5 Tips for Improved Motivation
Working remotely has become the “new normal”. Large companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have permitted their workers to work from home until the end of the year. Many smaller companies have even given up their offices and downscaled their workforces amidst pandemic economic meltdowns. The world is no longer the same as it was before the pandemic started.
Which leaves most people in 2 categories: working from home or unemployed.
If you’re lucky enough to still have your job and have been forced to start working from home, this has presented a fresh set of challenges. Perhaps you don’t have a dedicated working space in your tiny apartment and are now forced to work from your living room. Or from your bedroom if that’s the only privacy you have away from your family.
That also means you’ve probably had to rearrange your life completely to suit your new working situation. In South Africa internet access is probably one of your biggest hurdles to overcome. With extremely high costs for ADSL, and even higher costs for mobile data, this is certainly chomping into your salary, unless your company has agreed to cover these costs.
Despite these challenges, there are advantages to be had. No commuting costs, less exposure to the virus, more time with your family, healthier home cooked meals (as opposed to expensive lunch takeaways), etc.
With the “new normal” working from home presents a new challenge: motivation.
Many people find an office environment more conducive to productivity, since they have a set routine and everyone around them is in working mode. Plus the lunch break affords the opportunity to socialise with your peers, which can be a great stress reliever.
Chatting with your work colleagues about your personal challenges can bring an immense sense of comfort and release. But working from home removes that from the equation, forcing you to either create a digital social platform or find some other way to socialise and relieve your stress.
Feeling cut off from your former world can affect your levels of motivation too. So how exactly do you ignite your motivation?
Here are 5 tips.
STICK TO A STRICT DAILY ROUTINE: Working from home does make a lot of people more productive, but some can go a bit overboard and lean towards over-working. For others the daily family distractions can break their work momentum, causing frustration which contributes to a loss of motivation. The best way to manage this is to stick to a very strict daily work routine and minimize distractions as much as possible. This will make you more productive, which in turn will motivate you to complete your tasks, knowing you have a set number of hours per day to fit your work into.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS: If you push through the entire work day with no breaks, this will cause you to feel exhausted very quickly. You have to learn how to pace yourself. Take a short 5 minute break every 30 minutes to stretch your legs and walk away from your desk. This will help you to keep up your energy levels. Force yourself to take a one hour lunch break away from your desk to enjoy your meal and unwind. You’ll return to your desk with renewed energy.
EXERCISE REGULARLY: people who exercise at least 3 times a week have more energy and feel more motivated than people who do no exercise. You don’t need to belong to a gym to exercise. Youtube is filled with videos for home exercises that you can do in a very small space. The best time to exercise is usually first thing in the morning when your energy levels are high. Some people prefer exercising at night as it helps them destress. Whatever your preference, getting regular exercise will definitely help you to feel more alert, have higher energy levels and this in turn will help you feel more motivated.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Getting enough sleep helps you to focus better at work, so if you are sleep deprived, find a solution as quickly as possible. Nothing affects your motivation levels more than lack of sleep. If you have a young child keeping you awake at night, take turns with your partner to do pyjama parade so that you are getting a full night's sleep at least every second night. For improved sleep avoid eating a heavy meal before bed and avoid exercising too close to your bedtime. Switch your cell phone off at least 30 minutes before bed and keep it switched off or on silent the entire night so that notifications don’t rouse you from your deep sleep.
FOLLOW A HEALTHY DIET: You’ve heard this a million times before, but good nutrition can boost your energy and motivation levels a lot. People who eat a lot of high glycemic carbs (white potatoes, white rice, white bread) will tend to feel more sluggish than people who eat low glycemic carbs (sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice). It also goes without saying that a diet high in sugar and junk food will drastically impair your energy levels. Low energy levels contribute to low motivation levels.
Following these simple rules will improve your overall health and help you feel more motivated to tackle your daily workload.
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