for you
The beauty of remote work is that you don’t have to work a traditional 9-5; instead, you can choose your own hours. However, you’ll still need to create some structure to your day; otherwise, you’ll constantly struggle to motivate yourself and focus on the task at hand. Observe how you feel working at different hours throughout the day and learn when you are most productive. Also, figure out if you work better by consolidating your work into fewer hours or if you need to break up your day more. Finally, schedule your most daunting and challenging tasks during the hours you experience the highest productivity.
3. Take lots of breaks throughout the day
Regardless of how you decide to structure your day, make sure you schedule plenty of breaks. Regular breaks give your mind a much-needed break, reducing the chance of brain fog or fatigue. How many breaks you need will depend on you. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, take more breaks.
Although this may sound counterproductive, working for 50 minutes then taking a 10-minute breather will result in increased efficiency, even though you may be working less. During these intervals, go for a walk, make a cup of tea, or do a short meditation. Simply choose an activity that will allow you to relax and reset in a short space of time.
4. Work from co-working spaces or cafes
Sometimes there are just too many distractions present when working from home. For example, perhaps you’re a parent, and your children are on school holidays. Or maybe you have pets demanding your attention every five minutes. I find that working from a co-working space or a coffee shop greatly helps me focus, especially when I’m working on a complex project. Here, you’ll be able to concentrate without the sight of a sink full of dirty dishes or the distraction of someone ringing the doorbell.
Even if you don’t find your environment distracting, switching up your workspace will positively impact your creativity and motivation. So, whenever you find your home office isn’t working for you, change it up for a day and see the difference.
5. Give yourself dedicated days off
One of the challenges of remote working is finding the balance between work and play. It’s easy to overwork when you don’t have structured shifts and an out-of-the-home working environment. If you are not strict with giving yourself dedicated time off, you’ll quickly find yourself
checking your emails or doing small tasks when you should be enjoying yourself. This is a sure way to burn out and lose motivation altogether.
So instead, plan an “adventure day” once a week where you schedule a fun activity. Having a plan for your days off will reduce your urge to check your emails and take your mind off business. Thus, make a list of fun things you would like to do, such as hikes you would like to complete or beaches you want to visit and start ticking them off.
6. Travel and work
The number one way to stay motivated while working from your laptop is by changing your surroundings frequently. Having a remote job means you can work from anywhere in the world, so why not take advantage of it?
If the thought of solo travel worries you, join some online digital nomad communities for advice on getting started. Getting through an inbox full of tedious emails is not so bad when you have a gorgeous beach view to admire or a refreshing pool to jump into once you complete them. Now how’s that for motivation!
Remote working offers many benefits and opportunities. However, if you’re transitioning from a structured office 9-5, it’s natural for this new working style to feel challenging at first. Even so, with this new freedom, you can optimise your work life, maintain your motivation and
maximise your productivity.