Working for yourself appeals to many people. You can set your own hours, make all the decisions and never have to put up with rude colleagues again. Plus, all the money you make you get to keep. What is not to like?
Trouble is, when you work for yourself, especially when you work from your home, finding the hustle to make your business the success you know it should be can be a little challenging.
When your bed is less than a metre from your home office (just me?), it gets a little difficult to create a good work-life balance and inevitably something slides. Sure, the short commute is great, but how are your productivity levels?
After almost a decade of working from home I have developed several finely honed tips and tricks to master self-motivation. When I became my own boss last year I knew that I would be able to succeed, because I knew exactly how to motivate myself while working from home.
1. Create a home office
Depending on your home, you may be lucky enough to have a dedicated office to work from. If this is the case, I recommend using that room exclusively for your work. That way, your brain is pre-programmed to knuckle down to work whenever you enter.
If, like me, you don't have a designated home office, carve out space for one. It can be as small or as large as you want. All you really need is room for a comfortable chair and a small desk (large enough for your laptop or computer).
I make sure to use my "home office" exclusively for working. When it comes time to take a break, I get up and go elsewhere, rather than watching Netflix at my desk. At the end of the work day, I tidy up and "close" the office, leaving it untouched until work starts the next morning.
2. Get dressed
One of the big bonuses of working from home, is the opportunity to wear super comfy clothes all the time. That being said, resist the temptation to wear PJs at all costs!
Getting dressed "for work" each day will form an important part in signalling to your mind that this is the time to work and to take that work seriously - even if you have changed into leggings!
Flexibility is a major perk of being your own boss. However, too much flexibility can lead to a serious lack of productivity. If I said yes to every suggested day trip, lunch or event, I would never have any time to get work done.
Instead make sure to carve out a routine that works for you and stick to it. I allow myself 75% routine, 25% flexibility. That way I can enjoy the perks of a flexible work life, while still getting work done on a regular and productive basis.
4. Do not disturb
This applies most if you have children or live with roommates. "Ugh, I'm so bored. Watcha doing?" used to be a daily part of my work. At least an hour or more of productivity would be lost to flatmates stopping by to chat idly about the weather, discuss romance drama or to bicker about the cleaning rota.
Finally I gave up and started leaving notes on my door - RED to indicate that I was busy and not to be disturbed, YELLOW to show that I could be disturbed for something important and GREEN to show that I was happy to chat idly about the weather or whatever other topic took our fancy!
This can work especially well if you have young children around. Naturally, in an emergency they will always disturb you, but making them think about how important their issue is can help cut down on the "he called me a poo-poo head" interruptions dramatically!
Perhaps the best way to remain motivated while working from home is to remind yourself of all the benefits and bonuses that come with this style of working.
I am a big believer in the power of gratitude and remind myself daily just how lucky I am to be able to work from home. This is the quickest, simplest motivator I have ever come across.
Being able to give your children a cuddle during the work day, avoiding that awful commute, seeing your friends more due to flexibility - whatever your reason for gratitude is, remind yourself of it daily as you sit down to work.
For me, I have been grateful over the past few weeks that because I work from home and am my own boss, I have been able to move my schedule around to watch the majority of the World Cup football games so far. Allez les Bleus!