You want to hear something ironic? I struggled to write this article—and it’s essentially about how to stay motivated at work. I drafted a version that dove into workplace motivation theories and compared cognitive process theories to popular needs-based theories, citing lofty studies and expensive research along the way. But after reading it back to myself to edit I fell asleep—twice.
Switching gears, I decided to write a version that focused on organizational award systems in order to fuel company motivation—but quickly realized I’ve already done that, a couple of times, in fact.
Frustrated, and still somewhat lethargic from my boredom-induced nap earlier, I decided to try again. What about looking into employee happiness and how it can affect your company’s bottom-line? Oh, are you kidding me? Three posts have been done already about that? For reference: this one, this one, and this one—sheesh.
This is ridiculous.
So, now you see why it’s tough to finish this post?
What if we branched out and talked a little less about corporate employee motivation and tried to get a little more personal with it—something like “How to keep yourself motived.”
Hey, that’s pretty good.
Ok, new title:
How to Keep Yourself Motivated
More and more people are telecommuting every year. Don’t believe me? Fine—here’s a source:
“About one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home everyday.” [Ipsos/Reuters poll]
Did you catch that? Let me break down that math for you.
If you’re in a room with ten diligent workers (let’s call say you’re all at a Kentucky Fried Chicken), one of those ladies or gentlemen exclusively works from home while two people float between home and office—the fact that the gathering was at a KFC seems irrelevant now…Man, I could really go for some original reci…NO—I have to finish this article!
Where was I? Oh, that’s right—I was posing a question that would introduce a tip-based bullet list that most people will just skim right to instead of reading the lead up.
How do you avoid watching Netflix all day instead of working?
Get up early
Just because you don’t have that commute anymore doesn’t mean you should wake up and sluggishly hoist the laptop to your chest. Avoid the temptation to work from bed or wake up late and you’ll be happier and more constructive for it. Studies have shown that waking up early transforms you into a more productive person. While the crack of dawn isn’t right for everyone—test out some times and find what works best for your working habits.
Dress the part
Other than waking up early—dressing like you’re actually at the office is the hardest to actually pull off when you work from home. Dressing for work allows your brain to cleanly separate activities by putting you in working mindset to help you stay focused. You’re much less likely to be tempted by the couch or lured into baking a cake when you’re dressed for work. We’re not talking incredibly formal here, just something that you’d feel comfortable wearing to the office.
Routine, routine, routine
Find and stick to a working routine. While that’s easier said than done—try to keep a few things in mind.
- Be sure you aren’t isolated everyday—make of habit of trying to work around people
- Try to include exercise in your routine
- Once you find a structure, stick to it
- Include breaks and a lunch—and maybe a nap?
- Don’t work where you sleep
Use distractions as rewards
There’s a plethora of other things to do than work when you’re at home so instead of torture yourself, try to incrementally reward yourself with your worst vices. Finish that report, go ahead and watch an episode. Get through your emails, cruise Facebook for a minute. Small goals can scrub the drudgery away but remember, every reward may wind up costing you actual downtime later.