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8 January 2015

How to Keep Motivation High While Working at Home

Working at peak in the home office

The washing pile is getting higher, the dishwasher light is flashing and the cat is crying for another bowl of milk.  Thoughts flick through your mind about the feasibility of doing some of the jobs now, leaving them until later or when exactly you might decide to knock off for the day.  These, along with a long line of others, are just some of the temptations that lure you to procrastinate when working from home. 
Whether you work from home full or part time, there are some basic steps you can take to avoid these common pitfalls and ensure you keep your motivation and discipline on track.

Make a plan

If you were heading into an office environment each day, it's most likely you'd make a list of the tasks that need to be achieved.  The same rule should apply when you're working from home.  Do it the night before or even the morning of, but either way, establish some structure and stick to it.  Ticking the items off will give you a sense of accomplishment and provide some direction and goals to ensure you stay on track. 

Dress code

It would be oh so easy to slink from the bedroom to the home office space in your pyjamas.  But this is not a good idea on so many levels.  You may have surprise visitors or be called to an appointment unexpectedly and it pays to be prepared.  More importantly though, dressing appropriately can be motivating and will assist in putting you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead.  You will be less likely to lie on the couch in your pencil skirt or suit pants.

Think about your team

Be it your business partner, colleagues or boss - think about the people you should be respecting and, potentially, would be letting down by being lazy. 

Eliminate Distraction

If social media sites are a concern, there are programs that can be easily installed on your computer to avoid such distractions.  Turn off your cell phone if it means that text messages won't deter you from the job at hand, and only check your phone when it's break time.  These rules would apply at work, so should also apply at home.  Avoid particular rooms in the house that may entice you to start on a cleaning frenzy or a spot of DIY.

Be aware of your weaknesses and show some discipline.  Lay down the law with friends and family and ensure they understand that you're working, not having a day off.  Getting into good habits from the beginning will lay the groundwork and help to prevent any procrastination pitfalls.

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