Five Ways To Stay Energized While Working From Home
Post Written By Maurice Harary Forbes Councils Member
Working from home likely sounds like a dream for many people: no commuting, no work clothes and no office small talk. But there’s more to it than just wearing pajamas all day and having your favorite foods on demand.
While working from home can be rewarding, it’s also easy to fall behind if you don’t have a plan for staying productive. And without your boss looking over your shoulder, it can be tempting to put off that big project until tomorrow. Put simply, working from home is difficult. It takes an incredible amount of self-discipline and time management.
So, what can you do to maintain your sanity and motivation while working from home? The answer is structure. Keeping a daily schedule helps you stay on task and gives purpose to each part of your day. Of course, you won’t have the same level of structure working from home as you’d normally have in the office. Where you work, how you set up your workspace and when you take breaks is all up to you. If you’re lacking energy and motivation, follow these tips to take charge of your work life and harness your productivity.
1. Divide up the day with a lunch break.
Just like you would in an office, you should be taking breaks when you’re working from home. Set aside time each day for a lunch break. Although working through the whole day without a break might help you get work done faster initially, it’s not sustainable in the long run. By the end of the day, you’ll likely feel burned out, stressed and cranky. If you don’t give yourself the necessary time to unwind and refuel, your quality of work can suffer as well.
2. Add diversity to your workspace.
If you’re feeling bored, uninspired and unmotivated while working from home, it might time for a change of scenery. Consider switching up your workspace to add interest to your routine. We’re human, and we all get bored after staring at the same four walls for five (or more) days a week. If you usually work in a home office, try working in your backyard. It’s been said that spending time outdoors can help reduce stress and increase creativity.
If you’re feeling isolated at home, try working somewhere other than your house. Coffee shops are a viable option if you’re able to safely social distance. The only place I believe you should absolutely never work from is your bed. Although the comfort of your bed might be hard to resist, working there can cause you to start associating your sleeping space with work, rather than rest.
3. Keep your morning rituals the same.
We’ve all been guilty of waking up right before work when all we have to do is open up our laptops. If you used to shower, make breakfast and get dressed every day before heading into the office, continue doing this while working from home. The key to keeping your day structured is to include those things that bring a sense of normalcy, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem.
I recommend trying to wake up every morning at least an hour before work starts. Give yourself time to get ready, eat breakfast and do something you enjoy before you go into the “office.” In my experience, staying on a schedule can help prevent procrastination and give you a clearer idea of what needs to be done that day. If you make time for your usual morning rituals, you’ll feel more prepared to tackle your to-do list.
4. Maintain a support system.
Social interaction is a normal and healthy part of our lives, but it can be hard to sustain that kind of connection when working from home. Keep in touch with your co-workers online, whether you’re checking in about a project or just simply saying hello. Finding a way to interact can prevent you from feeling isolated or lonely. Hopping on a quick video call and seeing a familiar face helps, too, if time permits.
In addition, don’t forget companionship can transform your work-from-home experience for the better. If you have a friend who also works from home and you both feel comfortable meeting in-person, invite them to work from home together. They might be experiencing the same difficulties and distractions at home. Having the company of another person you can relate to is beneficial when you can’t find motivation and need an extra push.
5. Don’t check messages outside of work hours.
If you work on a set schedule, avoid checking work emails and messages on your days off. When you have a free moment on a Saturday, it can be tempting to quickly write up that email and get it out of the way. Working after hours might be doing more harm than good, though.
When you constantly check your emails and messages, it entirely defeats the purpose of having days off. We all need time to destress, relax and take care of ourselves. If you feel stressed and unmotivated on weekends because you never take a break, you’re not going to feel any better on Monday when you return to work. Mental and physical health is a priority and something you should never have to sacrifice for your job.
Given the uncertainty of when we will all return to our traditional workspaces, figuring out how to motivate ourselves in a work-from-home setting is more important than ever. By implementing these simple yet impactful changes to your routine, you can begin feeling reenergized for your next “commute” to the office.
Forbes Article Link: Five Ways To Stay Energized While Working From Home