As March 2021 begins, so too does another year of working from home. At first the idea of working from home was fun. But now, finding motivation is a struggle. Being in an office gives you a regimented schedule: coworkers provide social interaction, and the physical presence of a boss keeps you accountable. But at home, the distractions are infinite. Although many of us are pros at working from home at this point, finding the motivation and self-discipline to successfully continue to work from home is hard, especially with all of the distractions happening in the world right now.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to stay motivated (and to avoid burnout).

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Make a Schedule

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the work from home tips of setting a schedule, getting dressed in the morning, and having a separate workspace. But they really are important in separating work from home when you’re stuck in the same space. Establishing a sense of routine is essential to staying focused. Break down tasks into small, achievable goals that you can accomplish each day. It’s also important to make sure that you schedule breaks and take time for yourself. Scheduling 30-minute breaks is necessary to stay feeling refreshed and not burnt out.

Make Note of What You Accomplish Each Day

To-do lists are a great way to remember what you need to accomplish, but they can also contribute to burnout. It’s easy to check tasks off of a to-do list and then add 100 other tasks. It’s important to take note of what you’ve accomplished each day or week so that you can look back and have a visual reminder of what you’ve completed. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment, even if you didn’t cross everything off your list!

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Reward Yourself

One way to make tasks feel less like of a chore is to build in rewards. If you feel unmotivated doing a task, plan a reward for yourself once you complete it. This could be something as simple as taking your dog on a walk, sitting outside, listening to a quick podcast during your scheduled break — whatever you enjoy! Rewards will give you an incentive, and provide that extra push that you need to complete a daunting task. Rewards will also help to replenish your energy for the rest of the day!

Practice Self-Compassion

The final tip is to be kind to yourself. Everyone has off days. It’s important to recognize that there’s a lot going on in the world, and that you won’t always check off everything that’s on your to-do list. And that’s okay! Be realistic, self-compassionate, and focus on the most important thing or time-pressing task that you need to complete. Take a break, re-energize, and start fresh tomorrow.

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