WFH got you feeling a bit blergh? Productivity wavering? We’ve teamed up with the team at High Performance Development (HPD) to give some ideas that will help you to feel more motivated when working from home. From how to optimise your coffee intake, to tactics for keeping sneaky distractions at bay, we’ve got you covered.
The beginning of the year is always the most hopeful. Everyone is still stuffed from Christmas, feeling good about what the new year will bring, and making resolutions to improve life, health, or overall happiness. 2022 is the year that seems to be showing a lot more promise than the previous few years. The world is getting closer and closer to the “normal existence” we used to live in 2018/19 before Covid, but is work really ever going to be the same?
Millions of people have had to adapt to working from home, and whilst it’s a far cry from the standard 9-5, a lot of people found that they enjoyed it. The fact that the time it would usually take to get ready for work and commute could be reduced to the 20 minutes it takes to roll out of bed, change, grab a cup of coffee, and boot up the laptop—well, it holds a certain appeal. Hybrid working has now become a thing and people found they have more time to spend with their families, and are generally happier. Although, one issue people seem to be struggling with is motivation. Where did it go, and how do we get it back again?
How it used to be
At the office, the drive to have finished your work by 5pm so you could go home was enough to motivate anyone. You didn’t want to miss your favourite TV show? Then get through your work quickly and you’ll finish on time—perhaps even earlier! Motivation also seems to surge in groups. At the office, you could bounce ideas off each other, and the mere sight of your fellow colleagues working was helpful in getting you in the right headspace to power through.
At home, everything that interests you is within easy reach—the TV, your favourite books, game consoles—whatever is more entertaining than the work in front of you. And who is there to tell you off for slacking? Not your boss—they’re in their own homes struggling with the same issues as you! Not to mention your desk chair isn’t as comfortable as the one in the office, the days are longer without the little chats with your team members to break up the day, and you are lonelier and quickly distracted.
Here’s what you need to do:
Comfort is the first thing you should be thinking of when working from home. No one wants to spend the day with a sore back and neck from sitting in the wrong chair. If you don’t have the space for an office or a desk in your home, then why not try changing up your work location? Spend a few hours working in the living room, and when you find your mind wandering, hop on over to the kitchen counter and work there. Sometimes a change in scenery is the perfect way to motivate. You could even head down to a nearby coffee shop and spend a few hours working there—that way you have even less distractions within your reach.
Now, we’ve all done it; we’ve all told ourselves “only 3 hours until lunch, and then only 3 hours left until home time!”. Hey, if it helps you survive the day, do it! But without those little breaks with a passing co-worker, discussing funny videos they’ve seen on their phone, time can seem to drag when you’re alone. Don’t feel you have to stay glued to your desk just because you are at home though. Take a little break to make a coffee, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air, or even put on some laundry. Start with adding a little break before and after lunch. Not only will it break up your day, but it will also aid in your productivity.
Sip Coffee Throughout The Day
A few cups of coffee, enjoyed throughout the day, can make a real difference to your productivity and motivation when working from home. In fact, multiple studies have found that moderate caffeine consumption can seriously boost focus, attention, memory, and concentration.
The active ingredient in coffee - caffeine - boosts cognitive function by inhibiting a substance called adenosine that lives in every cell of our bodies. When adenosine is inhibited, neurotransmitters that provide energy and vivre - such as dopamine and serotonin - are allowed to flourish in the body, boosting your brain power and increasing your motivation to get things done!
For maximum motivation during the working day, enjoy a cup of coffee first thing, one mid-morning and one with lunch. Aim to indulge in decaf only after 2pm if you’re somebody whose sleep is affected by caffeine consumption.
It can get really lonely working from home at times. You might find yourself missing the hustle and bustle of the office, your colleagues discussing what they did at the weekend, and just spending time in a different environment. It can get pretty claustrophobic spending both your work days and time off in your house, feeling like there’s nowhere to escape. This is why it is important to fit in as much human interaction as possible in your spare time. Visit friends and family, call someone for a quick chat during a work break, make sure to chat with your partner when they come home (if they aren’t working from home too) and discuss your days even if you feel too drained to do so. It will go a long way to making you feel more positive and less like you’re stuck in a rut.
A good idea would be to set up a lunch video chat with your colleagues. Having lunch together through video chat every day will do wonders, and you can discuss any troubles you’ve been having with your tasks that day.
