Wondering how to motivate yourself to work from home?
We know exactly what you’re going through.
Because of the pandemic, working at home has become the “new normal” for lots of people worldwide.
And because of how challenging it is, the transition from working in the office to working remotely hasn’t been smooth.
So if you’ve been asking yourself “Why do I feel so unmotivated working from home?”, it’s usually because of distractions like:
- scrolling through social media and seeing you’ve wasted tons of hours already
- binge-watching Netflix
- loud neighbors who do their in-house repairs all day
- family members who want to “bond” when you’re trying to work
- and more!
I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone — it’s completely normal if you find yourself feeling unmotivated working from home.
Also, I come bearing good news.
Since I’ve been a work-at-home freelancer for 8 years now, I’ve discovered tons of tips and tricks to help me power through my working day. And today, I’m going to share these remote working tips with you. 🙂
Here are the best work from home tips for success you can do to have a productive day.
1. Stick to your usual working schedule
When I first started working from home, I would work whenever I wanted, so there wasn’t any structured workday that disciplined me into finishing my work on time.
Sometimes, I’d wake up and work immediately. Other times, I’d laze around all day and just work before going to sleep so I had to stay up all night.
It was a disaster.
After tons of testing, though, I realized that having a structured working schedule works best.
I would wake up at 6 am (or 7!), do my morning routine first, and then start work at exactly 8:30 am every day.
It doesn’t matter if I’m travelling, hanging out in a coffee shop or visiting my parents — I would always start work at 8:30 am so I have enough time to really focus on a project or take a much-needed break.
I do this by working in time blocks, which is what we’re going to talk about below.
2. Work in time blocks
Blocking out small amounts of time and using it to actually work can make you more productive.
Using time blocking allows you to organize your day into blocks of time for completing a specific task. Each block of time is dedicated to accomplish one task, or a group of tasks, but only those tasks.
It doesn’t have to be super complicated. For example, here’s mine:
7:00 am: Wake up and do morning routine
8:00 am: Work on Passion Project
8:30 am to 10:00 am: Start work (review blog content and emails)
See that task above? I’ve blocked 1 hour and 30 minutes to do content review only for my job. No meetings, no webinars or courses, no data analysis — just pure content review.
I love time blocking because it makes sure I’m productive, even when working on a limited time. After all, if you’ve done it and you’ve given yourself a tight deadline, then you will be less likely to procrastinate.
3. Do the “5-Minute Rule”
How do you stay motivated to work virtually?
One of the best ways to stay motivated to work virtually is to use the “5-minute rule”. You’ll tell yourself that you only have to work on something for only 5 minutes, and that you can take a break after.
That’s what I do every time I’m having a hard time starting on a task: “It’s okay, Jiyuu, you’ll just work on it for 5 minutes so open up your laptop and get started!”
And more often than not, I realize that every time I see I’m past the 5-minute mark, I continue to work because the momentum is already there. 🙂
Usually, when you’re working from home, getting started is the hard part. But you know what? Once you’ve started, it’s actually pretty easy to continue working, so this tip works wonders.
4. Set up a dedicated workspace
Do you have a fancy room in your house that’s dedicated to your own home office?
I don’t. And Mirai doesn’t have one either.
Instead, what we have are 2 desks in our apartment that are exclusively for work.
This way, we don’t work at our beds and associate work with sleep — we work only when we’re sitting up and facing our work desks, so we’re more productive.
In fact, we both have this wooden laptop desk from Amazon because of how perfect it is for our “home office” needs. Its size is just right for our cozy 1-bedroom apartment, so it’s great for small spaces.
Also, we’re not super handy, so we appreciate that we were able to assemble this desk in less than an hour! 😀 Definitely a “win” in our books.
Personally, I use it as an office desk, study desk, computer desk and writing desk.
What I liked about it when I saw it online was that it has shelves. Yay. Instead of my books and binders being everywhere, I can put them all in one spot, so I feel more organized. This desk gives me more room than what I had before.
It can fit my laptop, keyboard and mouse, journal, favorite scented candle and my daily cup of coffee (or tea) whenever I work, so we really love it.
Mirai’s desk has the same items as mine, but she also added her Kimetsu no Yaiba toys for inspiration.
Remember, you don’t need to have a super expensive workspace if you’re working from home.
Sometimes, a sturdy desk and an ergonomic chair are all you need to get started.
5. Reward yourself
How do you combat work from home fatigue?
That’s easy. Make sure to spend time rewarding yourself whenever you get done with certain tasks at work.
For example, whenever I have a huge workload for the day, I make it a point to treat myself with my favorite cup of tea, milk tea or coffee when I’m done.
Or when I feel like I want to splurge, I take Mirai out for lunch and we visit our favorite Japanese or Korean restaurants and eat our well-deserved meal together. 🙂 And yes, we even eat dessert!
Rewards don’t need to be in the form of food or drinks, though.
Another way you can motivate yourself to keep on working is by watching your favorite show whenever you complete an important work task.
For us, this means working hard in the morning and completing a task. Then, eating our home-cooked meal for lunch and watching an episode of Schitt’s Creek, One-Punch Man or Demon Slayer together.
Once we’re done with 1 episode, we turn it off and resume working.
This works in two ways:
- We reward ourselves for completing a task, and,
- We get motivated to work again and finish the tasks for the day so we can watch again at night
The next time you’re trying to work at home, try it. It’s so effective because a small incentive can often go a long way when trying to inspire yourself to work productively.
Final Thoughts on Work-At-Home Motivation Tips
Sure, it can be hard to stay motivated when you work from home or work remotely anywhere in the world.
But with these tried-and-tested tips that you’ve just learned, I’m confident that your motivation and productivity levels will kick in and working at home will come naturally to you — in time.