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BY SUSAN R. KILEY

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working from home
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Working from home is good and evil. If you’re like the millions of people now working from home, you may need ways to stay motivated. Here are three ways to stay motivated while working from home…

Whether you were forced to work from home or you’ve always had a home-based business – motivation is key! Staying motivated is key to success working from home.

If you’re like me, working from home pre-pandemic (almost 21 years), you’ve experienced un-motivating days – work is a challenge to complete. On the flip side, if you’re starting with working from home (as a job, freelancer, or business owner), you’ll need a few tips to keep you motivated for continual success (and happiness).

Key Motivation Tips for Working From Home

Calendars, Lists, and Focus

Calendars are vital to staying organized. Lists keep your daily, weekly, and monthly ‘to-do’s’ organized when you know what has to be accomplished, when, and how; you will stay motivated and see success rather than randomly completing tasks. 

How to Use Lists for Greater Focus


  1. Prioritize your list each day with quick vs. long tasks.
  2. Important to least important.


If you’re like me, you will have to-do’s you dislike – put those at the top of the list, or you won’t ever complete. Completing dreaded to-do’s first keeps you motivated for the quick, more manageable tasks later; this increases your success and happiness! 

Your daily list should also consist of ‘free’ time to do whatever you want, like walking, meditating, or journaling. Most successful people schedule free time throughout their days to stay motivated.

My scheduled free time involves daily walks with my pup, Kenzie. During the summer, we walk to a local family-owned ice cream place. Yes, Kenzie gets a small pup-cup of vanilla ice cream – it really is her favorite walking route – keeps us both motivated!

Photo: Susan Kiley

You better believe I love the feeling of checking the ‘walk’ off my list. And, when you can check off an item, you are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment (and a cup of ice cream).

Keep Your Work From Home Options Open

Owning a business, you will have days, weeks, and (hopefully not) months where business is slow. Working from home makes it easier to search for additional income opportunities.

One of the biggest mistakes as a freelancer working from home is not keeping your options open. I’ve signed all sorts of contracts, including non-competes and ones I had to stop working my business during the duration of my contract.

Big…
Gigantic…
Horrible mistake!

Why? Because most states and contracts are “At Will” employment. I’m not a legalese expert, so please do your research. This type of employment/contract says that you can be terminated for any reason – without justification. Though most businesses run on honesty and integrity, so you won’t have to worry being released without explanation.

Keeping your options open is always the best way to handle working from home . . . just in case your current work option fails. Always have a back-up plan when working from home, because the ebbs and flows of owning a business will certainly require another option for income.

Be a Continual Learner

Let’s try to guess how many courses are available on any topic you want to learn about. One of my favorite places to find courses is Coursera. According to its website, the company offers more than 4,300 courses, more than 450 specializations, more than 440 projects, more than 30 certificates, and 20 degrees. (USNews.com)

Taking a digital course to continue learning while working from home is easy. I tend to take classes to get advanced certifications, which allows me to work with different clients. There are so many courses available in writing, business, marketing, graphic design, virtual assistant, social media, and so many more.

Related: 40 Days to a Finished Book or Money, Manifesting + Multiple Streams of Income and 40 Days to Create + Sell Your E-Course

Choose courses that will benefit you and fit into your working from home lifestyle. Selecting courses (and who teaches) is critical to staying motivated to complete the course.

Is Working From Home Easy?

I’d love to say working from home is easy, with or without children, but the reality is, it is not. I’ve been doing this for over two decades, and the ebbs and flows of “balance” are and will always be a challenge.

Let’s face it; there will always be days or weeks that seem to fly by where you don’t feel like you’ve managed your time well. Of course, there will be times (hopefully often) where you feel like, “I’ve got this working from home down.”

The biggest thing I had to learn – forgive myself when shit hits the fan. Most of the stuff that goes wacky in my day, completely out of my control, so why am I blaming myself for things I have no control over? 

I’ve also found I am way more productive when I stick to what my planner or to-do list says. Keeping to a ‘schedule’ and creating routines that lead to habits have been fundamental in my working from home success.

I’ve never been a person who has a specific time written in a planner, on my calendar, or a to-do list for checking email or visiting and engaging on my social media pages. However, I often suggest to clients that they should schedule specific times for checking social media, emails and engaging in sales calls as a way to keep their day organized (at least while they are establishing work from home habits). 

 

Related: 5 Ways to Keep Your Home Office Functional and Organized

Wake Up Early

It’s a good idea to wake up early, especially if you have others living in your house (like partners or children). Being the first one up means you get quiet time to yourself – meditating, reading, journaling, or enjoying a cup of coffee. 

Being a morning person, I have no issues rolling out of bed and starting my day before the kids need to wake up. Nothing is more energizing than watching the sun rise in silence. 

Sometimes, I use the early morning hours to get a head start on a project I need to finish. As a writing freelancer, I find my creative genius early morning to mid-afternoon – anything after 3:00 pm is nothing but a pile of incoherent words. Early hours keep me creative, organized, and efficient to do a good job and find joy in my work.

Final Thoughts

Don’t settle for the couch-potato, jammy work-from-home lifestyle many tend to choose. You will be unmotivated to get your work finished. Shower and put on clothes other than your pajama’s, you’ll find yourself more motivated to accomplish your goals for the day. 

When you start to find yourself lacking motivation, try focusing on learning something new by reading, taking courses, or watching YouTube videos that expand your current knowledge.

Staying motivated will, at times, be a challenge. However, if you use the three ways to stay motivated in this post, you may find more happiness and success.

 

I’m curious to know how you keep yourself motivated throughout the day if you are working from home? Please, comment below, I’d love to know! 

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Susan R Kiley is an author, content creation expert, blogger, podcast host and YouTube host. She provides real-world information on how to build wildly happy and successful businesses using content without overwhelm. The Success YOU podcast is all about empowering today’s content creator, aspiring writer and YOU to finally do the dang thing and start doing today that truly makes you happy! Susan also runs a digital agency, Kiley Media.

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