Keeping motivated as lockdown goes on – Our top 10 tips

After 9 weeks of lockdown and working from home becoming the new norm for many, you may be finding it is getting harder to stay motivated and asking yourself when will it all end.

For many it is a tricky and anxiety-inducing time – weeks of working in one place, with family to juggle can take its toll on anyone’s productivity and motivation.

Research has shown that working from home under any circumstances is likely to reduce motivation; - there may be economic or emotional pressures; inertia; you may miss working with your team and human interaction; even the office gossip.  

Staying motivated has to be focussed on finding meaning and purpose in your work.

1.  Routine

Most people will tell you to stick to a “as if you were going to the office” routine, but if motivation is flagging we would argue that mixing things up can work. Work when you are most productive.  Being creative with your day can add variety and as long as deadlines are being met, switching things up can boost your productivity. 

2.  Keep things in perspective

Remember you are not in this alone and these are unique and unusual circumstances.  Whatever you’re feeling, others are most likely feeling it too.  Don’t forget to keep sharing any worries you may be having.

3. Reflect and reframe negative thoughts

It may help you to reflect on how work generally is helping you and your family right now; what impact is your role having on your business?  What would life be like if you didn’t work?  Finding reasons to be grateful can really help in keeping things in perspective and maintaining a positive frame of mind.

4.  Celebrate the small wins

Having a ‘to do ‘ list and ticking off a few simple things can give you a boost.  Think about all the good things, big and small, that you have accomplished in the last few weeks and give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate what you have accomplished.  

5.  Listen and give feedback and offer support

Now more than ever staff are going to need support.  It is important to listen and respond to their needs and make sure they know there is someone there lending an ear.  Giving positive feedback (perhaps more often than you would normally) to colleagues can help keep up their levels of motivation.

6.  Focus on those parts of your job you’re really good at

If you do find your drive to getting things done is flagging, think about what you’re good at and do those things first.  This will help your mindset, reduce stress levels and help you tackle the bits of your job you perhaps keep putting off.

7.  Maintain your professional network

Maintaining links with your peer networks is really important, to maintain your visibility.   Hopefully they should be a good support network and sounding board too.

8.  Ask if you can get involved in more engaging work

It can often be the case that, during a crisis, and when working from home, people focus more on the tactical aspects of work.  It is important to encourage those colleagues who want to, to take on bigger projects, more creative thinking and for them to feel like they are adding value.

9.  Online training/learning

Working from home, for many, may mean that they have a bit more time on their hands.  Now could be a great time therefore to think about your personal development goals and do some online training.

10.  Stay in touch with colleagues and have some fun

If your team is quite a social bunch, you need to keep this up with some fun activities – Zoom lunches, fancy dress Fridays, quizzes and pet stories.  Whatever it may be, it is important for that team spirit  - and don’t forget any furloughed colleagues who need to still be involved.

 

Above all, it is important to remember that you are not just working from home, you are working at home during a crisis and trying to work.  Nobody has done it before and we’re all in this together.