person using laptop

“I Don’t Want To Work But I Have To”: How To Motivate Yourself To Stay Productive As You Work From Home


By now, a lot of people around the world have already transitioned to working remotely. Ever since the pandemic struck, most companies and establishments were forced to take their business online to stay afloat.

While work-from-home arrangements have benefited a lot of folks, many people are also struggling with it. It’s not so much the job as it is the actual set-up that they find challenging. Some people are just not wired to work this way thus they find it hard to stay motivated as they get their work done at home.

7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Stay Productive as You Work from Home

work from home

1. Start your day early

Waking up early in the morning means you get to start work early and finish it early. Plus, studies have found that people who wake up early in the morning are more productive and proactive compared to those who wake up later in the day.

2. Fix yourself up and put actual clothes on

Just because you’re working from home where no one will see what you look like is no excuse to get sloppy and not fix up. Jump out of your PJs, take a shower, and put some clothes on.

Psychologists say that our brain adapts to the kind of clothes we wear. This means that if you want to be productive, you need to feel and look the part. Of course, you don’t need to dress up in a suit and tie but at least wearing jeans and a shirt will get your mind conditioned that there’s work to be done.

3. Never do work where you rest or sleep

Similarly, getting work done in a spot associated with relaxation and rest is counterproductive. It is important that you have a dedicated workstation and not do your work in bed.

If working in your PJs can make you lazier, working in bed or in your La-Z-Boy can triple that effect. Plus, eventually, you will get stressed because the line between rest and work is no longer clear.

A dedicated work area, even if it’s just your dining table or a spot in your living room, can help you get into a work mindset that allows you to focus at work and not be distracted by the comfort of your bed.

4. Make weekly and daily schedules

This one should be already a given but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t get much accomplished because they don’t follow a schedule. You need to establish some sort of routine when you work from home.

Create a calendar for all of your tasks, like when you’re supposed to work on the new online survey software, your brainstorming meeting with your team, and even your meals throughout the day. This helps you keep track of and manage your time well.

5. Reward yourself for each task accomplished

Most people don’t think they can handle working from home because of the many distractions. They fear that if they work remotely, they will end up just playing video games or watching Netflix the whole day and cram all their work in the last hour of their shift.

While the temptations are real, you can use them to your advantage. Instead of seeing them as distractions, you can look at them as rewards. For instance, tell yourself that when you get a task done, then you can watch an episode or two of your favorite show or play a few minutes. Or if you finish your work as early as noon, then you can hang out with your friends.

6. Turn off notifications

One of the greatest distractions when working from home is the notifications you get from your apps and your phone. It’s hard to keep your focus every time you hear a notification bell go off telling you that you’ve got a message. Keep your notifications turned off during your working hours so you don’t lose your momentum.

7. Take up a hobby or a side-project to keep you productive during your downtime

When you’re already done with work and you still have plenty of time left, instead of binge-watching on Netflix, use that to either take up a hobby or work on a side project. This way, even if you’re not working, you’re still being productive. Take this as a blessing because most folks who have traditional jobs don’t have enough time to do other things while you can streamline your schedule to take on your other interests.

Perhaps the reason why you’re here is you’re one of those people or you know one who has the same problems. But given these trying times, we adapt and make the most out of what we have.

Scroll to Top