Like many people right now, I’ve recently started working from home. Not only is this a new experience in itself for me, but it’s also a brand-new job. I’d already heard of people struggling to adapt to this situation – lacking motivation, getting easily distracted – but up until now, while in my old retail job, I thought these were silly complaints.
As it turns out, I’ve already begun to see these signs in myself. I’m already much less motivated than I was a few weeks ago, and sometimes I struggle to maintain focus. The routine of getting up and getting a bus to work, as tiring as it was at times, was also what woke me up and got me into “work mode”. Now, the lines between relaxation and work are beginning to blur. These are some tips I’ve found useful over the past few weeks to keep myself motivated:
Keep your workspace tidy
I think there’s nothing more demoralising than mess. If you can try to keep your work area clean and tidy, it could have a massive impact on how you feel mentally. You could even try to decorate a little with lots of bright colours – although, nothing too distracting – or scented candles.
Avoid sitting in one room all day
If your work allows you to do so, move to the sofa for an hour here or there, or even try to sit outside if it’s a nice day. This will help to keep your brain active and awake, rather than sitting in the same position all day. It’s best to keep your workspace far away from where you sleep if possible, so that you can mentally separate ‘work time’ from relaxation time, and then you can wind down more easily at night. It will also allow you time to stretch and move which is so important for your muscles and posture. This brings me to my next point.
Move as much as you can
Being in one position all day, especially if it’s hunched over a laptop, can be really bad for your body and back. It can lead to cramping, or just discomfort in general. If you can, make the effort during breaks and downtime to move around, stretch, and go for walks in the fresh air. It’ll be incredibly beneficial for you and your body and will help to avoid burnout. Taking up hobbies such as gentle yoga or jogging might also be a good idea.
Interact with people
Keep in touch with friends and family, try to have conversations here and there. Group work and conference calls can be great, but face to face interaction – within social distancing guidelines, of course – can be good for your mental health and can help greatly with motivation.
Eat healthy and try not to snack on junk foods
When you’re just sitting around the house, it can be easy to overeat or even miss meals when you don’t have a schedule. Try to come up with a balanced food plan, and make sure you’re eating breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Snack on healthy items like nuts or fruit throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
Open the window, get some fresh air
This is a small thing that I’ve noticed can improve my mood drastically when I’ve been sitting in one room on my laptop all day. Let the air in and take deep breaths, improving your environment and ensuring that you’re not sitting in a room with stale air for hours on end.
Look online for more tips
These simple tips can work wonders on your mood and motivation while working at home. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge difference in myself since following them. If, like me, you’ve been struggling to adapt to working from home, don’t forget that you’re not alone. Lots of us are in the same boat, and if you make sure to look after yourself, things can get a little bit easier day by day.