Working from home can seem like a dream. Working your own hours, wearing your PJ’s all day and living that laptop lifestyle that you see on Instagram.
But boy is that far from the truth.
Now I’m not saying it is like this for everyone, but when you first start working from home everything becomes a distraction.
Think back to the high-school days where there was no better time to clean your room than the night before an assignment was due.. And you hadn’t started.
Procrastination level = ninja.
Now we are older, we have a lot more things we can use for procrastination. Like; cleaning the house, doing the laundry, picking up your children’s toys, giving your dog a bath or maybe even doing the grocery shopping.
Or maybe it’s scrolling through social media for hours on end or getting distracted with friends wanting you to come to the shops.
If you work from home, it can be easy to want to do them instead of your work. Especially when the dirty laundry pile it just begging to be washed or your phone keeps lighting up from friends wanting coffee.
I haven’t mastered the art of staying motivated and productive at home, but here are three things that have helped me!
You left your 9-5, but just because you left corporate doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have structured “work” time. Find out when you work best and create times around it.
If you are a morning person, try boss out your work and then in the afternoon dedicate some time to do chores or run errands.
If you are a night owl, structure your day so you can do your personal activities in the morning and in the afternoon, you can work. That’s some of the perks of running your own business, picking the hours that work for you.
With these work hours, let your friends know! Treat it like a normal job. During these hours you are working and are unavailable for shopping trips, or coffee dates (although let them know they are more than welcome to deliver you one!). This helps set boundaries with them, and yourself so you stop saying yes!
Do not disturb:
At first I didn’t want to put my phone on do not disturb. I thought it wouldn’t make a difference.. I wasn’t THAT addicted.
But that was me in denial.
I realised that I was looking at my phone WAY more than I realised and it was affecting my workflow. You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, so when a notification would pop up, a friend would message, I would want to Google something – you look at it. All those times I picked up my phone add up. All those times I stopped my train of thought on the task I was doing because I was notified of something that I ‘couldn’t wait’ to look at.
So I put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ to trial it out and oh my, it has been revolutionary!
I was way more motivated and productive, I was able to finish a task without interruptions.
Anything I wanted to look at or Google I wrote down on a notepad so that when I finished my task I could go back to those thoughts, but no more thought hopping.
Yes I know, how #basic.
‘Everyone does to do lists, they aren’t anything new’ but how many of you *actually* do to do lists to keep you motivated?
A few weeks ago I lost my motivation. My to-do list was long, and none of it really got done.
Why? Because I was overwhelmed.
Structure your to-do lists with things that you actually know you can get done. If you have ‘design 5 products and send them off to the manufacturers’ to do in a day, that is going to be stressful *and* not make you feel motivated. You might make yourself do it because you *need* to, but it will cause a bad attached to that product and creating products.
So instead, every day write out your ‘must do’s’ and your ‘might do’s’! (Thanks Bay Bradfield for this tip!).
For example, my list today (legit today as I write this) is:
Must do’s: client work, staying motivated blog post, and two directory proofs
Might do’s: create a second blog post, plan social media for next week
As of writing this, I have done client work and this blog post. It is nearly 3pm so I will do the proofs and then maybe get to the second blog post. But that is the joy or ‘must do’s’ and ‘might do’s’. You get to see what is urgent rather than being overwhelmed with a really long list of things to do!
So there you have it, the three ways I keep motivated at home. Trust me it takes time! There are some days that I would rather be in bed binge-watching Netflix and vacuuming the house, but using these methods will hopefully help you resist so that you can do the work your business, and you deserve!
Written by: Kye Anderson