Motivating yourself to work from home

This month we have started something called Motivation Monday over on Facebook. To lead into our regular theme Leslie from Social Sparkle has come up with a few ways that help her keep motivated.

Working from home is a luxury I am very grateful to have. I split my time between working as a Virtual Assistant for a growing social media business and running a small business of my own. The perks, are great – I work flexible hours around my family, I don’t need to commute, there’s no office politics, and when it’s freezing cold, I can (and do!) work from underneath a cosy blanket.

However, there are downfalls to the work at home lifestyle too.  While it can be nice to have no boss looming down on you, checking up, making sure you’re up to date and so on, it can be hard too.  I need to be my own motivator, my own cracker of the whip. When you work from home, distractions are everywhere. There’s nobody monitoring your internet use, so a quick check on your personal social networks isn’t taboo. There’s all those little household chores that you could be doing. There’s TV and unlimited access to tea and biscuits!

So the question is, how do you motivate yourself? How do you keep from giving into temptation and make sure you get everything that needs to be done completed on time?

Well, here are five tips that work for me:

  1. Plan ahead.  Organising my time is a vital part of the process for me.  At the start of each month, I’ll list what I need to do by the end of it, any deadlines I need to meet, and work out a plan to give myself plenty of time to accomplish each task.  That way, I can spread the work evenly and not find myself rushing at the last minute.
  2. Use a to-do list.  I’d be lost without my daily to-do list.  Setting clear tasks and goals for the day ahead makes me feel in control, and there is no greater motivator than the self satisfaction of crossing everything off the list!
  3. Take a lunch break.  Sounds silly, but working at home; it’s easy to just ‘graze’ through your workload, doing bits and pieces throughout the day.  Setting yourself a proper lunch hour, to step away from work and have a break can really motivate you and increase productivity when you get back to working.
  4. Get active.  Most days, during my ‘lunch break’, I walk the dog – ten minutes of fresh air does wonders to clear my head and motivate me to get on with things afterwards – any mild burst of exercise will help to re-charge you if you’re flagging.
  5. Reward yourself! Break your to-do list into chunks, and set realistic goals throughout each day/week/month.  When you reach those goals, give yourself a treat – whether it’s a cuppa after clearing your inbox, or a long weekend at the end of the month after completing a big project.  When you work hard, play hard too!

What are your own top motivational tips?

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