Sometimes working remotely is just what you need to get your juices flowing. Other times…not so much. That’s especially true now, with the house full of other people, the news stressing you out, and the initial excitement of the changes wearing off. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to stay motivated.
So, if you’re feeling a bit drained or over-stressed, here are some tips for regaining your motivation:
Take a break.
For every 40-60 minutes of uninterrupted work, you should take ten minutes to get up, stretch, walk around the house, get something else not work-related done, or look out the window. Take some time to focus on something else and then get back to work.
The fact that you’re at home should make this easier. You’re not at the mercy of what’s in the office vending machine. You’re stocking your own snack supply. Avoid sugars and heavy starches, especially if you’re not doing a good job observing the first suggestion above. You can enjoy your morning coffee, but once that has been consumed, avoid other caffeine-heavy drinks.
Many people report they actually gain more free time working from home. That’s not surprising as most are more productive at home and of course, there’s no time lost to commuting. Use some of that time now at your disposal to get in some physical activity. Exercise doesn’t have to mean getting on a bike and soul-cycling yourself into a coma, unless that’s your idea of fun. Simply go for a walk with the dog or a friend. Practice some health “social distancing” by parking farther from the store than you usually do. Even doing household chores can get the blood pumping. Anything that isn’t sitting and staring at a screen will help.
Talk to someone pleasant.
When we are dealing with a constant stream of negative energy, talking to someone might feel like the last thing you want to do. But positive energy is infectious, and talking to someone who has energy to spare often works out well for both parties. It doesn’t even have to be work-related, although if you need that to keep you from having negative self-talk about not being “on the job,” feel free to throw in some talk about work.
Help someone else.
Nothing lifts the spirits like offering help to someone else. It gets us out of some of those mental and emotional doldrums I mentioned earlier and it lifts someone else up as well. It’s the ultimate win-win solution.
There are no magic wands or quick fixes for staying motivated, but you can start by cutting yourself some slack and thinking about your teammates and customers, not just yourself and your situation. That along with these simple tips can certainly help you get and retain your motivation.
And I mean it about cutting yourself some slack part. Seriously. Nobody is at 100% all the time, you included. A healthy dose of grace for yourself and others will make this situation much more bearable.
If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to be a great remote teammate (for yourself and your team) check out our 12 Weeks to Being a Great Remote Teammate learning program. We’re offering it at a tremendous savings right now as well as enabling the content to be “binged” like Netflix, so you won’t need the entire 12 weeks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager
Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.
Wayne, along with Kevin Eikenberry, has co-authored the definitive book on leading remotely, The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.