Have you been feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated working from home during quarantine? Although I do not work in a traditional office setting anymore, I dearly miss working from coffee shops and my co-working space. I am now having to learn how to live and work in the same space, and working from home has been tough! In this post of the Work & Life at Home Series, the wonderful ladies I interviewed are sharing their tips for staying motivated while working from home.
“Be intentional. Focus on one adjustment and really try hard at getting that one down. Use your phone’s alarm to remind you of that intention and set your alarm for every hour on the hour. It’s annoying but it will help you to constantly think about your one intention. Focus on the things that you can control. We are in some crazy times but it doesn’t mean that we have to go crazy in the process. It’s been said that what we focus on expands so use this time to do all the things you didn’t have “time” to do before and be intention about focus on those things.”
“Keep a routine and get dressed! Take the time in the morning to eat breakfast and put on clothes as if you were leaving the house. Productivity greatly rises when you do this! Be sure to have a lunch time, and stick to it. It’s easy to get stuck at your desk when working from home, but set alarms that force you to get up. Go outside for a quick walk, complete a chore, whatever you have to do, just GET UP!”
“I would say that what has kept me sane is really taking that time for myself, weather it be a walk around the neighborhood, taking a short nap, giving myself an at home facial or fixing my nails, reading a book, giving myself a sunless tan, online shopping, gardening, Pinteresting or even cleaning the house. I do thing that making time for yourself is the most important thing, your well being and sanity is more important that anything else.”
“Give yourself grace. Do what you feel is right for you in the moment. I think we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to go-go-go and always have something to show for it. Researchers say that in an eight-hour work day, the average person is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes. I’ve memorized that statistic to remind myself that life shouldn’t revolve around work… because as an entrepreneur, my brain runs like wild fire 24/7.
With that said, if you’re on a deadline and can’t get your shit together, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, meditating for 10 minutes or a quick living room yoga session always helps me reset and refocus. Writing your tasks down helps tremendously too. When you can physically see the task at hand, you can visualize completing it.”
“Give yourself time to get into a routine! Figure out what time of day you’re most motivated to get work done, and use that time to focus. It helped me to write down how I was spending my days, so I could rearrange it and plan better. Also, writing a to-do list helps me stay productive!
Try to stay positive and keep your spirits up! Don’t watch the news all day or hang out in online groups that have a lot of negativity. Use this time to clean up your website, purge old clothes or create a new digital product that will put you ahead when the dust settles!”
“At first It was like a fish out of water, I was a little flustered so it took me a week, but I kept telling myself, adapt and stay motivated. I use this time as a time of opportunity to finally give my focus and attention to things I would be able to if I were going into work. Days where I feel unmotivated I take 2 hours without a computer to relax and refocus. The advice I can give is to make a list of this to do, so your mind isn’t running on all of your task but focus on 3 main task.”
“If you are feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and just having a hard time getting into a consistent flow, just know that you are not alone. With everything going on around us, it can be hard to sit down and “get to work”. Especially if this is your first time working from home or if you have been working from home, you may not have had to do it with ALL of your family home at the same time. When you begin feeling the heaviness of the overwhelm, take a step back, allow yourself to feel whatever is coming up, and give yourself a lot of grace. You are being called to step back and get clear on what your new normal is going to look like.
Something that I am personally doing everyday and recommend to all of my clients is to start your morning with a brain dump session to get everything off your mind. Then choose 3 top priorities that you are going to focus on for the day that will make the biggest impact in helping you eliminate the overwhelm. Reward yourself daily for completing those 3 task to motivate yourself for the next day. Once you start to find your flow again, create a time block schedule using a planner or Google calendar to help you map out your days at least 7-14 days ahead of time so that you have a clear plan of action.”
“Right now especially it’s okay to not feel motivated so on days where you just don’t feel it? Give it a rest. Try to complete a task a day no long or drawn out to-do list.”
“You can’t make a schedule without being really in tune with your strengths. If you’re a morning person, that’s when you should schedule your most mentally demanding tasks. If you know that you typically need a break between projects, then schedule outside time or a friend call at noon to give you something to look forward to.
I also strongly encourage you to have one day where you don’t schedule any meetings or Facetime calls. You need one day where you don’t have to look presentable for the camera. You need one day where you can keep your head down and work without having to break for an appointment.”
“Give yourself some grace. Adjusting to working from home is tough. I often forget how challenging it can be for other people. So it’s okay if you’re not as productive. It’s okay if you watch one too many episodes of a Netflix show. Take that time, then pick yourself up off the couch and work on that next thing on your to-do list!”
“Step back and breath. Our emotions and feelings is our body’s (and the universe) way of telling us the need to take a pause. It’s definitely OK to feel unmotivated, frustrated, but the very fact that we are all in this together reminds us to reach out and ask for help when and where we need it. What’s helped me feel more motivated throughout these days are numerous podcasts such as The Champagne Diet, Don’t Keep Your Day Job and The Product Boss. The essence here is to allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling and ask for help, comfort to begin again day by day.”