Working from home gives you a lot of freedom. You have the freedom to work from anywhere, and depending on your role, you have the freedom to set your hours and manage your day-to-day.
However, this freedom means you need to create some sort of structure for your day. You have to be resourceful and proactive, especially if your teammates aren't nearby to answer questions that need responses at the moment. Plus, you have to self-motivate and keep yourself on track for project deadlines or those non-stop email replies. Sometimes this can be the biggest hurdle when you spend your days solo.
So, how do you motivate yourself when you're on your own and work from home? We have some tips.
Want to stay on track for a deadline? Or do you want to cowork with a fellow remote friend soon? Set a few expectations for the week, so you're not overwhelmed with everything down the line.
Something as small as setting the hours you'll be online and knowing what hallmarks you'll reach for a project can help you mentally organize and balance your work. Even setting a few fun goals, like signing up for a mid-afternoon workout class or meeting up with a friend for coffee one morning can break up your week and keep you mentally engaged. You'll feel better and have a better balance of work and fun things to look forward to.
Working solo all day long can make one feel isolated which can compound stress or anxiety, especially if your commute is just from your bed to your kitchen table. Try changing up your environment or just leaving the house to get out of your own head a bit.
Just getting dressed for the outside world can stimulate excitement for the day – it's why most workers who post up at home will often put on jeans or get ready before they sign on.
Not sure where to go? Try a nearby coffee shop or local coworking space. Many coworking spaces have day passes or are accessible by on-demand by apps like Croissant so you don't have to commit to a full-time membership. If you're staying at a coffee shop, be sure to charge all of your devices and purchase a few baked goods since you'll be there for a while.
The traditional office set up is designed to encourage you to stay on task, especially when your coworkers are nearby staying focused. It also has the bonus of giving you some socialization during your workday. So, how can you replicate that?
Well, there are a few coworking or work and chill events in many cities for digital nomads or people who work from home to come together and meet fellow remote co-workers in the area. Meet-ups or local Facebook groups can help you find coworking groups. Or you can ask freelancing friends and fellow remote workers who are down to mingle, before pulling out your laptops. It sounds weird but it does work.
A quick way to burnout is working through the day nonstop. Compound that for a week, then a month, and yes, you're probably going to feel stretched thin. A short break, a lunch hour, or a nice walk can make a big difference in where you are mentally. Scheduling these on your calendar can help ensure that they actually happen.
Recurring check-ins with your team keeps everyone up-to-date and gets the hive mind going. The Harvard Business Review encourages routine video call and voice calls to help teams and coworkers bond, especially when there's a remote teammate. The Meeting Owl Pro is a great tool for standup meetings. It enables those dialing in to feel more included in the discussion and to be able to see the entire team sitting at the conference table with 360° video and audio.
Successfully self-motivating and getting the most out of remote work can take time, but something as simple as planning out your week or meeting up with local remote workers can make you feel more organized and ready to start anything. Inspirational quotes and thought-provoking podcasts can be another way to boost your motivation.
Looking for more? Check out these cool home office ideas to revamp your setup.