August 6, 2020
Remote Thoughts: How to stay motivated
As part of our ‘Remote Thoughts’ mini-series, we’ve been exploring some of the topics that have affected many of us that are working from home during the current pandemic (including how to battle loneliness). This week, we’ll be discussing how to stay motivated and what you can do to keep your productivity levels soaring, even from your living room.
With August now upon us, it’s now nearly five months since lockdown restrictions around the world forced many of us to switch up our normal office routine and adjust to working from home. While at first, this meant swapping our comfy office chairs for creaky kitchen stools or creating a makeshift desk in our living rooms, many workers are now settling into remote working life.
Flexible working patterns have been on the rise in recent years, and with many organizations now forced into adjusting from the typical routine of 5-days a week in the office, it’s likely the demand for remote working options will continue to grow long after the pandemic.
For those new to working from home, it may be difficult to keep your motivation whirring all day long, with the buzz of the office now replaced with your home comforts (or distractions). However, as many seasoned home workers will attest to, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated from home – so you can make the most out of your current working environment.
Consider what you’re gaining, not losing
When feeling unmotivated, it can be easy to fixate on the negatives. Perhaps it’s the buzz of the office that drives your focus or those water-cooler chats with your colleagues that keeps your motivation bubbling. However, for all the things the office provides you, the flexibility gained from remote working offers a new range of motivation-boosting benefits.
By losing your daily commute to the office, for example, you’re gaining back extra hours in your day. Take back this time to start work earlier in the morning or finish a little later, while still enjoying quality down-time at the end of your day. These extra hours also allow you to build a stronger work-life balance, something which can significantly help to keep your motivation levels chugging along.
For some, your home environment may be providing you with more solitude; if so, you can make the most of these quiet hours to get nose-deep into a new project, without the distraction of office discussions.
Stay connected with your colleagues
While solitude can be a great motivator for focusing on a big piece of work, at some point we all need a little light relief to allow us to step back and clear our minds – and isolation can quickly cause you to feel lonely and unmotivated. If you’re in need of a boost or missing your team to bounce ideas around with, use video conferencing to stay connected with colleagues.
If you’ve been working remotely over the last few months, then chances are those awkward Zoom meetings have become as familiar as the back of your hand. However, these don’t have to drain your energy – if used in the right way, video calls can be a great motivator to keep you going throughout the day.
Try setting up a daily morning call with your team. These don’t have to be long (15 minutes may be all you need) and allow this time in the morning to catch up with your coworkers – just like you would in the office. This is a great opportunity to talk through what you’re working on that day, bounce around project ideas, or simply catch up on your plans for the weekend. This consistent communication will keep you feeling connected to your team and avoid feeling trapped in a bubble of isolation.
Simple things like providing positive feedback on a job well done can also be a great way to boost morale across your team, so everyone feels valued and motivated to keep achieving.
Find your most productive hours
One of the biggest benefits to remote working is the flexibility it can offer you when it comes to your working hours. As mentioned above, with your commuting hours taken away, you can make the most of this extra time however suits you best and focus on getting those important tasks done during the hours you feel the most productive.
Take some time to consider when you feel the most motivated and focused. Is it during the earlier hours, once you’ve had your morning coffee and are raring to go before the busiest part of your day begins? Or perhaps your motivation boosts during the afternoon hours? Once you’ve established your most productive hours, use this extra time in your day to adjust your working hours (where possible) to suit your peaks and falls in motivation. By doing this, you’ll find your working day will likely become more productive, which will naturally boost your motivation as you start to tick your way through your to-do list.
Remember to take a break
A lack of motivation often comes from fatigue or feeling mentally drained from persistent concentration. When in the office, it can be easy to step back from a task to get a coffee from the kitchen and have a catch up with a colleague, leaving you feeling refreshed by the time you make it back to your desk. However, when working from home it can be all-too-easy to work for hours without standing up from your desk or talking to another person.
Be sure to give yourself time to stretch your legs and pop into the garden for some fresh air or make yourself a fresh coffee from the kitchen. Don’t forget to recharge your batteries to help you avoid burnout – working consistently without a break leads to higher levels of stress which can ultimately cause your motivation to drop – and in extreme cases, lead you to complete burnout. By taking short but regular breaks, you can ensure your motivation levels are topped up at regular intervals throughout the day.
Looking for a tool to help you stay motivated and connected while working from home? Ayoa is a cloud-based tool that combines task management, team collaboration and mind mapping features onto one workspace, acting as your virtual office to replicate at home. Find out more about working remotely with Ayoa and sign up for FREE today.