Motivation station: Tips to help you do your best work from home

Have you settled into the groove of working from home? Or are you finding that distractions (like baking the perfect cinnamon scroll) are getting in the way of your work? We’re here to help with some handy tips to boost your motivation and increase your productivity.

Get up and get moving

Sure, it’s tempting to stay in bed all day when you work from home. But are you really going to smash out a winning strategy while you’re propped up on the pillows? Probably not.

On your workdays, set your alarm as you usually would if you were heading into the office. Follow a similar routine to get yourself ready for the day – sure, you might not spend as long on grooming, but you still need to get up and going. If you usually walk 15 minutes to the train and then stand in a swaying carriage for a further 15 minutes, then go out for a brisk 30 minute walk before you sit down at your computer. It all helps to get yourself mentally prepared for the day ahead.

Create some semblance of structure

Yes, working from home can feel weird. The lines between work and play become blurred. So it’s important to create a bit of structure to give each day some normality. If you’re the type that likes to clear your email inbox before starting out for the day, why not create a home-based ritual for doing this? Perhaps with a cup of tea on the balcony or on the couch? Or maybe your team is still doing morning stand-ups … a great way to kick things off for the day. Then, create a daily and weekly task list, allot time to each task (don’t forget to give yourself breaks), and try to stick to it.

Instigate a personal wellness program

When you’re at the office (remember those days?), does your workplace offer perks like lunchtime yoga or meditation? If they do, make sure to keep up with wellness activities at home. In fact, with the feelings of anxiety and stress that come with the enforced isolation we’re all experiencing, it’s more important than ever to look after your mental health.

If you’re not one of the lucky ones who can access such programs at work, well, WFH is the perfect time to be your own boss in this department. There are many apps and online programs you can try – half an hour a day of something like Calm or Headspace, two excellent meditation apps; a quick yoga flow mid-morning; or perhaps a 15-minute mindfulness session after lunch.

Get out and get active

Working from home can be an extremely sedentary activity. There are no incidental stair climbs as you pop upstairs to chat to a colleague. No coffee runs or lunch breaks out of the office. And no commute with its top-and-tail walking. You could easily go through your day only taking a fraction of the recommended 10,000 daily steps.

To maintain productivity and motivation, exercise is key. As above, there are loads of apps you could try – HIIT classes, barre classes, karate … you name it. Or, lace up your joggers for a whip around the block. Don’t go overboard with new forms of exercise, though. The last thing you want during isolation is a torn muscle.

Get things done quickly and efficiently

Technology is guiding us through this strange time. It’s easy – and perhaps more important than ever – to stay in touch with colleagues, share ideas, and support each other’s professional growth. Tools like Slack, Zoom, Teams, Sharepoint, Docusign, and more are enabling us to collaborate and communicate like never before, and helping us to become better remote workers.

And remember…

Be patient, be kind – both to yourself and others. Working from home is challenging for the most productive and self-motivated starters. We hope the tips above help.