Many of us have spent a large portion of this year working from home or even running businesses from our houses. In the early days of the pandemic, this was challenging and a bit of a shock to the system. Many new home workers had never done it before, they didn’t have home offices, and they found the trials of working, keeping in touch with the office, and managing their time without supervision tough. But, in those early days, it was also quite exciting. We often work at our best when we’re thrown in the deep end, and for many, productivity soared.
Now, however, we’re a few months in. No one was really prepared for measures to last this long. We’re all eager for a more normal Christmas, and working from home is no longer a novelty. A few months in and motivation is becoming a much bigger problem. Here are some strategies to help you to stay motivated during the on-going pandemic.
Schedule Down Time
One of the hardest things about working from home, especially if you are running your own business and able to set your own hours completely, is taking time off. We work bits, here and there, never taking proper time away from work, but never giving work our full focus either. This attitude often leads to a drop in both quality of work and motivation, as well as a rise in stress.
For the good of your mood and your work, it’s crucial that you continue to take time off. It can be easier to do if it’s scheduled. Write days off in your diary, clear evenings to chill watching Dolphins vs Jaguars, and clear your schedule to enjoy a few days rest.
Get into a Routine
Routines help us to stay motivated with work and exercise. When we’re in a routine, it becomes automatic. Our minds are ready to work. We’re in the zone. As soon as that routine gets broken, we start to make excuses, we struggle to get back into things, and we feel a little lost. This is often when motivation completely desserts us.
This year it’s been hard to get into a routine because things have been changing so quickly. But, try your best to build one. Make room for breaks, days off, exercise, and even fun, but try to stick to your routine as much as possible for as long as you can.
Set Daily Goals or Targets
Most of us have got work goals. Targets that we want to or need to hit. But, these are often quite distant. It can be hard to stay motivated day to day when you are working towards something so far in the distance.
Keep these bigger goals, by all means, but set daily targets too. At the start of your work day, write down what you want to have achieved by the end of it, even if they are relatively small. This will help to keep you on track and give you a confidence boost when you hit them.
Look at the Big Picture
It’s easy to feel down when we look at the state of the world right now. But, remember, this isn’t forever. Look at the big picture, make some future plans, and if business is slow right now, start actioning some things that will help you get started again when things pick up.
Keep in Touch
If you are used to working as part of a big group, or at least around other people, you might find working at home lonely, and you may struggle to motivate yourself. Chances are, other people from your office are feeling the same. Daily or weekly video calls can be a great way to lift each other up, just like you would in your usual workplace.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise is a great way to reduce your stress levels and improve your mood. Exercise early in the day, and you are more likely to work productively, feel more positive, and be more creative. Even a few simple stretches or a short walk can boost your circulation, kick start your body, and help you hit your desk, feel alert, refreshed, and ready for action.
Staying motivated will improve your work performance and keep your business going strong. It will also help you take care of your mental health, give you focus, and keep your mind active. It’s often when motivation starts to slide that our mood starts to suffer. So, check-in with your motivation levels and make some changes to boost them if necessary.