Due to Covid-19, remote work hit record highs in the nation as companies did their best to keep things running while keeping their customers and employees safe. For many this was a welcome change, as working on the couch in pajamas is a dream come true. For others, working remotely presented some difficult challenges.
The office setting makes it easier to get in a productive mindset. You probably don’t associate your home as an area to get work done, affecting the quality of your performance as well as the speed at which you complete tasks.
Stay Motivated When Working Remotely
You’re not alone in this struggle, and there are plenty of ways to find motivation during quarantine workdays by using an online calendar:
Eat the Frog
Start your day with the most difficult task on your plate. The term “eat the frog” is based on a quote by Mark Twain, indicating that “eating the frog” first thing in the morning gets the worst part of your day over with. The rest of your day will seem much easier in comparison.
As you can imagine, eating an actual frog isn’t a desirable activity. However, after doing so your day couldn’t possibly get any worse. Tasks and projects that looked daunting before will pale in comparison after devouring that metaphorical amphibian.
Let’s say your least favorite part of your job is logging invoices. Don’t leave that for last! You’ll spend all day dreading it and end your day on a sour note. Get it over with right off the bat and you’ll feel the weight off your chest removed.
Humans have always responded well to incentives. They give you something to work toward and look forward to throughout the day. If motivation is in short supply when working from home, try adding some rewards to the mix as some extra fuel.
The rewards you set can be as unique as you desire, just so long as they motivate you to be productive. For example, you can indulge yourself with a quick run of an online game each time you make a sale. If you aren’t making sales, you don’t get to play.
Be careful with the rewards you allow yourself to have, especially the parameters you set. Rewards should be somewhat difficult to accomplish, otherwise, you’ll be playing video games more than you’re working. Food-based rewards should also be done tastefully, or you’ll go through more pints of ice cream than you’ll ever care to admit.
Break Up Your Time
Trying to do too many things at once is asking for trouble. Multitasking is a fairly inefficient practice, lowering the quality of your work due to your attention being divided. Use your online calendar to break up your time more effectively.
Timeboxing is a time management technique that will help. It involves assigning each task a block of time in your Calendar. For the duration of that block, you focus on that task alone. Once the time block has ended, you can move on to the next. This hones your focus to a single activity, where your full attention will produce the best results.
You should also break up your time with breaks. Working non-stop will wear out just about anybody, and a tired worker is not a very efficient one. To make sure you take enough breaks throughout the day, and don’t let them last too long, schedule them out in your online calendar.
Follow Good Habits
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of remote work is sticking to healthy habits. Staying up later than you should and sleeping in with no repercussions is allowed, but can put you in a funk. Quick access to the fridge and the TV are temptations that can easily stop your productivity in its tracks.
Do your best to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Using your Calendar, develop a routine that helps you wind down for the night and get up at a reasonable hour. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health, and will ensure you have the right energy levels to work from home effectively.
Your online calendar will also help you meal plan, exercise, and limit electronic use. If you’re particularly struggling from being locked in, consider adding other habits to your daily schedule such as yoga and meditation that are proven methods of morale and wellness boosting.
Find Your Why
Give yourself a purpose while working from home. Do you hope to use the flexibility to spend more time pursuing your hobbies? Maybe working from home is the opportunity you need to prove yourself to your boss in preparation for a big promotion. It could just be family time that you’re seeking, pushing you to work more diligently.
Once you find your why, write it down so it’s always in the back of your mind. Consider posting a picture of your vision as an extra motivating factor. Funnel your efforts toward your why and let it push you through even the toughest of days. After all, working for a purpose is always more motivating than working just to get by.
Your ‘why’ is allowed to change. One week you might be working as hard as possible and putting in extra hours in preparation for an upcoming vacation. The next it could be to have some extra cash to make some investments. Just keep it personal and let it push you forward.
Remote work is going to keep growing, and more jobs might be done from home than from the office sometime in the future. The sooner you can figure out how to be productive from anywhere, the more successful you’ll be throughout your professional career.
Image Credit: prateek katyal; pexels