When you’re working remotely, direct oversight from your manager is typically limited. As a result, keeping yourself motivated and on target typically falls squarely on your shoulders. While that works well for some, others find it difficult to remain focused.
Along with less frequent check-ins from your manager, you may also encounter a variety of distractions, particularly if you’re working from home. For example, children, pets, and a range of personal responsibilities may all call for your attention, and that makes concentrating difficult.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remain on track. Here are some tips for staying motivated in the remote work era.
When you’re working remotely, you don’t always have the benefit of clearly defined lunches and breaks. As a result, it’s easy to accidentally work through them, causing you to fatigue faster as the day progresses.
Breaks are a chance to rejuvenate, making it easier to return focused when you start working again. If you struggle with seizing those moments, put them into your calendar and set alerts to notify you when it’s time to pause. Then, fully disconnect when it’s time for a break, stepping away from your workspace to ensure you’re able to shift away mentally for a moment. By doing so, you’ll return to your tasks more relaxed, and that can help you stay on target moving forward.
Another drawback of remote work is that you don’t always receive kudos from another person when you complete a task. When you’re in the workplace, your manager may thank you for sending a deliverable in almost immediately. With remote work, there’s potentially a delay between submitting your work and receiving any feedback, and that can cause frustration.
Fortunately, you can overcome this by planning rewards for yourself. Essentially, find a way to acknowledge your accomplishments, both big and small. The rewards can be small, such as enjoying a piece of your favorite chocolate, or more significant, such as heading to your favorite restaurant after work. Ideally, you want to make the reward proportional to the activity, giving yourself something to look forward to after you make the effort needed to get the task handled.
Have Work Attire
How a person dresses can directly impact their mindset. As a result, it’s best not to work remotely while wearing items like pajamas, loungewear, or similarly highly casual items. Those may make entering “work mode” more difficult, as those types of clothing usually signal that it’s time for rest and relaxation.
While remaining comfortable should be a priority, have designated work attire that you wear while handling your professional responsibilities. By changing into them before the start of your day, you’re prepping yourself to enter work mode, and that can help you adopt the right mindset before you begin working.
Organize Your Workspace
Having a workspace that’s free of clutter can make it easier to concentrate. You aren’t distracted by the disheveled nature of your environment. Plus, finding the items you need is usually easier if everything is typically in its proper place.
Spend time organizing your work area regularly. When you are finished using an item, put it back in its designated place. Additionally, create physical and digital systems for organizing documents and deleting, recycling, or shredding what’s no longer needed.