Working from home is not easy. You don’t get to see your colleagues as often, you may not be reporting to an office and you are probably sitting in front of your computer for a majority of the day. Some people might get easily distracted which can impact their productivity, while others may find working from home makes it hard to have a work-life balance. With their home now their office, they may feel they’re never out of work unless they turn off all their devices or leave the house.¹ Regardless of how someone responds to working from home due to the pandemic, the struggle to find motivation is an ongoing frustration many people are facing.
Motivation is a big factor in one’s productivity. Many people think that in order to be successful, you must be motivated every single day. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Motivation is just an emotion that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.² The feeling of motivation is due to a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain that results in the release of dopamine. Motivation is not linear or constant, but there are many things you can do to keep your motivation up while working from home. N4L’s got your back with some quick tips!
Set up goals for the day
Set manageable, small, realistic goals each day. This will give you a sense of satisfaction and confidence as you achieve them. Setting small, attainable goals will make you feel more in control and organized throughout the day, allowing you to visualize your daily progress and accomplishments.³ When creating goals, it is important to make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are known as SMART goals. Creating SMART goals helps to ensure success in achieving what you set out to do.⁴
Create a schedule
Without structure, it is easy to get distracted or feel overworked. Setting a schedule will allow you to establish the time you will begin and end work each day. Setting a schedule is not just important for achieving all you need to in your workday, but also ensuring work-life balance. This may mean scheduling time to work on projects, or setting time to go on a quick walk. Some of our own team members set alerts on their smart watches to stand and move every hour!
Working from home without taking breaks increases your risk of experiencing burnout. For this reason, it is important to try to find specific times throughout the day where you can take a short break. Take some time to stand up and stretch, have a snack, or go outside. Establishing times to walk away enables you to breathe, decompress, and refocus.⁵
Exercising is not only essential for your physical health but also your mental health. It improves memory and concentration, relieves stress, and boosts your mood.⁶ Whether it is going for a walk, doing a streamed workout class in your living room, lifting weights in a gym, or chasing your kids/pets around -- these are all ways to stay active for mental and physical well-being. Carving out time for yourself is not selfish, but a form of self-care. Focus on yourself and your health in order to recharge to get back to those things that are most important to you.
It is hard for many people to stay on top of their nutrition when they’re stressed at work. Our N4L Dietitians have heard it all. The most common reason people say they do not prioritize eating healthy is because they don’t have time to cook. Scheduling time for meal prep can help make healthy eating a part of an everyday routine. For those who simply do not want to be in the kitchen? Nutrition for Longevity can help!, Through N4L you receive non-GMO, high quality meals delivered to your home, ready to eat! Allowing us to take care of your meals saves time, and ensures you’re eating the daily nutrients your body needs to stay fuel and focused. N4L also sells premium coffee for the added energy kick needed in your day!
Get refocused and recharged.
When was the last time you had a good night's sleep? When’s the last time you took vacation days? Work-life balance is easily skewed for all the aforementioned reasons. While vacation time may look a little different due to the pandemic, a good night sleep is a vacation for our mind and body. Sleep is the time that our body is able to focus on what it needs. With time away from digestion and active movement, our body can work on healing and replenishing for all life will throw at you the next day. Try to limit screen time before bed, limit caffeine intake, and (dare we say it) try to relax and unwind. Better yet, take a staycation to recharge your batteries. You’ll be super refreshed and bounce back from the burnout of working from home for the past year.
- Lusinski N. 9 of the most challenging things about working remotely, according to people who do it. Business Insider website. https://www.businessinsider.com/working-remote-challenges-work-from-home-2019-10#and-it-may-be-hard-to-find-a-healthy-work-life-balance-9. Published October 8, 2019. Accessed February 21, 2021.
- Cherry K. What Is motivation?. Very Well Mind website. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-motivation-2795378. Updated April 27, 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021.
- MacKay J. Setting smarter daily goals: we asked hundreds of RescueTime users how they run their days. RescueTimeBlog website. https://blog.rescuetime.com/daily-goals/#:~:text=Daily%20goals%20bring%20a%20level,More%20organized. Published March 1, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2021.
- SMART Goal. CFI.https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/smart-goal/.Accessed February 22, 2021.
- Kanji S. How to boost productivity and stay motivated by taking breaks while WFH. Workest by Zenefits. https://www.zenefits.com/workest/how-to-boost-productivity-and-stay-motivated-by-taking-breaks-while-wfh/#:~:text=The%20solution%20for%20WFH%20stress%20%E2%80%A6&text=Countless%20studies%20have%20linked%20employees,more%20creativity%20than%20onsite%20breaks. Published October 8, 2019. Accessed June 5, 2021.
- Robinson L, Segal J, Smith M. The mental health benefits of exercise. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm#:~:text=Regular%20exercise%20can%20have%20a,and%20boosts%20your%20overall%20mood.Updated October 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021.