How to Stay Motivated and Productive When You Work from Home

I don’t know about yall…okay, yes I do because I’ve done this for almost eight years and working from home isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It isn’t always easy to stay motivated and productive to work from home.

So, what can you do? How is it that you can stay motivated and productive when you work from home? Here are some tips based on my almost eight years of experience. Of course, it is important that you understand that some of these suggestions may work better for you than others.

Stay Motivated and Productive By Designing Your Ideal Schedule

I’ve discussed this before. One of the best parts about working from home is the ability to design your own schedule. Why not work when you’re most productive? I know, I know…sometimes there are circumstances that mean you can’t do exactly that. However, I also know there are a lot of you reading this that are also waiting to work until circumstances are perfect – and that’s just not going to happen. So, make the best schedule you can and stick to it. Develop some self-discipline and stick to it.

And, yes, it’s totally fine if your schedule changes. I do my best to work while Uriel is in school during the school year. Having systemic lupus, sometimes I need a nap during the day. Sometimes I end up sleeping in. Sometimes I end up going to bed super early. It is what it is, but I use ClickUp to get everything organized for my week so that I can work in whatever manner I need to work (sometimes even from my bed).

Related: Scheduling Strategies for Freelance / Work from Home Beginners

Think about Your Bills!

People tell you to remember your “why.” Sure, I believe in that. Personally, I think working from the comfort of my home is much nicer than cubicle life. The only thing that comes close to working from home for me is when I taught college. Teaching was exhausting, but I enjoyed it. I keep saying I will launch a course. Yet, chronic fatigue…

You know what I find just as motivating as that “think about your why” shit? THINKING ABOUT THE BILLS! I don’t know about yall, but we like things such as electricity and food. And water. IDK. Call us fancy.

That’s kind of the thing about working from home. You have to work or you do not get paid. If you don’t get paid and you’re the breadwinner, guess what? Your bills aren’t getting paid…

To Be Productive and Motivated, Set Goals That Excite You

I can be a bit (a big bit) of a procrastinator at times. I work better under the pressure of deadlines. It’s why I create self-imposed deadlines (that, and to make sure I don’t drop the ball…especially now with lupus). I also tend to procrastinate if I don’t have goals that excite me. I can tell as you someone who has worked from home for almost eight years that not every project will excite you or motivate you.

In fact, when you start out…you may feel quite disenchanted because it isn’t always easy getting your first few clients. Like any other type of organization, freelance writing or freelance editing is a business. There’s no client fairy. The grind can leave you unmotivated, but you have to keep going.

Even now, I have to set goals that motivate me so that I’ll maintain my productivity (and also overcome my own anxious tendencies…because I can’t meet those goals if I let my anxiety take over). So, set goals that you know that you’ll work toward. And that’s the key: you have to actually work toward the goals. If you don’t work toward them, you won’t make any progress. Even if you don’t meet the goal, you’re closer than people who sit on the couch bitching about how it’s totally impossible to work from home.

Find Rituals That Keep Your Motivated

Everyone has their own thing. I have a morning playlist and a morning and evening meditation ritual. I also work out. I like to sit outside in my backyard when it’s pretty (and warm) while I work. I like to think about the ways that I am helping my clients fulfill their needs with what I do. Those are a few of the things that keep me motivated. Find rituals for your day that you’d not be able to take part in if you had a traditional job. That’ll help, too.

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