7 Failsafe Ways To Motivate Yourself When You Work From Home.
Working freelance from home sure has it's perks there's no doubt about that.
There's the lack off office politics, there's the free timetables, the ability to take a day off on a whim, not having to fill in time sheets and don't even get me started on the perks of working from your sofa.
But for all it's highlights of course, like any job it has it's pitfalls. Working from home and working for yourself has it's strains and the biggest of all comes from the knowledge that you and you alone are making your cash. Sick day? You ain't getting paid. Holiday? You're losing money as the days go on.
It can be a ballache for your mojo so here's 7 of my failsafe ways to stay motivated when working from home:
Create A Routine:
This can be the most crucial part to your job but also the most difficult to get right. Working from home means your lack of a normal 9 to 5 and trying to replicate this can in fact be the most detrimental thing you can do. Chances are if you're working from home or working from yourself it's something more creative and the 9 -5 office life never suited you so why we think it's a good idea to implement that from our living room is beyond me.
Work out a routine that suits you and suits your life and the way you carve your business. For me I know that despite getting up early ish every day I just don't have the brainpower to work in the mornings, whereas the later in the day it gets the more inspiration I have. Knowing that I tend to start easy with a big breakfast and a cuppa in front of a reality TV programme followed by more menial tasks like scheduling tweets and emails. Into the afternoon I take on the big tasks of the day like finances and commissions and then I blog at night in front of the telly with something sweet.
Work out what works for you, work out when your motivation peaks and create a routine that plays on that, and gives you the downtime when you need it too.
I've seen this written a thousand times and we don't want to believe it but it's true. As much as we want to think working from home means working in your jammies all day but it really can be a motivation killer (it's also what the rest of society thinks we do but that's another blog post for another day).
It doesn't have to be all your best fineries, it doesn't have to be a suit but to get up and get dressed can be the first step in the days motivation. Even if it's leggings and a jumper - the universal freelance uniform - or workout gear or loungewear, just the act of getting out of your pjs is enough. Make sure you're warm and comfortable but dressed and you've already made the first move.
If you take anything away from this blog post make it this tip - I have also seen Hannah Gale and Debs from Bang On Style recommend this so you know it's the real deal. Putting on shoes instead of padding about in socks or slippers is my best tool for giving me that get up and go for the day. I have a pair of Primark three quid daps that I wear exclusively in the house when I'm working and it just makes you feel like you have your shit together. Honestly, don't knock it till you've tried it and see what a difference it makes.
Replace Human Contact:
It can be a lonely long day when you're working from a desk in your spare room and everyone else in the world is in an office filled with colleagues. Replacing human contact is a huge part to your motivation for the day so use whatever works for you. Maybe it's having the TV on as background noise, maybe it's music, maybe it's a spotify playlist that always does the trick or maybe it's Radio One.
For me I tend to actually get a bit of human contact as I work either from my Mum's house where she pops in and out of or from mine and my other half works from the property too. It actually serves as a distraction for me when they're about so if it is a day when I'm home alone I fill the silence with my iPad and iPlayer and a documentary (preferably Stacey Dooley or Louis Theroux) and I work really good in front of it.
Recognise Your Procrastinating:
The ultimate tool for creating the most motivated routine is recognising when you're procrastinating and what your triggers are. It's the same as carving a routine for yourself mentioned in the first bullet point but more like creating a routine of avoiding those triggers.
For me being in the house working the same time as my Mum is a huge procrastinating no no for me so if we can help it we try not to have whole days at home together. We spend too much time gassing and drinking tea and getting nothing done so I'll leave early or work from my own house if Joss is likely to be out working all day. For you maybe it's Instagram or the mounting pile of washing up or your phone so set everything to flight mode, turn your desk to the window and try to curb what kicks you out of your funk.
Get Out The House:
Might seem a bit counter productive but getting out of the confines of the same four walls does wonders for my motivation and all round productivity. Sure working from a coffee shop is incredible for my inspiration and I really knuckle down but it ain't so great for my bank balance so my failsafes also include working from a new environment (I worked in my friend's house last week whilst she was out and got a mint done) or simply getting out in the fresh air. I walk a neighbours dog 3 days a week most weeks and it provides me with an hour out the house in the most beautiful countryside without my phone and clears my head and I genuinely love it rain or shine or freezing cold.
Allow Yourself A Break:
And finally, if you ain't feeling it you just ain't feeling it. Allowing yourself a break and not pushing yourself to the point of breaking is crucial to maximising your motivation. If you're having an off day and you can't get your head in gear then take the afternoon off and do something lovely for yourself. You don't produce your best work or content when your mind isn't in it anyway and for me I always find taking that step away then coming back to it is a sure fire way to get me all motivated again.
Have a late morning if you need the sleep, take an afternoon off to get the food shop done before tea if your brain isn't in it, up and leave for the weekend if you have the resources, use your time to the best of your ability and you'll thank me for it later - after all, this flexibility IS the biggest perk of the job.
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