Bouncing Back from a Motivational Slump When Working Remotely
We used to consider working from home a luxury more than a necessity, but these days it is the other way around. It is the way many businesses have managed to keep moving despite the restrictions that we’ve experienced since a pandemic hit the world.
Everyone has gone through a “funk” at some point in their work-life, and it seems like something ordinary when you’re working in an office at least five days a week. But when you’re working from home —something considered a privilege— getting into a motivational slump may be regarded as what many would call a “first world problem.” Well, that doesn’t make it any less real.
Even when working from home, when you have all the tools, a beautiful office, a great team, and everything you need to work remotely, there may be a point where you feel exhausted, unmotivated, unproductive, lonely, ready to give up. It’s normal, and it’s real, and that’s ok, especially considering that our current situation is overwhelming.
Motivational slumps can be quite frustrating. Even if you’re always telling yourself to “snap out of it,” it may take some time. You will likely feel a lack of creativity, unable to focus, physically tired, and maybe even emotionally unstable. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help yourself slowly get back on track. Here are a few ideas.
Prepare for Work as If You Were Heading Out
Wearing your PJs all day doesn’t do much for your motivation. Prepare for the day the same way you would if you had to go to the office. Wake up early, squeeze in a workout or meditation session, take a shower, dress up comfortably, and have breakfast before you sit at your desk. By the time you start your computer, you will have completed so many tasks. That will help you begin your workday feeling accomplished. Feel free to share this routine with your team to help boost their motivation. They might be going through the same thing as you.
Communicate with Your Team
You may have a very skilled and independent team that doesn’t need much supervision to get things done. However, it’s a good practice to stay in touch. Especially if you recently started working remotely. Have a daily call with them to see how things are going and how everyone is doing. Some days it may take five minutes if there is not much to discuss; some others it might take you thirty minutes to cover everything. Doing this will help your team feel engaged while helping you feel more in control and minimize stress.
Don’t Give into It
The lack of motivation will make you feel like you don’t want to move. But giving in to apathy will only generate more of it. Even if you’re not feeling like doing much, push yourself to get something done. You can start small and motivate yourself to finish that email that has been a draft since this morning. Call that client you promised you would call this week. Finish that report you’ve been postponing for days. Once you can scratch those little things of your to-do list, you’ll likely feel motivated to do more.
A lot of that feeling of loneliness may come from a lack of interaction with others. Even if you’re working from home and cannot see your friends or family because of the current restrictions, you can still interact with them. It is normal to feel like you want to be alone and stay away from people; however, indulging in that behavior will only make you feel lonelier.
Set up recurring dates with your friends and family via video conference. You can get together for a happy hour, to play games, watch a movie or to talk. It is crucial to stay connected and have something to look forward to, other than work.