How to Self-Motivate While Working Remotely — Andy Sto
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, self-motivation can be difficult to cultivate except for perhaps a lucky few — which we are very jealous of by the way. But for the vast majority of people, it can be difficult to find motivation and keep the motivation throughout the day particularly if you are working remotely. It’s one thing if you are working in an office in which you may be extrinsically motivated because of the working culture, fear of reprimand from your superior, trying to show how much work you can do, or some other reason. But when you’re working remotely, you don’t have the same extrinsic motivation as you do in a group work setting. So, the onus is on you to get yourself going. However, the good news is that when you are working remotely, your toolbox to self-motivate is much bigger as you have more freedom and flexibility to do what works best for you. Here are some ways how to self-motivate while working remotely. We have found that they have helped us and hopefully they can do the same for you to keep up the motivation and focus!
Get Off to A Strong Start
Whether it’s a race or the workday, it’s important to start on the right foot. It’s difficult to self-motivate when you’re not properly rested, your hungover, or you don’t eat properly. So, to be able to motivate yourself you need to give yourself as much help as you possibly can. This means doing the right things — early. We have already talked about proven morning routines to boost your productivity in-depth but here are a few of them that can help to get y our day started right.
Start Your Morning the Evening Before
How you feel the next day depends largely on your actions the night before. Some good “evening before” practices include making a schedule and writing down your plans or goals for the next day, going to bed early, and not eating a large dinner too close to when you plan on going to sleep. These practices can help keep you organized and help you to get a good night’s sleep so you can take on the next day ready to go.
Some practices to avoid are watching tv or being on your phone in bed, drinking too much alcohol, and working too late. These can increase your stress and the ability to fall asleep — which is important because a good night’s sleep is not only beneficial for the next day but also chronic sleep deprivation can have negative health consequences as well like obesity, depression, diabetes, etc.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed is something that our parents constantly repeat to us growing up. And for good reason. This small accomplishment can get you started checking off your to-do list only moments after you wake up.
Chronic dehydration is extremely common. Most adults actually don’t drink enough water throughout the day. This is significant because fatigue and tiredness are 2 effects of dehydration — which are the archnemesis of self-motivation, right? Since you don’t drink water when you sleeping, your body goes some hours without any water so it’s important to drink water as soon as you wake up but also it’s very important to be mindful of your water consumption throughout the day so you can help to keep your mind and body happy.
Eat A Good Breakfast and Take Vitamins
Similarly, to drinking water when you wake up, you must eat a good breakfast and take vitamins in the morning as well. Breakfast is cited as the most frequently skipped meal of the day, which is not good. Contrary to the message “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” was created as part of a marketing campaign, it’s just as important as the other meals to help you concentrated and not thinking about food.
Set Yourself Up for Success
So, now that you have started healthy evening and morning routines, the next step in how to self-motivate while working remotely is setting yourself up for success throughout the day and keeping up the best practices. These little things can help to keep you focused and motivated throughout the day.
Create A Workstation
If you have a dedicated workspace it can help to keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand and allow you to not be distracted and therefore lose your motivation. Your workstation should work for you. It should be comfortable, ergonomic, and in general, a healthy place to work from. And of course, the quieter and further away from distractions, the better.
What the ideal workstation is can vary greatly between each person. One should make an ideal setup that perfectly suits the needs of your job. Having a nice and comfortable home office can make doing your work easier and more comfortable or even more enjoyable than trying to repurpose your dinner table or kitchen counter as a workstation.
Make A Schedule or To-Do List
As we previously said, planning your day via schedule or to-do list the night before is a great way to stay organized and you can start feeling the little injection of dopamine every time you check off one of your tasks. While it was mentioned to do it the night before, it doesn’t have to be then. If you like to start off your day by making a schedule, that’s fine too! Do whatever fits your rhythm.
Stick to Your Schedule
Making a schedule and sticking to a schedule can be two massively different things at times. Whether it’s that we are overzealous in our planning and bite off more than we can chew, or simply that life happens. Both instances can happen, and that’s just part of life. The best thing you can do is just control what you can. And try not to change your schedule for superfluous things like spending too much time on social media or getting distracted with tasks around the house.
