Finding it hard to get back into the swing of things? Getting sidetracked and not getting much of anything accomplished? Holidays, time off, school holidays, and having kids all are wonderful things but in the same breath can be exhausting and distracting from your job. For those of us who are freelancing or self-employed and working from home, we have it pretty good. The freedom to wear pyjamas all day, to work when it suits us, we can play what music we want to work to and the list of positives are boundless; not many people talk about how bloody hard it is to stay focused and motivated. When that laundry hamper is bulging, the floors need cleaning, the dog needs walking and the empty fridge and the still-to-be-unpacked boxes in the study that is begging to be organised and put away. It can be a minefield of distraction bombs that need to either be done or put to the back of your mind till the end of the workday. Here are my top tips on getting back into the swing of working and staying motivated.
Ten Ways to Ease Back into Work & Stay Motivated
1. Plan Out Your Day
I am the first to admit, I am a list person who LOVES crossing things off the to-do list. I have created a KanBan daily planner for you to print and use. Have you heard of KanBan before? If not, the idea of it is to do the top three things first and not putting all the things on your list. Creating a small actionable to-do list stops it from being overwhelming. You can download the free planner here
Here is one of the best things about working from home and for yourself, you can listen to whatever you want! I can’t stand the radio at home, but I choose a Spotify playlist for the day and have it at a level where if my phone rings I can talk and listen easily with it on. I find if it’s too loud then it can be distracting.
3. Clean Station
There is nothing inspiring about clutter. Embrace Marie Kondo’s tidying technique and if it doesn’t spark joy get rid of it! What I like to have on my desk is my computer, mouse and mouse pad, coffee cup (preferably full of black coffee and half a Stevia), a favourite pot plant or a bunch of flowers, my journal which has my daily to-do list, favourite pen and pencil, wooden ruler, iPhone and headphones. I clean my desk at the end of almost every day with a wet wipe and I work with the windows open to get fresh air flowing through my home.
4. Dress Your Tech
It is something you stare at for hours so why not spend a few minutes jazzing it up? I adore DesignLoveFests range of free desktop wallpapers, they are free and creative. She is so inspiring and one to follow on Insta if you aren’t already.
5. Power Dressing
Just because you can work in your pyjamas all day, doesn’t mean you should. I know that for me when I don’t get out of my gym clothes, or pyjamas work my mood and work reflects it. I like to wear at my desk what I would normally wear to a cafe meet/catch-up. Something classic like dark jeans and a white shirt is my go-to outfit for the weekday.
6. 20 Minute Blocks
A friend of mine gave me this tidbit and it is wonderful when you have a lot to get through in one day. Set a timer for 20 minutes and turn off your email notifications, turn your phone on silent and work on one task until the timer goes off. When it goes off move onto another thing on your list. I was so surprised how fast I actually knocked things out without the distractions, zero multi-tasking and with the pressure of a time limit.
7. Phone Down
It goes without saying, this addictive portable device we love and hate is something we check on average 86 times a day. Put it on silent, turn it face down and get on with it.
8. Breathing Space
Allow yourself space between projects to debrief. This is something I have learnt that I really need to do to get in the right headspace. Go for a quick 5min walk even if it is to check the letterbox, a quick stretch or make a coffee before beginning the next project helps me.
9. Top 3 Early
I have found if my to-do list is overwhelmingly long it has the opposite effect on what I want. I want my list to remind me of all the important things I need to get to that day/week. My tip is to prioritise three things that are the most important and do them first. Employ the 20-minute block rule and get it done.
10. Mindset Moves
Meditate/mantras/mood boards/yoga/walking/EFT tapping – whatever your chosen mindset poison, make sure you block out some time daily. Even if you only have two minutes in the shower in the morning, make that your time to go over in your head what you want to achieve.
I hope that has given you some new ideas or inspired you to get and stay motivated. It can be tough working for yourself at home, but it is such a luxury to be able to. Do you have other things you do that gets you ready for the workday ahead? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below or find me on Instagram!