Do it now. Sometimes ‘later’ becomes ‘never’.
I started working from home in the beginning of 2016 and haven’t looked back since. I put the TV on in the background, veg out on the couch with my computer on my lap, and get right to work. It’s relaxing and I love it. But one thing I’ve learned is that it’s often so hard to get motivated. I’ll catch myself glazed over and staring off into space. Or sometimes I just can’t come up with anything worth writing about. Nothing is worse than having an off day.
Luckily, whether you work at home or in an office, the principles are the same. There are a lot of things you can do to get out of your rut and back on track. So if you’re staring blankly at your computer screen and can’t get anything done, here are my 10 ways to get motivated for when lazy just isn’t an option.
Start Getting Motivated
1. Change up your atmosphere.
If you can, try working in a new environment. Go to a coffee shop, sit at a picnic table outside of your office, or even just relocate to a new desk for a few hours. You’d be surprised how much the change of pace will help refresh your mind.
2. Coffee. Lots of coffee.
It’ll give you that boost of caffeine you need to keep going. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, then just pick up anything that’ll spike your energy without leaving you with a crash later in the day. AKA don’t get energy drinks. But if you just need a temporary rush, they might still work.
3. Grab some food.
I’m not here to tell you to eat a salad or greek yogurt (But that’s fine too, if you’re into that kind of thing). Just get any little pick-me-up that’s going to encourage you to keep going—even if that means a burger and fries. Your brain needs fuel to function! So feed it something.
4. Play your favorite tunes.
Music can set the tone for any situation. When you’re working out, don’t you pick your favorite music to get you hyped up? Coffee shops play soft jazz or easy listening to set the mood for concentration. And I don’t know about you, but the mood has to be right before I’m able to focus on anything. So jam out to whatever gets you pumped and you’ll be one step closer to getting the focus you need.
5. Set goals.
Give yourself a reward for hitting certain goals. Write 5 paragraphs and get a 15 minute break. Finish half of your project by noon and go out for brunch. There is something about having mental deadlines that makes you work a lot harder.
Run, take a hike, or lift some weights. Even if it’s just taking a walk around the block, sometimes it’s enough to clear your head.
7. Relieve yourself of the pressure.
Work toward making progress rather than getting it perfect. I’m guilty of being a perfectionist, and it can be debilitating when it comes to accomplishing anything. But can we all just take a minute and cut ourselves some slack? It’s impossible to have everything you produce turn out perfect from the get-go. Don’t let your desire for perfection become procrastination.
8. Get some inspiration.
Hit up Pinterest and browse categories relating to the work you have to complete. Grab a book on your topic and get some ideas on how to move forward.
9. Just push through.
Sometimes all you need to do is focus on focusing. Don’t allow your thoughts to wander or your eyes to drift. Stay on task. And the best way to stay on task is to not get distracted in the first place. Force yourself to continue working, no matter how much it hurts.
10. Take a step back.
When nothing seems to be working, you might just have to step away for a bit. There’s no shame in putting your project on pause. It’s better to take a 20 minute break and come back refreshed than to try to keep working for an hour but get nothing done.