Maintaining motivation whilst studying and working from home is not an easy achievement. A few weeks ago I shared a blog about how you can maintain your motivation whilst studying from home. This second edition checks in with you, and is also tailored to those working from home, no matter the profession.
How did you go with your goal setting? Did you stick to your timetable? What about those who are working from home, did you find yourself working productively? What can you do better this week?
These questions might seem strange or silly, but inevitably they will get you thinking in a reflective manner. If I were to ask the same questions myself, and answer them honestly, I know there were days where I could have woken up earlier and achieved an additional hour or two of work. There were also many days where I completed all the tasks I set out to do. But what is done, is done, and so it should be onwards and upwards.
So how can you move forward and maintain your motivation (without the assistance of excessive coffee consumption)? Well, reflecting on a number of previous posts, and with some strategies I have been testing, here are my thoughts and recommendations.
#1 - Get Dressed Every Day!
This recommendation applies to everyone, students and professionals. It is so crucial that you get dressed, as in change out of your pyjamas, each morning. Over the last week, I noticed my productivity, energy and motivation increased when I was physically dressed for a day of work. The days where I wanted to be more relaxed in tracksuits and 'bummy' clothing, my pace slowed (my posture even suffered).
#2 - Do Not Study or Work From Your Bed!
I cannot stress this recommendation enough. There is a really good reason why you should never (or at least minimise) work and study from your bed. Your bed is your space to sleep. Your brain is trained to know that bed equals sleep and relaxation. When you study or work from your bed, you are likely to confuse your brain's wiring, and/or run the risk of becoming too relaxed as you get through your daily tasks. It is super important for your mental health that you physically separate, as much as possible, your work space and your relaxation/time out space. For more on this recommendation please see a previous blog 'Study Spaces'.
#3 - Increase Your Communication
My most recent blog was about how to avoid feeling isolated during isolation with the focal point being virtual coffee dates. I would like to build on this idea by saying that in the modern era, technology has allowed us to remain constantly interconnected (many pros and cons). But, during this hard time, it's even more important to stay connected via online communication methods. Give yourself a goal to chat to 3 or 4 different colleagues or fellow students each week, whether that be through virtual coffee dates or a simple phone call as you take a break from staring at a computer screen. You'd be surprised what you end up talking about, you might end up solving a problem you've been pondering for a few hours, you might take the opportunity to destress, and it is likely your motivation will get a reboot.
#4 - Reward Yourself!
My final recommendation to all in isolation is make sure you reward yourself... E V E R Y D A Y! Having strict limits on the reasons to head outside and leave your house/apartment can make you feel as if the walls are closing in on you. So it is crucial for motivation and general wellbeing that you reward yourself. Just because you're working and studying from home, does not mean that is all you can or should do. I understand that some days will require beyond your usual 9-5, but don't let your work or study commitments consume you. You will burn out! Burning out will surely wipe your motivation levels. Rewards can include Netflix, or takeaway dinner, a glass of wine, a new book, or even a new recipe to ponder. I must admit, I have loved cooking in the evenings and it is something I look forward to each day. It also presents as a nice break from work. I have also thoroughly enjoyed my Netflix subscription. Small rewards each day provides you with positive reinforcement, a crucial ingredient to maintaining your motivation.
For more strategies on how you can maintain your motivation as you study from home, please see one of my recent posts, 'Maintaining Motivation - studying online'.
I hope you found this blog helpful and that you all had a nice, quiet Easter 🐣