Here are some strategies for helping you stay motivated while working remotely.
Motivation vs. Focus - What's the difference?
Motivation and focus are two words that get thrown around quite often. In fact, we even wrote an article on “How To Stay Focused While Working Remotely”. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably so let's take a mental step back: what do they actually mean?
Motivation is the desire to do something. It's the initial push that gets you going. Motivation can be fueled by external factors like money or praise from your boss, or it can come from within, or both.
Focus, on the other hand, is the ability to concentrate on a task for an extended period of time. Focus varies in intensity: some people can focus for short periods of time but get distracted easily, others can focus for hours on end without being sidetracked by anything else going on around them. The term "Deep Work" has become more widely used in recent years. Deep Work aims at scheduling specific periods of time (3h for example) for one important (and sometimes mentally challenging) task.
Remote Work Motivation Strategy 1: Reduce digital noise
The internet has a vast amount of distractions: browsing on social media, watching YouTube videos, or reading articles that have nothing to do with work. Social media in particular can quickly take up a lot of your mental space. To avoid this and keep your motivation on what's important, set aside specific times during the day for checking social media.
If there's any time where people are most likely to check their phones for notifications and updates from friends, it's first thing in the morning. That's why it's best not to check social media first thing when getting into work mode and once again after coming home from an afternoon away from home base—it'll only take up more time than needed for other responsibilities like responding to emails or taking care of household tasks before heading off into dreamland again after a long day at work.
You can dive deeper into the topic of noise and stress reduction by reading the guide "Experts Reveal the Best Ways to Reduce Stress for Remote Workers" by remote.com.
Remote Work Motivation Strategy 2: Prioritize Self-Care
When people think of self-care, they may only think of taking vacations or other times away from work. In fact, self-care is more than that: it is an ongoing process of evaluating how you feel, what your needs are, and making adjustments to meet those needs. It’s also about prioritizing your mental health, meditating, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy foods. You need to be at the top of your game if you’re going to get things done efficiently and stay motivated.
Keep in mind: that self-care is not selfish. It’s important that you take care of yourself so you can be productive while working remotely.
Remote Work Motivation Strategy 3: Limit Meetings and Emails
If you're working remotely, you are probably having quite a few meetings with your team. Always try to keep work-related meetings short and to the point. The same goes for emails—if you can get away with not sending something over email then do so. This is especially important if your company uses Slack or another messaging app because you can quickly answer with a short message instead of formulating a whole email and wrapping your mind around each and every formulation.
Remote Work Motivation Strategy 4: Reach Out to Your Team
In a remote work environment, it's important to know that you can still reach out to your coworkers for advice or help when the need arises. If you're working on a project and run into an issue, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to talk to someone about it without being in the same room.
You can also combine this strategy with the previous one of self-care and reach out to your team for reasons other than work. As you do not have a water cooler to hang around and chat about the latest news, you can go for an engaging game, or fun icebreakers instead.
Remote Work Motivation Strategy 5: Keep a Routine
One of the most effective ways to boost your motivation is to create a routine that works for you. The key is having a daily schedule that’s both flexible enough to accommodate work, but also strict enough to keep you in line with your goals.
If you’re new to working remotely, it may take some trial and error before finding the ideal amount of structure and flexibility that suits your needs. But once you do find something that works right for you (and sticks), it'll become second nature—and help keep motivation high.
Staying motivated while working remotely means creating a routine that works for you, setting boundaries, and allowing yourself time to recharge throughout the day
When you work remotely, there are a lot of things that are out of your control. You'll have to deal with the inevitable distractions and disruptions, but it's still important to stay motivated and productive. If you're having trouble staying motivated at home or in your co-working space, try setting some boundaries for yourself.
It's not easy to stay motivated while working remotely, but with the right strategies, you can make it work. By prioritizing self-care, limiting distractions, and reaching out to coworkers when necessary, you'll be able to find a routine that fits your needs.
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- Remote.com - How To Stay Focused While Working Remotely
- Journal of Organizational Behavior - Self-determination theory and work motivation
- Unsplash, Giphy