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Liz Trocchio Smith

Liz Trocchio Smith
Certified Executive Business Coach
and Trusted Advisor

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How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home

With many professionals working from home do to the CoronaVirus, I thought it was timely to share some tips on how to stay motivated during this time.

Create and follow a schedule – If you work from home every so often, it’s likely that you work similar hours to your colleagues in the office.

If you’re self-employed, set yourself working hours and stick to them. You don’t have to work the traditional 9-5, but you should decide how many hours you will work, and what time you will start and finish each day.

Having a schedule to follow gives a structure to your day which can support your productivity. It can also help to maintain boundaries between your professional and personal lives.

Dress the part – Rolling out of bed into the office still wearing your pajamas can sound appealing, but actually showering and getting dressed tells your mind that it’s time for work.

Of course, you don’t need to dress in a full suit. Just make sure that what you wear when working from home is different from what you wear when lounging.

Have a dedicated work space – Like dressing the part, having a dedicated work space gives your mind a psychological cue that it’s time to get to work. A dedicated work space also helps to minimize distractions if you’re working from home with other people in the house.

Set a schedule for the week and the day ahead – Having a to-do list keeps you focused which can help you to stay motivated when working from home.

Either start or end your working week making your list of tasks for the week ahead. Include priorities and an estimate of how much time each task will take.

Likewise, at the start of each day, review what you have outlined for the week and identify the tasks you will focus on for that day.

Set boundaries – Having boundaries when working from home can be more challenging than when you are in the office. Lack of boundaries can be the enemy of productivity. A friend popping over for coffee or your partner asking you to hang the washing out are distractions that can encourage procrastination.

Be clear with family and friends that you’re actually working. You are not on vacation.

Let them know that if they contact you during your working hours, you will respond in the same way you would if you were working from the office.

If you’re working from home in a separate room, close the door. If you don’t have a separate room, consider using noise-cancelling headphones.

Additionally, let colleagues/clients know when and how to contact you. Can they call you at any time? Will you be checking email throughout the day or only at specified times?

Prioritize your wellbeing – Your motivation can dip when you’re feeling hungry and tired so it’s important that you prioritize your well-being when working from home. Start the day exercising and eating a good breakfast.

Ensure you drink water throughout the day. Additionally, take regular breaks away from your desk to stretch and rest your eyes. Go outside and spend time in natural daylight as much as possible. It can be helpful to make this part of your lunch break. That way you actually take a lunch break and you get some fresh air and a change of scenery.

Finish each day in the same way – At the end of each working day, tidy your desk and if working in a separate room, close the door behind you. Create a ritual that helps you to switch from work mode. You could head to the gym, read a book, start cooking dinner or spend time with your children. Doing this sends a message to your brain that the working day is over. It creates a clear boundary between your work and home life.

With technological advances, working from home is now easier than ever. The challenge, however, can be to stay motivated. It can take time to master working from home effectively. Following these tips outlined above can help you to work from home successfully.

Make it a great day!