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Easy methods to keep motivated when working from residence – business founders and administrators share prime ideas


It’s natural for productivity to dip when you’re working from home and with many people still away from the office, Liz Connor finds out how remote-working pros stay focused.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 11:45 am

Many people are still working from home. Photo: PA/iStock

Whilst a new campaign from the Government is launching to encourage workers to head back to their offices, many people are still set to carry on working remotely.

If you’re struggling to stay productive however, experts say it’s important to know that that’s actually quite normal. Not everyone can work at their best in their home environment, especially if you’re sharing that space with children, chores and other distractions.

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Yet, if you’re constantly watching the day slip by in a blur, it might be time to implement some wellbeing and productivity strategies – and some top entrepreneurs and business founders, who have successfully been working from home for several years, have shared their top tips for keeping your foot on the pedal and pulling yourself out of a motivation slump.

Max De Lucia, co-founder of specialist sound and music agency DLMDD, recommends making time to listen to music. “It provides so much more than just entertainment or distraction.

“Often, music can increase motivation, boost productivity, aid memory and improve your mental and emotional wellbeing. Different types of music can also help with different types of work tasks, and some studies have found that listening to your favourite music, whatever genre, can also encourage deeper focus.”

For Ida Tin, CEO and co-founder of female health app Clue, it’s important to think about immediate surroundings. “My best advice is to create a space that allows you to fully focus on work.

“I spend so many hours in front of the screen, like many do, and I am quite sensitive to what my eyes land on. For me, it is important to create a mini island in my home that is very serene and simple – with two kids at home, the rest of the house is not quiet and tidy.”

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Taking walking breaks is one way that Ceri-Jane Hackling, founder and managing director of Cerub Public Relations, stays focused. “Make sure you leave the house at least once a day, even just to walk around the block.

“It can be tempting to just stay in and eat lunch at your desk, but I find getting some fresh air, stretching my legs and taking a break from the screen helps keep me motivated.

“It’s also good to take time out and just let your mind wander, otherwise it’s easy to feel demotivated and depressed. Setting clear boundaries between home and work is also important, so make sure you create a consistent schedule, which will help keep you focused on the task in hand.”

If you’re struggling with motivation, Tracey Stapleton, founder of The Spa PR Company recommends starting the day or week by listening to an inspiring podcast or TED Talk, whilst Alina Cincan, managing director of Inbox Translations suggests starting with an easy task.

“Having a clear, long-term plan and a well-organised calendar are two things that keep me going in the long-run. However, for those days when motivation fails to materialise, tackling a few small and easy tasks – no matter how unimportant – and ticking them off my to-do list is a very good booster.”

For Daniel Sheridan, founder of Comms Consultancy, it’s about embracing how you work best.

“I find my work energy tends to dip from lunchtime into mid-afternoon, then bounces back around 4pm and into the evening. Don’t be afraid to use your personal ‘energy patterns’ to your advantage, even if it doesn’t fit with typical office hours. Productivity is what matters, both personally and professionally.

“When you know you’re not concentrating as well as you can do, take advantage of being at home and use that time for exercise or chores that take little thought. Most of all, be honest with managers and colleagues about how you work best.”

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