With work from home arrangements set to continue for the foreseeable future, a common struggle for most is the inability to maintain high motivation levels for a prolonged period. The allure of taking things slow is much greater at home than in the office. So how do you improve your motivation levels? Is it as simple as setting a defined workstation?
I am here to tell you that if you’re operating at optimal motivation levels, having a defined workstation will not matter. If your mindset is aligned with your objectives, no extrinsic factor will stop you from achieving your daily task. Once you shape your psyche, productive behavior patterns will follow. Having said that, here are 5 things that I have personally found useful in shaping my mindset to combat the challenge of staying motivated as I, too, deal with the challenges of working from home.
1) Set Daily Goals
Now, this may seem like another tedious administrative task, but trust me, it works. Setting goals are useful as it provides a clear outline of what you have to achieve for the day. It prepares your mind for the task at hand, so as to not overwhelm yourself. The key is to set realistic yet challenging goals. Ones that require a measure of expertise but can also be achieved by day’s end.
Chalking off your daily goals at the end of the day will also provide you with a much-needed sense of accomplishment. This will go a long way in refueling yourself after a day’s work.
Some of you may be wondering: “Seriously... Music?”. Yes, music, in fact, research has shown that music improves memory and reduces stress. However, I should point out that genre is an important factor. You are unlikely to stay focused if you’re blasting loud pop music into your headphones.
Personally, I find classical music to be the most effective in maintaining my focus. In fact, as I type this article, I am listening to a Spotify playlist called “Intense Studying”. It has proven to be an incredible help in keeping me on track in fulfilling my daily goals. However, to each their own, you may find heavy metal music to be your biggest motivation aid but I implore you to find out what works for you.
The temptation to shove junk food down your throat has never been greater for me since I started working from home. So this serves as a reminder to myself to not neglect the importance of nutrition. It is far more than simply eating healthily, it is also about recognizing the impact that certain food will have on your body and mind. To all the chocolate lovers reading this, I have good news for you!
Chocolate has scientifically been found to increase productivity and happiness. It provides your body with a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is known as a “natural mood stabilizer” as it regulates anxiety. However, as chocolate is not the healthiest option, do take it in moderation, I would recommend having it at the start of your day to put you on the right path to conquer your goals of the day. Other great food options include:
3) Fatty Fish
4) Giving yourself a well-deserved break
Given that we are in the comforts of our homes, we are able to take breaks differently than if we were in the office. The definition of a break at home could equal lying down on your cozy bed for a 15-minute catnap. Being able to completely switch off from work during your break should not be underestimated. It is a luxury that only working from home will provide, take advantage of it by offering yourself unique breaks that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
However, a strong sense of self-discipline is equally needed when indulging in such pleasures. It is tempting to stop work and lie in bed for the rest of the day. Thus, the onus is on you to draw the line between taking a well-deserved break that you would otherwise be unable to take in the office and allowing your motivation to drain away.
Staying motivated during a situation that is unfamiliar to most of us is tricky but having a strong mindset is the first step in maintaining your productivity. Being motivated is a choice and with these steps, I hope that it will make it easier for you to achieve your goals during this period.