26 Things People Have Learned From Working From Home That Continue To Keep Them Motivated
Two words: lunchtime naps.
We recently asked our BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best working from home tip and their answers prove people are finding ingenious ways to cope with the huge change. If you're struggling to stay motivated in your home office, check out some of the handy hacks below:
1. "I kiss my partner goodbye before I 'go to work' (i.e. go sit down at my computer)."
2. "On my lunch break, I do a YouTube workout. It gives me a burst of energy and keeps me from getting too stiff. Since I can just eat at any time during my day while I work, there’s no real need to have actual lunch at lunch hour."
"I also sometimes have my own private happy hour with a glass of wine one afternoon a week. I live alone, so it’s a toast to myself still being able to work."
3. "I make sure I speak to at least one colleague a day on the phone. Sometimes I could just message them a question, but giving them a call makes us feel like we're in an office environment again."
4. "I spend my Sunday afternoons cooking lovely meals from around the world and boxing up my breakfasts and lunches for the week like I used to for the office. That way I get to travel (in my head), eat proper meals, have an actual break, and I really look forward to the day ahead. Plus every weekday, I have a shower, do my hair and make up in the morning and go for a three mile walk and do my calls at 4pm. It’s like my commute!"
"I love my little routine. Washing up my Tupperware at the end of the day is like me telling my brain it can switch off because it’s home time. Just like the office!"
5. "Take a siesta at lunch time. How many of us have been in the office all day and wished there was somewhere you could take a nap?"
6. "If you have trouble motivating yourself, set your phone timer to 45 minutes. Work for that time and then set yourself a 15 minute break. Repeat. Breaking the day up into small chunks makes it more manageable."
7. "I've been doing some of my housework while on a break or even when working. For example, I was covering a support line for staff where they call to ask questions when they're stuck. I don't need my laptop for that so I put my Bluetooth headset in and do my ironing!"
8. "Take your lunch breaks, IN FULL. I spent a lot of my first week WFH on the computer 8.30am – 5pm. When I actually took a lunch break, I found that I started to feel much better!"
9. "I check my email first thing in the morning and get all the quick stuff out of the way and then go take my morning coffee/breakfast break, just like I did at the office. It helps me feel like I'm prepared for my day rather than rushing through breakfast stressed about what I might have to get done."
10. "Hiding all mirrors and hiding the image of yourself on virtual meetings. It sounds ridiculous, but as humans, we naturally will look at our reflection more than anything else in a room. Doing this has really helped me concentrate on the task at hand instead of being distracted from spotting a stray piece of hair."
11. "I work from home overnight, and on the last hour of a shift on Fridays I open a bottle of wine. That makes the last hour fly by, and I’m not too drunk to make mistakes. When I’m finished I head straight to bed!"
12. "I still 'commute'. I will get up, shower and get fully dressed in clean clothes as I would on any other working day, then I will go out and take a half an hour walk. When I get home, it's time to start work. At the end of the day, I put my coat back on and do the same walk but the other way. It's a great way of switching your brain in and out of work mode."
13. "For me, my 'work switch' is chewing gum – it helps me concentrate and tune out distractions."
14. "I put my personal mobile in another room. I'd hear it ringing but am not tempted to check it every time I get a notification."
15. "Dance breaks! Whenever I feel my brain on the verge of giving up I stick an upbeat song on and dance like no one is watching...because no one is!"
16. "Take the new freedom as an opportunity to design your own day. I work better if I can stop for a few hours in the late afternoon and get dinner ready etc, and then log back on in the evening and finish what I need. We all work differently and most work places will be happy to allow these adjustments if they see the outputs."
17. "On YouTube there are a ton of focus music tracks which can last up to three hours ad-free – having them on quietly in the background helped me."
18. "I started collecting plants! Watering and admiring them give me an excuse to stretch, and they need sun so it reminds me to open the curtains and get some light for myself."
19. "I set 'move reminders' on my Fitbit so it buzzes at me every hour to get up."
20. "I work at my dining table in an open plan flat, so during the week as soon as I've finished for the day, I like to pack away my work things as best I can. And then at the weekend I hide my office chair and all the wires and equipment in my storage cupboard so my flat feels like a work-free zone and I'm not tempted to think about it in my down time."
21. "In the Philippines, we don't wear shoes at home. But dressing casually and putting them on (clean ones only, of course) helps me so much, I found out. I'm a big shoe lover and it's mentally empowering."
22. "I listen to music that I loved as a teen. It’s super familiar so doesn’t distract me, high energy so it keeps me going, and it’s the only time I get to listen to that kinda thing so it’s a nice treat too!"
23. "Have a coffee/tea break with your coworkers to talk about anything, but not anything related to work!"
24. "I blow off steam by going onto 'Animal Crossing' and whacking Sahara with a net."
25. "When I’m flagging as I approach the end of my work day, I’ll put on a favourite movie that I don’t need to pay attention to, and promise myself to work hard until it’s over. It helps set goals and keep deadlines – but in a fun way."
26. "My environment really sets the emotional tone for me. I'm a student, and live at home but generally spend most of my time on campus when studying. I move around a lot and when I get stuck, I go to a different building. So during quarantine, I've spent a *lot* of time designing my study space."
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Additional imagery from Getty Images / iStock.