Working alone might be a nightmare for some, but a dream come true for others. The ones who enjoy working alone, assume there are no distractions or no poking of the boss to complete the task. Just a quiet and peaceful atmosphere to complete work while staying inspired. Well, these are all just assumptions because when you work alone you face many more challenges than expected. Lack of concentration, boredom, isolation, distractions from social media and notifications and most importantly, lack of inspiration.
Managing yourselves and being inspirational all the time despite working alone is the essential key behind your success. To remain focused, learn to maintain distance from those inevitable interruptions. By being prepared for all the distractions, you can keep yourself focused. If you understand any potential hurdles that could affect your potential productivity beforehand, you can formulate a working atmosphere in advance that would work for you. Say for instance, if you know that your roommates or family can be a distraction, try to set a boundary between them while you are working. Follow a strict rule of not watching the TV or scrolling your mobile phone, to keep yourself on track.
Some Examples of the Biggest Distractions Individuals Face When Working From Home Include:
- Family and Children Wanting Attention
- Inability to use office equipment
- The pressure running at the back of the mind to complete the household chores
- Keeping television on for a “Company”
- Workspace is small, messy or non-motivational
How to Keep Yourself Productive & Motivated While Working Alone?
When I first started working alone, for a few days, everything was going smoothly. But, as days passed on, it became more and more difficult for me as solitude started weighing heavy for me. I felt isolated, tired, bored and started losing my confidence. One day I came across a quote by Ellen Burstyn, an American actress.
What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.
Having gone through all the above-mentioned hurdles, I have developed some go-to tactics for improving my solo working motivation. Below are mentioned some of the essential tools and self-management strategies that have helped me stay inspired and can also prove to be helpful for all those who want to stay inspired despite working alone.
1. Set Deadlines
I found that my productivity increases when I set strict deadlines for me. When a deadline is set, you have continuous pressure on you to complete the work. Therefore, you are more likely to work with more passion. The more time you allot for any project, the slower you will do it which will ultimately result in your interest diminishing.
Set tight but at the same time sensible time-frames for yourself so that you can complete a specific project within that time frame without too much pressure. By doing this, you can weed out interruptions, and give yourself laser-focus to meet the goals set by you.
2. Turn Off All Your Social Pages
No doubt, social media acts as refreshment, but it is also true that you are bound to get distracted from all those social media notifications while working and your work concentration can break. So, it would be advisable to restrict yourself from not viewing those notifications, if you actually want to focus on your work.
If you cannot hold yourself from scrolling down through those notifications, it will be highly recommended that you turn off or mute those pages so that you don’t get distracted while you are working.
If you really want to check your social media profile like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. during your workday, decide a specific time. Better yet, make use of a tool similar to Cold Turkey for completely blocking your access to your social media pages during your working time.
3. Have A Separate Work Space
Not every person has a big and spacious apartment; hence it may not always be possible for him to have a separate workspace. But, even if you are residing in a small apartment you can at least reserve a small portion to commence your work-related activities.
When you work from that space, you get a traditional office-like feeling that motivates you to work and helps you to stay inspired. Making your couch or bed your workspace hardly works and you will twitch around to sit comfortably. Working from a couch or bed not only distracts you but is also un-favourable for your body. Try getting yourself a comfortable chair and desk on which you can work.
4. Have A Social Life
While working alone you may come across fewer disturbances, but at some point in time you may feel more isolated and monotonous that could diminish your productivity. Hence, to refresh yourself and remain productive and motivated, you must indulge in social activities too. Not daily, but can at least you can manage once a week. In short, socialize to eliminate boredom and invigorate your mind.
5. Attend Professional Events & Network
Without any sort of social interaction, you cannot keep yourself updated with the recent working trends; hence it becomes harder for you to carry out work alone. Try to attend professional or networking events so that you could interact with other people working in the same field in which you are to gain more knowledge. Make this a habit, it will motivate you and help you to explore more. Also, while attending such types of events, you might forge trusted and long-term referral partnerships.
6. Love Your Work
This is one of the most essential points that can never be ignored. If you do any work that falls out of your interest zone, then it would be hard for you to remain inspired for the long-term. Maybe you push yourself for a few days to complete the work, but I bet the zeal to complete the task will fade away soon. Hence, do only that what you would genuinely enjoy doing because you will passionately stick to it to finish it sooner. If you are not enjoying your work, you are not performing and can get demotivated.
7. Take (Short) Breaks
Continuously working on computer screens may cause pressure to your eyes. Hence, it’s essential to include short breaks so that your eyes, mind and even your whole body can get rest. Give a break to your body and reset your energy level. As per the Scandinavian study it has been found that the people who took short breaks were less tense and more enthusiastic and rejuvenated.
8. Change Your Location
It’s possible to go crazy if you have been working from the same place for a long time. Other than this when you feel that procrastination is about to set in, you need to change the location quickly. If you are working from home, you can move to your favourite coffee shop. By changing your location occasionally, you will recuperate, stay inspired, and start working again with a new energy level.
There are a few freelancers who work from home as well as hire the workplace far from their home and spin between both the workplaces so that they can remain on-task efficiently.
9. Block Out All Distractions
We are completely surrounded by distractions. Phone calls, social media, text messages, kids and many other things are there that can draw your attention and interfere in your work. As per Gerrish, we humans get more distracted when we fail to define what actually we want to achieve and what is more important to us.
The one and only solution to any distraction are to set some boundaries and block them out. When you are doing something important make sure that you don’t pick any phone call until and unless it’s urgent and tell people not to contact you during your working hours.
10. Get Dressed
Although you feel comfortable staying in your pyjamas, make sure you get dressed for the days you are working. This will give you an office atmosphere type of feeling. Science says that when you dress up in pants and formal attire you become more productive and stay inspired.
Many individuals, including myself, believe it’s not easy to do work with full concentration without an office like feeling and comradeship. Whether you are an entrepreneur, specialist, sole owner, director or any other self-employed individual who works without an office atmosphere, trainer or a friend, staying motivated can be very tough for you. Even isolation can adversely affect your productivity, profitability and inspiration.
Therefore, the tips mentioned above could help you to stay inspired if you too are working all alone from your home.