Freelance and Remote Working

How to Stay Motivated Working Remotely

You'll be looking for an office job if you don't.
How to Stay Motivated Working Remotely
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5 min read
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Working remotely is awesome in that it gives you the freedom to work when and how you’d like. However, sometimes the lack of direct accountability on a daily basis can make it difficult to stay motivated.

So how do you find that perfect balance of enjoying the flexibility, but also getting work done in a timely and efficient manner? Here are six tips for how to stay motivated while working remotely.

1. Wake up early.

It can be hard to get up early if you don’t have to be at an office at a set time. However, it’s a good habit that’s well worth adopting. Waking up early is a common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. When you rise with the birds, you have the chance to get a head start on your day.

On the simplest level, you’ll have time to mentally acclimate to the day so that you don’t feel rushed from the get-go. However, there are more specific benefits to your workday as well. You’ll be able to respond to emails, do errands, and maybe even a workout in, so that when it’s time to work, you can really focus on what needs to be done without having to contend with these everyday obligations.

Related: 12 Ways to Smoothly Start Waking Up Earlier

2. Be consistent in your routine.

Success rewards consistency. Unfortunately, when you work remotely, you may not always be working in the same city or with the same desk setup at all times. However, it is possible to set up routines that can follow you no matter where you are.

For example, maybe your routine goes like this: wake up early, go for a run, make a to-do list, respond to emails, then get to work. By adhering to this routine over time, you’ll be able to effectively get into “work mode” no matter where you are, and you’ll likely see positive results in your overall productivity.

Personally, I pride myself on being able to work from basically anywhere in the world where I can find an internet connection. But I make sure to maintain my discipline and motivation by sticking to tried and true routines.

3. Dress for success.

One of the biggest cliches about remote or home workers is that they’re always working in their pajamas. But on a daily basis, a sloppy appearance can make for a sloppy work ethic.

Getting dressed for work can actually help make you feel more prepared, professional, and even boost your confidence -- even if you’re not going to see a single coworker all day. You’ll feel more like a real worker, and will be more likely to do good work. No, this doesn’t mean you have to put on a suit and tie. But by making yourself presentable, you’ll feel more motivated and better prepared to face whatever the day may bring.

Related: Forget PJs, Dress Your Brand Even at Your Home Office

4. Get organized.

You might not realize it, but a messy, disorganized space, hinders your ability to think and work effectively.

If your work space is messy, things like finding files or items you need takes just a little bit longer, and the visual noise can be distracting. The amount of time and distraction might be minimal on a daily basis, but when you add it up over weeks, months, and years, it can have a big effect on your output.

It’s worth taking the time to organize your work area. Keep a reasonably neat desk space, and try to keep the icons on your computer or laptop as organized as possible. You’ll probably find it makes your life a lot easier.

5. Reduce distractions.

Are you constantly clicking over to Facebook when your work gets boring? Are the dings and bells from your cell phone keeping you from concentrating on the task at hand?

When a task becomes tedious, annoying, or boring, it can be all too enticing to click over to your favorite blog, Reddit, or social media. If you’re trying to complete a project, try to reduce the potential distractions so that they don’t tempt you. For instance, you might put your phone on airplane mode for certain hours of the day, or you might turn off chat programs on your computer if you need to focus. If necessary, set a timer for every few hours so that you can have scheduled social media breaks.

Related: 8 Surprising Strategies for Unstoppable Focus

6. Take breaks.

Speaking of breaks, be sure to take them. You might think that it shows a better work ethic to power through the day without pause, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you don’t take breaks, you’ll be more susceptible to distraction and probably won’t be producing your best work.

When you notice that you’re lagging or uninspired, sometimes taking five can actually help revive your work ethic. It can help you return to the task at hand with new focus, allowing you to stay on track. If you notice that you experience lulls at certain times of day, try to take breaks at those times.

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