If I had a pound for every time someone said to me ‘how do you stay motivated when working from home? I’d just stay in my pyjamas all day..’ I would probably have… about £20.
It seems to be one of my most asked questions after telling people what I do, usually after ‘so what is a blogger/youtuber?’ or ‘ So how much money do you make?’
To be honest, when I started working from home, I did wonder how I would manage. Would I be tempted by Netflix all day and the allure of afternoon naps? After all, I’d always found working from home quite tough, and I’d always find something better to do than work. However, now we’re in July, which means I have been working from home for over 9 months. I could of grown a baby by then. That’s a pretty long time.
Over these past nine or so months, I’ve learnt some ways to stay motivated and on the right track. I have to say, it’s been easier than I imagined, and if you’re worried about taking the plunge and how you’ll stay motivated, don’t worry and don’t let it put you off!
Get Up And Get Dressed: The number one thing I don’t allow myself to do is to stay in my pyjamas. To be fair having a dog means I have to get up and walk him so this makes me get up. But I can imagine if it’s just you, it could be easy to just sit in bed with your laptop. I always find I am much more productive by getting up, showering and getting dressed as if I was going to work. Of course no need to put a suit on, but I always find getting up sets me up for the day.
Wake Up Early: It’s tempting to think ‘hey I’m the boss, I’m going to have a lie in..’ but I always find that getting up early means you can make the most of your day. I tend to wake up 7/8am and then depending on when I sit down at my laptop, I will adjust the time that I switch off. Though it’s all about finding out what works for you, if you’re a night owl maybe working a little later may work for you. It’s all about finding what works best for you, which you usually find out within the first weeks of working from home. The beauty of working from home means that you set your own routine and you don’t have to conform to the usual 9-5 if that doesn’t work for you.
Make Clear Goals For Each Day: I make to do lists every night for the next day, which means when I get up, I know exactly what I need to do for that day. I also make my lists realistic, I used to make huge lists that would include a weeks worth of tasks for one day. Yeah that never happened so I tend to make it realistic and then work out how much time each task will take. I just find this keeps me on the straight and narrow and means I’m less likely to do other things.
Prioritise Tasks: When you work from home, it’s very easy to get distracted. You don’t have a manager breathing down your neck or able to watch you when you sneak onto Facebook. But you have to be motivated, for example, I always find that things like emails and of course Twitter to be so distracting, so closing them down and working on stuff that actually needs to be done means you’ll get through your tasks quicker. Realistically emails don’t have to be answered as soon as you get them, so I try to sit down in the morning first thing to go through my inbox from the previous day.
Make A Separate Space: Okay being a bit of a hypocrite here as right now as I write this, I am on the sofa with Frank next to me and we’re watching Friends. Okay I have Friends on and he’s asleep. Today I was feeling lonely so I popped friends on to make me feel better (you will you’re a bit lonely sometimes) but I do have a separate room to film in and blog from. I try to work in there as much as I can, as it’s good to have a space to separate from the house. Otherwise when it comes to finishing up work you’ll be still thinking about work and not being able to switch off.
How To Not Be Lonely: The one thing that I miss the most from my TA trip is not having people around me constantly. Working for yourself can be very lonely and I am so glad that I have Frank cause although he is a dog, he keeps me company and gives me cuddles so I never feel like I’m on my own. But sometimes you miss human interaction. I find just getting out of the house helps, whether it’s to the gym, for a walk with Frank or for a coffee with a pal it all really helps. I also have a Whatsapp group with my friends so sometimes talking in that on a break always helps. Though sometimes when you’ve got lots of work on, you have to put Friends on in the background and that always makes me feel a bit better.
Have Breaks! Don’t let yourself work all day and night without a break. Make breaks for lunch/snacks etc… get out of the house for 40 minutes or even just go to a different room for a bit. Step away from your computer to keep yourself sane! You deserve breaks just as much as anyone else even if you’re working from home!
Avoid Distractions: Whether it’s Netflix, or Twitter, work out your biggest temptation. Use a website blocker for social media, or maybe work in the room where you don’t watch Netflix. If you are tempted by eating *something I thought I would do* just don’t buy things that will tempt you, and just be tough on yourself. Keeping a list of to do’s/goals in mind will keep you on track 🙂
How To Keep Being Creative: One thing I worried about was how I would think of new things to write and make videos about. The thing is whilst you can go a little stir crazy at home, inspiration usually hits at the funniest of times. If you ever get writers block, take yourself away from the laptop. Got for a walk, have a shower and I promise the inspiration will come back to you. As I work for myself, I want to make sure that I keep learning new things, so I try to regularly watch tutorials on how to edit photography/videos to try and learn new skills. Recently I went about learning more about SEO, so every month I try to learn something new. This is a good way to keep learning, and don’t worry you won’t lose creativity from working at home.
So there are a few tips for staying motivated at home. I hope it’s helped in some way, I love working from home as there’s no one to annoy me, or check on me WHICH I LOVE. But it can be tough too, I realise I am incredibly lucky and if you’re thinking about doing it… do it 🙂 being your own boss is the best!