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WORK FROM HOME MOTIVATION TIPS

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One significant benefit of working out of a busy office is that you get to spend time with co-workers during the course of the day.

As a social species, having shared experiences such as collaborating on work projects or even sitting together on lunch breaks brings us together and make us feel more fulfilled.

Shooting the breeze, whether that be about a work related topic, or simply ‘that BBQ you have planned for the upcoming weekend’, becomes a welcome part of the job.

For all the known benefits of home working, it just cannot compete with the socialisation offered by office working.  If you’re working from home and in your own little bubble from 9-5 a lack of stimulation can eventually begin to act against you.

As most of us have felt during the course of lockdowns imposed around the world, it really doesn’t take long for isolation to begin having a negative impact on our wellbeing.

There are however ways to mitigate against this work from home boredom, and it involves taking a slightly different approach to how you would normally fill your workday.

Break up the mundane using the following tips to keep you engaged and motivated.

Set Easy Daily Goals And Celebrate Their Completion!

Canva - Writer at work_ deciding on goal

Having a simple to-do list to start the day is a good idea, but it’s also kind of a stale one

Your reward for completing a task on the traditional list is simply being able to move onto the next one in the hope that eventually (but very rarely) you’ll complete that list before the end of the working day.

However, we humans have a tendency to overestimate the amount of work we are capable of in a single day or week. The outcome of this is that the humble to-do list can instantly place us under self-inflicted time pressure. 

Whether goal setting is something you enjoy and partake in regularly already (or not) setting less strict daily goals and having a bit of fun whilst working through them can make your workday seem far less arduous. 

The aim here is to gamify the completion of tasks. 

Gamify all of them, from the mundane such as answering emails or filing documents, to the complex such as writing proposals or chairing a client meeting. No matter its significance the completion of each element of your to-do list  should be acknowledged and rewarded. 

If we take this approach our brain will associate each completion, no matter how small, as a win. And this achievement will be rewarded with a hit of dopamine and a surge of positive feelings.

This is the same tactic that many popular apps such as Habitica (for habits), Duolingo (for learning languages) and Zombies, Run! (for fitness), use to help make their audiences more engaged, more invested and feeling more responsible for the outcome of a task.

Applying this tactic to a generic workday is simple could look a little something like this…

1. Write down 4 work tasks that you want to complete by the end of the day

2. Draw a circle on a piece of paper and divide it into quarters

3. Working clockwise, write one of your tasks inside each quarter starting with the most difficult

4. Begin working through your tasks and if one is completed cover it with a coin, and move onto the next

5. When the day is done any coins that have been used to cover completed tasks can be spent on a treat or banked for a long term goal

Design An Interesting Workspace, And Then Don't Work There!

Scandinavian style hobby room interior with workspace for knitting, sewing, crocheting and designing handmade home textiles. Real photo.

If you propose working from a home office and spending up to 40 hours (sometimes more) per week in your workspace then why I ask is it not more common to see home offices given heaps of attention in amongst our living quarters?

After all not only is this the area of the home where you will be spending a lot of time, but it’s also the platform from which you’ll be aiming to make a living and put bread on the table.

Making your home office more interesting could and probably should be seen as an investment, and this can be done simply by considering some basic elements of design.

Designing indoor plants into your desk set-up in particular can make working from home more interesting. 

Houseplants are known to foster creativity as well as form a vibrant and energetic workplace which can manifest itself to retaining attention and focus longer across working hours.

By thinking of indoor plants as a design feature you’ll be able to use leaf form, leaf structure and color too to add aesthetic value to your office. This was a really enjoyable part of designing our own home offices

Having built a workspace that is ideal for your needs, you can now think of extending your workstation  beyond  a single location. 

Variety is the spice of life and so if you get the opportunity to work outside of your home office, even for short periods of the day, take it as changing scenery not only brings interest but likely also helps improve productivity.

Stop Working, Take A Break Instead.

A cup of cappuccino with beautiful latte art on blue background. Top view, central composition.

Fatigue is the enemy. 

The value of your work drops immensely when you’re tired or stressed, often to the point when you’ll have to revisit content with a clear head to catch any mistakes that may have crept in.

This is something to always remain aware of especially if you need to be fully switched on and producing your best work.

The challenge in managing fatigue, or tiredness in general, however is that you often only realise you’re at risk when it’s too late. 

By which time you’ve maxed out your concentration and have begun to struggle with comprehending written sentences, never mind work to your full potential.

Your brain alone uses a tremendous amount of energy when working at full capacity. Just how much  exactly is demonstrated well when we look at an activity that is low in physical exercise yet requiring huge mental exertion. The game of chess. 

A recent study revealed that chess Grandmasters can burn up to 6,000kcal per day during an intense competition. That’s equivalent to 2 or 3 times the average adult requires in daily sustenance, and all whilst sitting still!

Taking regular breaks during work therefore allows your brain to recuperate from its exertion. Think of them as creative fuel. 

No matter how much you enjoy working, or how good you are feeling at any point in time, to preserve your sharpness until the end of the day breaks are a must. 

Timing breaks into your working day can be done using a number of easy to use tools including the Motion Chrome extension which we tested it as part of our research into boosting productivity. It’s now become a permanent fixture on our laptops.

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