Put On (Actual) Clothes
Working in your pajamas may seem like a dream, and for some, it certainly can be. There is nothing wrong with being relaxed and comfortable when you are working remotely — it’s one of the perks of working remotely, right? While this might be the case it’s not so conducive to a healthy work environment. If you are in the “cozy” state of mind it can be more difficult to truly focus and to self-motivate.
Create A Reward System
Everyone knows about the carrot and the stick, right? The carrot being a reward that you get from accomplishing tasks whereas the stick is some sort of punishment for failing to do so. Research has suggested that rewarding employees is more effective for motivating action. This can be extrapolated and used while working remotely too. So, instead of stressing out over not being motivated try to motivate yourself by giving yourself some sort of reward. We know, it’s easier said than done. But try to make a reward system that can drive you to finish your tasks at hand.
Silence Notifications (Mostly)
There are few things more distracting than the repeated vibrating of your phone for every Facebook, Instagram, email, or text message. Even when it comes to work emails or a work chat, the number of notifications can be distracting. This probably goes without saying but turning off your social media notifications during working hours is vital in staying motivated. You can lose yourself scrolling on Facebook far too easily. However, it can also be true for work-related messaging or emails as well. Work usually consists of more than just replying to messages or emails throughout the day. Of course, there is some level of necessary communication that occurs, but there is also individual work that needs to be done at some point too, right? So, you can set your notifications only to occur during certain times in which you are available for them. You should probably let your team or coworkers know your schedule as well to avoid any conflicting scheduling or missing an important piece of information or impromptu meeting.
But, Don’t Be A Recluse
But keeping to yourself while your working doesn’t mean that you have to be some sort of hermit or something. It also is important to keep a connection to your colleagues and friends and family. But try to do so in a way that allows you to set aside specific times for work as well. Humans are social creatures after all. You can find yourself thoroughly demotivated without some level of human interaction.
Go Outside / Get Exercise
You have definitely heard this before. There are who knows how many articles and pieces of research that state that going outside or doing exercise is good for you. It’s pretty much common knowledge that getting outside and/or getting exercise is good for our mental and physical health. And it also can play an important role in self-motivation as well. Have you reached the point where you are staring at your computer screen waiting for the work to be done magically? This is probably a good time to move around either exercising or just going for a walk outside. Getting your blood flowing as well as some fresh air can help to clear your head and to get you motivated.
Drink Coffee or Tea — But Not Too Much
Coffee and tea are great for a boost when your energy levels drop. However, you shouldn’t be drinking them like water. While it’s no doubt that without coffee and tea, who knows how much work would not have been done. They are truly miracle workers. And they also can provide some health benefits to boot! However, just as there are some benefits, there can be some risks too — particularly if you drink too much — like anxiety, iron deficiency, and disrupted sleep. So, it’s important to keep the amount of coffee or tea you drink within reasonable levels.
Create A Personal Ban on Certain Sites During Working Hours
Some websites like Buzzfeed or something similar are pretty much designed to hook you and keep you there. So, it’s no wonder why it would be a good idea to not let yourself on certain websites when you are trying to stay motivated. Of course, it can be any number of different websites. Whatever it is to you, try to keep yourself from procrastinating on your favorite website.
Have A Side Project
Having an additional project can help you to stay motivated as well. If you have found that perhaps you don’t work a full 9–5 when working remotely? This can often be the case if you transition from the office where a lot of time is consumed by coffee breaks, work gossip, and frequent meetings. So, if you have some extra time in your day it’s better to do something that you enjoy or perhaps a side-hustle and to try to avoid binge-watching Netflix in all your free time.
Take Real Breaks
Unfortunately, eating lunch while working has become a workplace norm. The “break” in lunch break seems to have almost disappeared. It’s time to take it back. And not only at lunch. Taking small breaks even every hour can help you to actually be motivated during the time you want to work. Aft continuously working for hours your concentration will markedly decrease. Help yourself and make sure to take the breaks you need.
Do What’s Best for You
Is this a comprehensive list that will work perfectly for everyone, all the time? Probably not. The important thing is to try all of them, or just a few, and see what works best for you! You may be doing something as a part of your routine because “it’s just what you always have done”. And you won’t know what works for you, or what doesn’t until you try. How to self-motivate while working remotely will be different for everyone, but hopefully, this list can get you started in the right direction.
Originally published at https://andysto.com on May 1, 2021.