10 tips for staying motivated when working from home – Page 2

6. Challenge yourself

This is something that I’ve started doing recently. I set myself a goal each day to work a certain amount of ‘billable’ hours. I keep a tally of how I’m doing throughout the day with how much money it should bring in, mind order depending on the project. It sounds a bit money-obsessed doesn’t it? But it really does help. I know we need to earn a certain amount to be able to pay ourselves every month or we won’t be able to afford the mortgage and that’s a great motivator! The idea of course is to not only reach the goal but to surpass and keep surpassing it every day so that I know that I’m always making progress.

7. Reward yourself

This is firmly tied to Tip 6 above. Build in a reward system. If you reach your goal or generally feel like you’ve been performing well then give yourself a bit of a reward. It doesn’t have to be anything big – a bottle of wine at the end of the week (that’s quite often mine), more about a bar of chocolate or a walk to relax in the evening. Whatever takes your fancy. It’s a way to acknowledge to yourself that you’ve been working hard and deserve a treat.

8. Develop a sense of urgency

I sometimes think I’ve got an overdeveloped sense of urgency, but it is a real driver to get things done. I don’t mean make yourself think everything is urgent to the extent of being in a constant panic. It’s just a case of recognising the importance of getting things done so that you don’t waste your time on other things. The mortgage is a great trigger for this as well – I need to get projects finished to bring in the money to pay the mortgage. If the mortgage isn’t your motivator then maybe it’s making sure that your client is happy.

9. Keep your workspace clear

I really do find that a muddled office gives me a muddled head. That’s a real problem for me because I’m not a naturally tidy person. But if I keep the desk clear of paper and everything organised in such a way that I can easily find things then it really helps my productivity. Think about it, if you’ve got a task that you’re prevaricating over because there’s something about it that’s putting you off and you will have to sort through a great pile of papers for the relevant stuff you’re going to find it really hard to summon up the energy to do it, aren’t you? Whereas if everything is easily to hand then you’ve got no excuse. Keep your desk clear so you don’t have that excuse and just get on with it!

10. Give yourself a break

Some days, for one reason or another, you may find that you just can’t get into work. Maybe you’ve been working hard on a project and run out of steam, or are just feeling a bit run down. If you’ve found yourself staring at your monitor (or whatever you use for work) for half the day and not making any progress, then it’s probably time to admit defeat and give yourself a break. Running your own business you may find that you’ve been working very long hours. If that’s the case don’t push it. Everyone needs a break so don’t feel guilty. Just take a day (or two) off and come back with renewed energy.

Further resources

Back to Page 1 – Steps 1 to 5

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