How To Stay Motivated At Home
Whether you’re studying or working remotely, at first the concept of working from the comfort of your own home can be tantalising. Pyjamas all day? Why not!
But while it might seem like fun, many people experience a downturn in productivity once they take their job or education from a formal setting, such as an office or classroom, to the home. Even the most disciplined worker can be distracted by their pets, children, or favourite television series just waiting to be streamed…
Do you need some help maintaining your usual workflow? Here are our top tips when it comes to how to be productive at home.
Keep to a Routine
One of the best ways to work effectively from home is to treat every day as though you were still going to the office or classroom. While it might seem tempting to roll out of bed 5 minutes before your first online lecture or meeting, you’ll start the day off much better if you rise at your usual time and try to stick to your daily routine as closely as possible.
Get up and make a good breakfast, and change out of your pyjamas and into tidy clothes. Don’t feel that you need to dress exactly as you would in the office – just make sure you’re wearing something other than what you went to bed in the night before. This is important, as it takes you out of lounge mode and into a more productive mindset, boosting your productivity at home.
Take Breaks and Stick to Office/School Hours
One of the best ways to boost working from home productivity is to have a set start and finish time for your day. This makes you available during regular office hours, which your workmates will very much appreciate, while also helping to establish a boundary between work time and personal time.
Take your lunch and coffee breaks as you usually would, and maybe even try to slot in some exercise at some point during the day. Also make sure you finish work on time. Don’t tempt yourself to work into the evening, even if you are busy – it’s very important to close off the workday and put yourself in a different space mentally.
Create the Right Workspace
The right workspace can do wonders for your productivity at home. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office or space to study, set it up to be both a comfortable and productive environment. Pin-boards or whiteboards can help you to keep track of your to-do list, while simple objects such as candles and house plants can brighten up the atmosphere. Make space for your study notes or paperwork (and cup of coffee, of course), and invest in some fresh stationery.
Try your best to keep this space tidy. A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind and make for distraction during the day. If you’re in a neat workspace, you’ll be less likely to want to fold all your socks to distract yourself from the more boring aspects of work and study.
If you find it helpful, you can always try listening to music that assists in focus and study. The very popular ChilledCow Youtube channel has lo-fi beats to study to, while Spotify is abound in playlists for increasing working from home productivity.
Make Use of Software and Apps
If you find your mind is wondering throughout the day, but you have quite a bit of work to do, time-tracking software can be a highly useful tool. The simple notion that there is a clock keeping track of the time you have spent on a particular task can be enough to spur you forward and boost your productivity at home. Many apps also have built-in idle monitors, which will alert you when you’ve been a little too quiet at your desk.
There are a few free time-tracking software apps out there for both teams and individuals, including:
These apps have features aside from acting as a stopwatch. Depending on your level of membership, they also allow you to track time across numerous tasks and generate invoices based on your logged hours and hourly rates.
Keep the Kids and Pets Occupied
Children can be far more distracting than the aforementioned pile of socks, and a bored dog is likely to seek you out for company and some playtime. Keeping both occupied is a big part of how to keep productive at home, so try some of the following activities to alleviate boredom.
- Chalk drawing on sidewalks
- Create a scavenger hunt inside or around the house
- Make home-made playdough or slime
- Plant some seeds and help them grow
- Older children can learn a new skill on YouTube Kids such as dance, craft, origami, drawing and much more
- Puzzles and board games.
- Kong puzzle toys
- Make ice treats for dogs by freezing water and wet (canned) food
- Keep plenty of bones and chews on hand for dogs
- Frolicat automated laser toys for cats
- Youtube for cats (these are usually long videos with birds and other animals to entertain cats).
We hope these tips have got you thinking about how to be productive at home and have provided you with tips to keep you motivated. Working and studying from home can be a tricky thing to balance, but by keeping to your routine and creating the correct environment, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Be sure to check out our blog for more study tips, career guides, industry trends and much more.