I've just finished yet ANOTHER assignment towards my degree which I study online through the Open University. Once each assignment is done I'm always struck by a wave of relief, what an amazing feeling to have that complete and gone, now for a bubble bath and evening of relaxation!
Whenever I mention that my degree is online to people I always get the same response ‘How on earth do you stay so motivated?!’ So here are my top tips to stay motivated when working from home! These can apply to degree work, or your homework in the evening, a job… whatever suits you, EVERYONE has to work from home at some point in their lives.
- GET DRESSED: I’m not going to pretend to you that I always follow this one - I’m really not because, let’s face it, we all have those days when we want to stay in our pjs, but 24 hours later don’t you feel just a tad gross? If you have to work from home get dressed. I’m not saying get into a fancy shirt and suit, I’m saying throw on some leggings and a jumper, just SOMETHING to separate out your work time and chill time.
- PRIORITIES: It’s really important, especially when you have a LOT of work to do at home, to prioritize. It’s very easy to sit in your own living room and think that in stead of writing this essay i could put on a wash or clean the bath or unload the dishwasher or vacuum the floor… things that aren’t easy from an office chair. Obviously, these things are important too, but make sure you’ve got a clear timetable so you know when you’re having breaks and when you’re working. A little task I always say to my students is to write out their to-do list of EVERYTHING they need to do and then take three highlighters: pink, yellow and green. Anything you highlight in pink is URGENT, really important jobs. Yellow is for jobs that need doing but not ASAP. Green are for things that are a tad more relaxed. For example, this evening I MUST wrap my boyfriends birthday presents, I would like to get my Christmas tree out and I could start wrapping my Christmas presents... but I've got weeks to do that. You see what I mean? Then follow that colour order and don't allow yourself to start on the yellow jobs until the pink ones are done!
- FIND A SPACE: I think this might be the most important one. If you think that you can do an entire degree from your bed… you’re probably right, but it’s not good for you! It doesn’t put you in the right frame of mind and you’re certainly not motivated. I’m lucky to have a tiny office with a desk in where I can do my work and that is pretty much all I do in that room except my make up in the morning. I know this isn’t practical for everyone but the kitchen table is also great! The first two photos are from the first week I moved in but recently I've managed to turn it into a good place to work.
- MAKE GOALS: Okay this is really sad but I don’t care, I encourage my students to do this and I definitely do this myself - WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS! (but make them achievable…) I always write down a list of goals to keep me motivated. It can seem like you have a lot of work but if you break them down into little steps that all lead towards achieving one big goal it all seems worth it. Right now my main goal is to get my art history degree! So with each essay I know I’m one step closer. I make lists of weekly checkpoints so I can keep on top of work and it really helps you track your progress.
- TREAT YOURSELF: It’s really important to reward yourself when you do well. Not every day obviously and don’t go spending lots of money, but little things like running a bubble bath, a square of chocolate, finding time to read a book are little ways I like to treat myself during the week when I’ve been working hard. I have to say, with how busy and crazy work/uni has been recently there has been a Charlotte Tilbury purchase, very shameful!
I hope you have all had a good day and are working HARD! Stay motivated :)
Love & hugs