With many of us currently working from home, you’re probably facing lack of motivation or find yourself procrastinating way too much. Your work is suffering because of it.
If you’re a business owner, it’s harder to keep tabs on what your team are currently working on too – this disconnect means that your teams effectiveness will see a drop in productivity.
As part of what I do, I speak to a lot of businesses – and the overall consensus is that motivation to work has significantly fallen off a cliff. Is this lack of motivation down to routine, distractions or having to juggle home life with work? The truth is it could be all of these.
I’ve been working remotely for the last 3 years and have faced these sorts of challenges before and some times keeping motivation is extremely difficult. Over the years I’ve worked on different techniques to help keep myself in the zone.
I’ve tried countless project management tools, time tracking, routines and working methods which I have integrated into my working life to put me in the right mindset.
I wanted to share these tips with you to help you keep things moving for your business or company. Some of these are completely personal to me, but even if you take away a few of these tips – it’s going to surely help!
Tip #1: Set a routine and get dressed!
Most people whether it’s working in the office, shop or a construction site there is often travel involved. You know what time each morning you need to be awake and you follow your routine of waking up, doing your bathroom routine and having breakfast (or what ever yours is!). Then you leave the house and as you’re driving, training or cycling to work you’re mentally preparing yourself for the day ahead. I call this ‘work mode’ – you’re in your work state of mind and not your relax mode you would usually be in.
In the comfort of your own home, you’re in ‘home mode’. Separating these two is difficult and can lead to many issues relating to your productivity. During this you’re probably thinking about the house hold chore that need to be done.
Switching to a routine where you don’t have that same routine can mess with you. It’s a simple idea thing but it really does affect you.
How do you break that?
The trick here is to keep your routine in place. Instead of the travel to work give yourself a bit of time in the morning to run through emails, go through your to-do list so that you can mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Or go for a light jog in the morning – a refreshing jog can help give you a positive mind-set and set you up for the day.
Dress like you’re ready for work
A part of your routine is dressing into your work clothes. The act of dressing like you’re ready to work can put you in that mindset of ‘lets do this!’
Dressed up in your pyjamas sets you up for a lazy day!
Tip #2: Set up workstation
Working from the sofa is great, your feet are up and you’re in front of the TV – but how much time are you focusing on the task at hand with a distraction? Not very much, stop lying to yourself.
I’ve tried it and it simply does not work, it halves your productivity at least!
Setting an up work station at a desk or even a table allows you to establish a work mindset ‘this it’s now time for work’. You can then leave that space for a refreshing break or lunch giving you that separation, allowing you to clear your mind before getting straight back into it.
Tip #3: Limit your social media habit
It’s easy to keep checking Facebook as you don’t have the evil stare from colleagues or your boss breathing down your neck – but these things are absolute time saps and give you no benefit what so ever.
Have you ever just scrolled through Facebook and realised that an hour has past? I know I have been guilty of this! I doubt I’m the only one.
You can set your screen time allowances on your phone if you’re using an iPhone or there are apps available for Android devices too.
This way you’re less tempted to keep checking each time FB beacons you. You can do the same for your PC or Mac where you can block those time consuming apps. If you’re like me and you’re in the habit of just typing ‘face…’ into your search bar without even thinking – this will help you!
Mac: SelfControl App
PC: (Chrome App) Self Control
Tip #4: Set smaller achievable goals
Focus is hard especially if you’re bombarded with distractions. You can prepare yourself in every way possible, but distractions are holding back.
Your kids are pulling each others hair, the Tesco food delivery has just arrived and, oh, is that the time? I better get some food on. You sit back down and go ‘where was I?’. It’s tough. I get it and focuses on one thing at a time can be hard – but essential!
One great tip is setting small goals to aid with motivation. Achieving small tasks quickly has been proven to help keep you motivated for longer and give you a great sense of achievement for the day.
If you have a large task at hand – break that down into chunks of time. Set tasks that are around an hour long that can be achieved. Once you’ve finished your task or reach the hour – have a 5 minute break, stretch your legs and get the bloody flowing again before proceeding with the task at hand.
Tip #5: Accountability helps motivation
Daily meetings set to outline tasks for the day. Mentioning your tasks for the day sets a hard goal in place and will give you more motivation to complete a task knowing that everyone knows what you’re supposed to be doing.
Have that person ask you at the end of the day if that was completed? Trust me you’ll want to have finished before then to avoid looking lazy or unproductive.