Everyone needs motivation at work. Even work-at-home freelancers. Sure, there are lots of benefits of being their own boss working from their own abodes. They can work at their own time and pace, and they don’t even have to dress in sharp suits like before when they used to work at the office. Thanks to the Internet and technology, it is highly possible to be productive without getting out of the house.
But like in every work situation, there are times that it is easy for work-at-home freelancers to acquire bad habits such as lack of self-discipline and motivation. Perhaps it may be even easier to do so, because they feel too comfortable in their own spaces – and end up struggling to stay focused on their own assignments. If you find yourself in the same situation, don’t lose hope! Take a look at the following tips to stay motivated while working from your own home.
1) Wake up early.
If you are especially new to this transition – from working in an office to working at your own home – waking up early proves to be quite difficult and even challenging. Since you no longer have to face the consequences of arriving late at the office (and that grumpy look on your boss’ face), you now feel little motivation to wake up at a reasonable hour and begin your work.
You may be tempted to stay in the bed longer and start working later than what you used to, but try hard to fight against it. Starting your work late in the day can quickly turn itself into a bad habit and that reduces your motivation to take it seriously.
Train yourself to wake up early just like you used to do when you were still working in a traditional office setting. Recent studies show that waking up early in the morning makes people more proactive. Wake up early, and begin your work following the standard business hours of 8 or 9 A.M. Being up early in the morning, the desire to finish your work early prompts you to work harder, faster and more efficiently.
2) Dress more properly when working.
One of the best things about working at home is that you don’t have to spend half an hour on what clothes to wear for work (admit that – it’s also one of the reasons of getting late). You also don’t have to adhere to somebody else’s dress code.
Still though, why make a point of dressing properly when you’re at home, right? There’s a reason for that. Dr. Karen Pine, a psychology professor, points out that “when we put on an item of clothing, it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment.”
In other words: if you are clad in your sleepwear while trying to work, you may feel lazy and may lose motivation and focus on your job.
Now, we do not suggest that you have to dress sharply in a business suit and tie when working at home. But you have to dress something comfortable, but also functional enough to make you feel that you’re actually putting on some work attire. A pair of comfortable jeans and a collared shirt or blouse will make for a decent work-at-home ensemble. Dressing up a bit will motivate you more in accomplishing your tasks.
3) Stay focused.
Distractions are detrimental to your focus on your work. For the moment, stay away from your phone, social media, Internet, chat, YouTube (unless editing videos is part of your job) and many others. Even if you have that sudden urge to make yourself a cup of joe, grab a snack, or put off your actual work for now to catch your favorite series, don’t. It will eat up your time that you would have devoted to your job.
Always finish your task first. Once you’re done, use those “perks” as a reward to yourself.
4) Get out of the house.
Sure, it’s good to stay focused on your job, but do you want it to become some sort of a self-imposed exile? You need to take a break too. You need to balance your career and the other things that also matter to you. Get out of the house. Take invigorating walks and get some sunshine. Go shopping (even grocery shopping – it’s therapuetic!). Stretch your strained muscles at a gym. Meet a friend over coffee. You need to go out, and be out and about, even for just once in a while – you need that to keep your health and sanity intact.
Working from home is good, but it can also be lonely. It can also lead to a feeling of isolation. It is a far cry to your office days when you had co-workers to talk and banter with, day in and day out.
Once your work is done for the day, socialize with other human beings. Spend the day with your family. Or if you’re living alone, make up for the lack of human contact by going having casual conversations with your neighbors, out with your friends, calling up your former co-workers, or even by striking a simple chit-chat with the clerk as you make your way to the grocery check-out. No matter who you are having conversations with or what you are discussing about, interacting on a regular basis will help build your social skills. It is something that e-mail, chat or Skype won’t be able to give you.
If you want to meet new folks, join a class or a group whose interests and hobbies mirror your own. It is also good for your personal growth and productivity.