Staying Motivated & Productive When Working Remotely

Quarantine & working from home was initially a good time for my introvert self. However, as the weeks wore on, I saw decreases in motivation and productivity. My brain was not grasping that this was a time for work, that all of the responsibilities I have, are still actively expected to occur. I know, based on the internet, that I’m not alone in this. So how do we get out of this remote-work funk? I have collected and brainstormed some tips and suggestions that have shown to be effective for myself an others. If you have tips that aren’t mentioned, please share with the community by using the comments below!

CREATE & IMPLEMENT A REALISTIC MORNING & EVENING ROUTINE. Understand your limits, and also give yourself time to do those things your enjoy. Remote work and COVID-19, though devastating, has given us the opportunity to pursue endeavors we may not otherwise. Within your routines, perhaps add in a skills or activity you’d like to pursue to get back to doing. At this moment, I use the Duolingo app to practice Spanish. Inputting yoga, breathing, meditation, prayer, journaling, time in nature, painting, or reading can be wonderful opportunities for mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, as well as provide a time of peace and focus during the day.

STICK TO A SCHEDULE & USE A PLANNER! As said with the morning & evening routines, sticking to a schedule allows for consistency, and is also helpful in maintaining a work/life balance. I have also found myself neglecting my planner and to do lists. Using these systems help me stay on track, and allow me to plan my weeks more effectively. Just because we’re home, doesn’t mean we give that up.As a planner maniac, I have always gone back and forth with finding the perfect planner for me. For the last few months, I’ve been trying out the Passion Planner, and I’m truly enjoying the simplicity and straightforward design. In terms of social work planners for work, the Social Work Creative Planner is one recently on the market, and appears to be a fantastic product made by a social worker!

POMODORO TECHNIQUE. I have a tendency to work in chunks of hours, so I don’t particularly like this productivity method. However, during this time of the days blurring together, and a complete lack of motivation, this technique can be incredibly useful. With the Pomodoro Technique, a person focuses and completes work for 15 minutes, after which, a five minute break occurs. If this method were to potentially work for my preferences, I would revise this to be working for one hour and then having a 15 minute break. A method may be beneficial, but if it doesn’t work for you, always attempt making adjustments to accommodate your needs and way of functioning.

EAT HEALTHY, DRINK WATER, WORKOUT. Don’t stop being healthy, or use this time to get back into living healthier. Create new health goals and stay consistent. Ensure you are drinking enough water, and do not dehydrate yourself with too much caffeine or soft drinks. I’ve noticed myself increase in snacking, and it has not been beneficial in the least. Because of my lack of commuting, I now have an extra few hours in the morning to workout. I often use this time to go for a 45-60 minute walk or run, complete yoga and breathing, and begin my day in a healthy way. In order to combat snacking and increase healthy eating, I have been utilizing MyFitnessPal more frequently in order to track workouts and calories consumed. Intermittent fasting may also be useful during this time. Because I’m not accustomed to fasting, I am beginning at the basic level. I am fasting from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am the next day. My fast is broken during the day from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, including when I drink coffee (because I use creamer). This is a typical time for people to not be eating, so using this as my beginner fasting frame is not a significant change, it’s simply putting restraints on my evening snacking. For at-home workout, YouTube is filled to the brim. We have so many resources available at our fingertips – now is the time to use it! Reframe this experience as a time for growth and renewal, rather than a time of feeling trapped and fearful.

GO OUTSIDE & BREATHE FRESH AIR. I live in a rural area, and am able to go for long walks completely by myself. Fresh air is miraculous. It can feel rejuvenating, refreshing, and great start to the day if you find yourself going for a morning walk. Remember to continue to social distance, and perhaps, wear a mask as well. While we still have the opportunity to walk outside, use it to your advantage and get some fresh air! It can also be helpful in bettering your mood – even the simple act of opening your windows.

TOUCH BASE WITH COWORKERS & MAINTAIN SUPERVISION. We’re all in the same boat. Staying in contact with support coworkers and supervisors will help connect you with others in the same situation, as well as provide a supportive working environment. Speaking with people associated with work, will also assist in placing you in “work mode,” and increase that feeling of productivity and motivation.

GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS! A disclaimer here – I have the privilege of beinga ble to stay home with no children, in a rural and quiet area. When I say that getting rid of distractions would be beneficial, I am simply meaning what is within your control. Social media, TV/Netflix/Hulu, and other forms of procrastination that are personal to you. Cut out the distractions, and instead, use them as rewards for the work you’re accomplishing, and as self care. It will feel more rewarding and useful to your life.

COVID-19 has led many individuals to work from home. Though this can be useful, there poses many challenges to remote work, including lacking motivation and productivity. What you can do to overcome these challenges is personal to you. It is vital to remember however, that though productivity feels great, self care and allowing time for renewal is necessary as well. If you are lacking in motivation, do not forget to acknowledge that these are stressful and pain ridden times. Allow yourself a break, and be gentle with your abilities. Productivity and motivation are great, but above all is caring for yourself.

Featured Image from Here.

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