How to stop distractions
Whether it’s your phone alerts, music, or the sound of the post sliding through the letterbox, if you are in the wrong mindset any of these can easily distract you from your work. The best thing to do is to get rid of temptation. Don’t sit there with the TV remote or your favourite book next to you, begging you to pick it up. Turn your phone on silent and leave it in another room—or if you need it as part of your job, you can change the settings on your phone to only accept calls and messages that are work-related. If you hate working in silence, instead of listening to your favourite songs that will just end up hyping you up and distracting you, make yourself a playlist of soft, soothing songs that don’t make you want to jump up on your desk and boogie. For those of you who have the tendency to accidentally start typing the lyrics you hear instead of what you’re meant to be typing (we’ve all been there), try listening to music without lyrics.
Sort yourself out with a checklist of everything you need to complete that day, which is also a great way to stay motivated in itself—seeing the dwindling tasks can make things seem less intimidating and motivate you to push on and complete everything. Every time you finish a task, give yourself a treat, whether it’s a quick walk around the garden, a cup of coffee, or a snack. In the interest of trying to stay healthy and not eat all your snacks on the first day, you could group a few tasks together and reward yourself once you’ve completed everything in that group. Perhaps combine this with your breaks; once you have finished a certain amount of tasks you can take a 10 minute break. Giving yourself small goals to work towards will make you feel a lot more positive about your workload, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see your task list shrink!
The right time to drink coffee
A lot of you are probably thinking “the right time for coffee is ALL the time!” But we’re serious; there are specific coffee-drinking times throughout the day, and taking a sip of the delicious beverage outside of these times does nothing for you. That’s right—it doesn’t work!
Let’s get science-y for a minute; your body produces a hormone called cortisol—the stress hormone (released in response to mental or physical stress). High levels of this hormone make you alert, as well as irritable and anxious in some cases. Cortisol levels automatically increase when you wake up to start the day, with smaller peaks around 12:30pm – 1:30pm and 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Therefore, the recommended times to be drinking coffee are between:
- 7pm-bedtime (if needed).
So if you drink coffee as soon as you wake up, your body is already flooded with enough cortisol that you don’t feel the effects of caffeine—you are already stimulated by the cortisol. How crazy is that? It is recommended that you wait an hour after waking up to have your daily caffeine, so your body will actually feel the effects.
Artisan Coffee Co. have the perfect caffeinated delights designed to tantalise your tastebuds and help boost your productivity:
Looking for a confidence boost to get you through that daunting meeting with your bosses? Pour yourself a cup of The Big Shot and emulate that confident, bold, and strong flavour in your presentation.
Need to calm down and relax after completing a stressful task? The Heroine is eager to please and ready to save the day.
If you need to make a big decision about something, don’t rush into making a choice without taking a sip of The Smart Cookie—a sweet hit that makes a lasting impression and puts you in a positive headspace.
Need inspiration? Let The Genius give you a hand. It’s a tasty, thought-provoking brew that will help those fantastic ideas rise to the surface.
If you’re feeling worried, don’t sit there internalising everything; calm yourself with a perfectly balanced and delicious cup of The Enigma, and allow those worries to melt away.
The Dreamer is for any time of day, and doesn’t compromise quality of sleep. It’s the perfect decaffeinated cup for winding down after work, or enjoying before falling into a rejuvenating slumber to prepare you for the next day.
Bringing the team back together
As a leader, you might run into all sorts of problems whilst hybrid working continues to be prevalent in the workplace. It can be a struggle to maintain great teamwork and cohesive working, whilst figuring out how to lead a team that is physically divided. You don’t want to run the risk of only providing your support and time to certain members of staff—whether that’s because you are in the office with them and therefore have easier access to, or you are working from home and are struggling to support your employees through the digital world.
High Performance Development have courses that can help:
If you are looking to improve the interpersonal dynamics of your people, and for a way to help individuals understand their personal impact, then the Personal Effectiveness course is here for you. You’ll learn new ways of helping your employees understand their value and stay motivated in the office and at home.
HPD have a host of motivational speakers on hand to help guide you and your team. The course is tailored by you, so you can really target what your team has been struggling with, whether that’s staying motivated whilst working from home, or maintaining your work ethic and pride for the company.
Learning to manage your lifestyle is arguably one of the most important skills to learn in the age of hybrid working. HPD’s Lifestyle Management course will teach you how to manage yourself, time, stress, and work-life balance, so you can work happier and to your upmost potential.
Taking part in Team Workshops is a fantastic way to get your team working together as a unit, reforming bonds that may have been stretched a bit thin, and breathing new life into your team. They can find new ways of working together, improve communication skills, and how to utilise each other’s strengths, all whilst having some fun.
Whether hybrid working is the future, or it fades out after a few years, you can apply these motivation tips to wherever you decide to work. Let the productivity begin!
You can find all Artisan Coffee mentioned in this article here.
You can find all HPD courses mentioned and more here.
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