How to stay motivated when you work at home

I should probably come clean before you get too excited and say that this isn’t an instructional post – I don’t actually have the answers to staying motivated when you work from home. This post is more of an act of procrastination, some random musings while I gear myself up to do something that’s actually on my list. If anything I was sort of hoping that you might read this and then send me some ideas.

So.

*Awkward pause while I wait for the people who are bored already to make their excuses and scrap their chairs*

Today was back to school day.

First day of school

To prove it, here is Belle rocking her new blazer.

The summer holidays can be a right pain in the arse when you work from home, and so you’d think that the first day back would be a cause for celebration. You might imagine that by 9am I’d be sat at my desk, smiling, coffee in hand, spewing forth witty and insightful tweets and blog posts.

I am not.

(As you can see).

Instead I quite fancy having a little lie down while I watch 14 episodes of Friends back-to-back and eat a packet of bourbons. It’s tempting, but you have to resist. No good can come of Friends when you work from home. If you’re feeling uninspired, lonely, or bored of the view of your living room wall (all common WAHM symptoms) all Friends will do is remind you that you are not 25, thin, or living in a cool apartment in New York with a bunch of interesting people. In a ‘lie face down on the floor’ kind of mood it is never helpful to be actively reminded of these facts, however obvious they may seem.

‘No Ross and Rachel,’ you must say to yourself, ‘I know that you will end up together and that Julie doesn’t stand a chance really. I don’t have time for this right now.’

Instead you have to at least make the effort to sit upright. Ideally this should not be on your bed (which I am currently doing) as this really doesn’t help with the whole ‘trying to avoid giving up and having a nap’ vibe.

Once you are sat on an actual chair, turn to face a computer or laptop, or at least hold a pen. Holding a pen can create a sense of business in even the most uncommitted of workers.

There, now you are ready. Can’t you feel the enthusiasm and vitality coursing through your veins?

No?

Tough.

Take a swig of coffee, look yourself sternly in the eyes and let the spewing commence.

 

25 Comments

  1. 4 September, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    Oh good god I know that feeling, I’m reading this entry while I should be doing research for the best priced insulated packaging sheets….. Although TBH it’s The Big Bang Theory I’m trying hard not to watch.

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:17 am

      BBT is good, but in my mind that’s more tea time viewing…

  2. 4 September, 2013 / 1:29 pm

    You have summed up my day perfectly! I have had several child free hours whilst eldest is at school and littlest is with my mum and have managed to procrastinate fantastically well. I’ll have great ideas tomorrow when littlest is in the midst of throwing water all over the bathroom floor. Obviously….

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:18 am

      Obviously! I find I really get in the zone work wise at about school pick up time. Typical. Quite probably though I wouldn’t get in the zone if Belle was at a friend’s for tea…

  3. 4 September, 2013 / 1:47 pm

    Great post, I too am sat here perfecting the art of procrastination, if it were an Olympic sport I would most definitely be in with a chance of the gold medal.

    As I sit here looking at all the to do lists from the various businesses that we run all I can think of is Mob Wives, which I watched last night and I can’t wait for next time it’s on again, crap american tv is my guilty pleasure.

    Well, someone has just walked into my office, best look like I am doing very important stuf!!!!!

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:19 am

      Don’t tell anyone Deb but sometimes (I normally try to restrict it to while I am eating my lunch) I watch Millionaire Matchmaker.

  4. 4 September, 2013 / 1:47 pm

    Hmm………….. I am still looking for an answer, for me it means being in a small room away from the TV and other distractions

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:20 am

      I actually find Jen that sometimes the opposite works for me – going and sitting in a cafe with lots of background noise can sometimes snap me t of it and make me focus.

  5. 4 September, 2013 / 2:25 pm

    I find the internet a huge distraction, I have to switch off facebook and twitter and pinterest or else I get nothing done all day. I am now having 10 minutes before the small ones arrive back home. No real help I know x

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:21 am

      God yes – Twitter and email are my two big weaknesses. I can’t help but check, again and again and again. I have no idea what I think I am going to miss!

  6. 4 September, 2013 / 2:40 pm

    So I have this same problem as a blogger/social media marketer while sitting at my desk at work. In fact, I should be spewing some of those clever tweets for my 9-5 twitter as we speak. Instead I just ready your blog post and will probably commence perusing the rest of your site after I post this comment.

    I think the problem is, we can’t just sit down and systematically check things off the list. We have to have a moment of creativity where we can post or tweet something ‘thought provoking.’

    I HAVE found that I am more productive and creative when I listen to music. I generally pop my headphones in and crank up some Maroon 5 to make it through a boring day.

    Good luck with your creative spewing :)

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:22 am

      Now you see when I a, tweeting for other businesses I tend to work off a spreadsheet of pre-approved tweets, so I have to write them all in advance and imagine how spontaneous and creative they might sound in a week or so! It doesn’t really lend itself to being stuck by timely inspiration!

  7. 4 September, 2013 / 2:46 pm

    I have this problem and its can be so frustrating, all to often (today being a good example) I have worked for an hour the rewarded myself with 2 hours worth of The big bang theory before going back to work and getting distracted by internet shopping!!! Im hoping productivity will be back tomorrow lol

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 6:24 am

      The ‘reward system’ for work at home types is a classic! Mine quite often revolves around food, which could explain why I have put on about two stone since starting to work from home four years ago. (Oops). ‘I will just do half an hour of work and then eat this bourbon’.

  8. 4 September, 2013 / 8:41 pm

    Great post – i am terrible at working from home. I always do it in front of the TV though – my bad. The pen thing deffo works though :)

  9. admin
    6 September, 2013 / 6:24 am

    Sometimes when I am typing I hold a pen in my teeth for extra effect :-)

  10. 6 September, 2013 / 7:06 am

    Just found your blog, and I love it already. This is exactly how I feel about 90% of the time I have a break while my son is at playschool (which is only 2 or 3 hours 4 times a week). Unfortunately, my working time usually dissolves into making food or trying to convince a cat to do something other than sleeping, because I like to show that I’m the grown up in the house. =)

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 11:41 am

      Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I am loving the image of you spending several hours at a time trying to motivate a cat!

  11. 6 September, 2013 / 8:57 am

    OK I really was hoping for some more tips on this post, as I sit here with my laptop desperately fighting the temptation to put Jeremy Kyle on. I think sitting at a desk probably is the most important thing though (she says, stretching her legs out on the sofa) so you’ve got that right.
    Also love a bit of Millionaire Matchmaker on my lunch break, and find she gives me a certain oomph to get me through the afternoon – we can all learn something from her!

    • admin
      6 September, 2013 / 11:40 am

      It feels wrong, I feel like I should hate her, but there IS something about her that is motivating! She is definitely a woman who knows what she wants…

  12. 10 September, 2013 / 2:13 pm

    Friends… Only the best TV series EVER!

    I giggled at your mention of Ross, Rachel and the all important hurdle that was Julie. I do wish there was someone we could all turn to for help with this one. Staying motivated is so difficult when the hot tea is just a boiled-kettle away and the tin of biscuits is nearby just waiting for you to pick it up and much through the whole lot (while watching episodes of Friends of course). I guess we all have to motivate each other with witty posts about… hmmm, I dunno! Stuff. Witty posts about stuff. hehe.

    Great post. xx

    • 11 September, 2013 / 11:32 am

      I’ve just found your blog, whilst working…obviously. Absolutely hilarious and I feel so much better for having read it. Thank you for making me laugh.

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