- Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges remote workers face.
- After working remotely for one year, job motivation stats show a drop from 56% to 36%.
- Most workers cite lack of interaction and distractions as the biggest factors affecting their motivation.
- Changing habits can increase motivation and reduce the mental burden that comes with remote working.
Live the dream. Work from home. But then we did and got a giant wake-up call. There’s no denying it now. Swapping the office for remote working is a huge shift on a personal level and a professional one, too.
The structure of an external work environment is no longer there to cradle any mood swings, schedule changes, or lulls in motivation—that’s now a job you get to tackle all on your own right there at home.
Regulating your work ethic within the confines of your home can often mean hitting some challenges that affect you in a variety of ways. Anger, frustration, and even depression are fairly natural responses to working alone for extended periods of time.
The internal battle between fatigue and motivation is an ongoing one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull a few tricks out of the bag that help you along the way. Don’t give up yet, remote workers. Here are 8 different ways you can stabilize motivation levels and get your work mojo back.
1) Create a custom schedule.
Creating (and adhering to) a schedule customized to your preferences is one of the first major steps you can take toward increased motivation levels. Without a properly established schedule, time management and discipline can fly out the window, leaving you feeling directionless and foggy-headed.
Setting aside a bit of time to determine how your ideal workday should be structured will give your brain something to hold on to when thoughts begin to spiral.
Figure out what time you need to wake up, how many hours a day are necessary to set aside for work, and where breaks are best fitted in for optimal workflow. Once you have a structure to fit into, staying motivated will come much easier.
2) Establish a designated workspace.
Establishing a clean, comfortable, and functional workspace to sit at throughout the day can make a tremendous difference to how productive you are.
A cramped up, cluttered space can give rise to agitation and distraction, neither of which stokes the fires of motivation. You don’t need to empty your bank account on a fancy office desk. But a functional, level platform in a tidy area does play a pivotal role in the pursuit of an improved work ethic.
Wherever your workplace is, make sure to maintain it well. A neat and tidy workspace is an energy booster, no matter how tired or apathetic you feel at the time.
3) Impose limitations on distractions.
There’s just no way around it—we live in an age of rampant consumerism. Resisting the pull of social media apps and advertisements designed specifically to reel us in is no easy feat, and we should all be gentler on ourselves for losing this battle sometimes.
That said, it’s important to impose limitations on these distractions to protect ourselves from wasting precious time and energy.
You can do this by going to phone settings and adjusting the daily time limit for each app or allocating specific times of the day where you’re allowed to scroll for as long as you want. Find a method that works for you and stick with it until the limitation becomes a habit.
4) Practice self-care.
Times are tough, and people need some TLC. Those living or working alone often struggle to notice when self-care practices are slipping, which makes it all the more important and relevant to discuss.
Self-care can look slightly different for everyone. Each person is tasked with the responsibility of figuring out what relaxes them, energizes them, nourishes them, and makes them feel more themselves.
Compiling a list of self-care activities for each of these four areas is a good start. Squeeze in a few hours for self-care throughout your weekly schedule and consult the list for guidance when you’re unsure of where to start.
5) Seek out company.
When your default work week doesn’t involve any other people, loneliness and frustration can settle in.
Seeking the company of others in both casual and work-related contexts is extremely important for remote workers, especially those who live alone.
Even though seeing others can sometimes trigger anxiety or nervousness (particularly after long periods of isolation), it’s worth pushing through for the emotional and mental benefits.
There are bound to be other people in your life that crave the same motivational push. Reach out to them and make plans to connect on a regular basis. You can arrange social events such as coffees, lunches, or dinners, plan a workout schedule so you can exercise together, or simply set aside time to chat or watch a movie. A bit of interaction can go a long way towards boosting your mood.
6) Experiment and explore.
Our personalities and mental states are constantly evolving, and what worked for you yesterday might not work for you today. Adopting a mentality of continuous exploration and improvement can keep your mind sharp, opening you up to methods and techniques you never thought could be so effective.
Trying out different methods of motivation is a fun and effective way to discover your natural rhythms and work with them rather than against them. When you find something that works, it will make all the experimentation worth it—and you’ll keep your workdays interesting.
7) Challenge yourself.
Challenging yourself is an important part of life, both inside and outside of the office. You can slowly begin to improve your productivity habits by setting little goals for yourself that grow bigger with each achievement.
For example, you could time yourself writing for 30 minutes, and see how many words you produce. After a little break, see if you can beat your average word count by 100 or 200 words within the same 30-minute period. Even a small challenge like this can help boost confidence in stagnant areas.
8) Treat yourself.
It is just as important to reward good behavior as it is to discipline poor behavior.
Putting in the effort to improve yourself is a noble thing that deserves recognition from time to time. Plus, it can help incentivize you to keep pushing on your journey to better motivation.
For example, you might find that you are more focused and productive when a little treat is waiting for you at the end of the day. It could be a delicious snack, watching your favorite series after work, or even a Saturday excursion that you look forward to throughout the workweek.
When it comes down to it, your relationship with motivation relates to your relationship with yourself. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you in return.