As most people find, working from home is quite challenging—especially at first. There are many distractions around you now which were not there before, whether that be a pile of laundry that needs to be done, daytime television or your dog running around your feet.

Unfortunately, pyjamas and a seat on the sofa or your bed, does not provide the same type of productivity and motivation you get from a desk and an office chair.

Being home alone can feel too quiet, or if you’re home with the family it can feel chaotic, and either way, it can lead to you finding it tough to stay on task and get your work done.

The following pointers may help you with this!

1. Establish a Workspace

It is tempting to work from the comfort of your own bed or the sofa whilst working at home, however doing this entails many issues of which you may not realise.  When you associate your bed with work, it can interfere with your sleep- and trouble sleeping will affect your efficiency the following day. As well as this, you are more likely to become distracted and less motivated to complete work – instead, watching a film or scrolling through social media may become more appealing when working from the sofa or your bed.
So even though your bed might feel like a comfortable spot, create a workspace somewhere else. The kitchen table or a desk in the living room are much better alternatives.

2. Create a Schedule for the week

When working from home, you will quickly discover how fast time escapes from you. You may find that you wake up later and may find that you start your workdays later and later. Then, your work hours extend later into the evenings, which causes you to stay up later at night as well.
Or you might find that you easily get distracted and go off track while working. And suddenly tasks that would usually take you 20 minutes to complete, turns into 2 hours. That is why it’s important to have a clear schedule of what you need to do and when. You need to establish what you want to achieve each day and set allocated time slots to do the tasks you need to do. It is worth allocating some time every couple of hours to take a little break as well!

3. Limit Your Distractions

Each time you are interrupted or distracted, it is easy to find it difficult to get back into the flow of work, reducing your productivity. To help this, before your workday starts, you should try and reduce the number of distractions that may occur. You could do this by silencing your phone or by making sure that the people around you know that you do not want to be disturbed.
If you are having to work from home with kids, it is important to keep them occupied to reduce how often they interrupt you. You could do this by giving them tasks to do or setting them up with a movie (but try not to watch it yourself!). Why not try setting up a reward system to assist with helping them get on with their own tasks or activities.

4. Work in Small Blocks of Time

As mentioned in the last point, blocking out amounts of time and planning what you will do during that timeframe, can help make your tasks feel more manageable. And, you may even feel more motivated within your work, if you switch up the tasks you have set out to do.
Managing your time will also hold you more accountable. You will be less likely to get lost on social media or within a television programme when you know you only have a limited amount of time to complete a task. And this way you will be less likely to procrastinate when you have given yourself a deadline.
Also rewarding yourself after a certain amount of time- for example with a chocolate cake, may be a bigger incentive for you focusing on your work!

5. Challenge Yourself

Setting challenges for yourself may also help motivate you. For example, you might try to write a certain amount in 30 minutes, and then on from there try and write the same amount in 25 minutes, and so on. Challenging yourself may be the incentive you need.
Through this, you may make some discoveries in ways that work best for you. For instance, you may type faster when you are sitting at the kitchen table, or perhaps you have a better focus right after lunch. Learning what works best for you, is vital to optimising your workday, and will make it easier for yourself to stay motivated and focused.

6. Practice Self-Care

Practising good self-care is just as important in contributing to your motivation and work performance. You will never be entirely focused or feel motivated if you are running on coffee fumes. You still need a healthy diet and plenty of rest whilst working from home.
But meeting your physical, social, and emotional needs right now is more challenging than usual. Eating a healthy diet might not be as easy when you’re limiting your trips to the supermarket and have access to the snack cupboard! And video chatting with your work colleges and friends isn’t the same as being with them in person. So, take some time to take a step back and ask yourself what else you can do to take care of yourself.

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