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4 Apr 2014

Staying Motivated While Working From Your Home Office

Chances are you work from home. There’s really no reason not to anymore, is there? It’s just as easy to work from the comfort of your own home office while communicating with your team daily, eliminating the need for a physical office. Working from home is great – I do it myself. Every day, I get to wake up, walk down the hallway, and there I am: in the comfort of my own home office. If I need a coffee break, all I have to do is walk downstairs, fill up my coffee cup, and watch a quick episode of Seinfeld to unwind for a bit.

You simply don’t have this type of freedom at an actual office. Working from home is liberating. You can work in your own environment, dress however you wish, make the coffee the way you want it made, and more. And when you’re your essentially your own boss? You can work the way you prefer, by your rules.

Yet with this freedom, procrastination can seep in. Staying productive is an entirely different problem, yet what can you do if you are not even motivated in the first place? If you cannot find the motivation to keep ‘fighting the good fight,’ use these tips to stay motivated while working from the luxury of your home office.

Commit yourself to excellence

Most people commit themselves to getting a job done and nothing more. One of the best quotes from the film Office Space is from Peter Gibbons, who states that his only real motivation at work is to, “not be hassled,” and, “the fear of losing my job,” which is the case for many people. They only want to be good, not great – and this isn’t the way to approach your job!

Every day, wake up and commit the work day to exceeding – to excellence! Make the decision to do every task as well as possible, and don’t ‘finish’ a task until you know without a doubt that it is of the highest quality. Not only will you get better results almost immediately, but you will develop a newfound love and respect for your craft.


Remind yourself how awesome you are

You’re ambitious, and that’s great – but you are also probably your worst critic. I’m guilty of this as well. I heavily critique my writing almost daily, and while it helps me to constantly improve my craft, it can put me in a slump if I’m not careful. Thus, I have to remind myself constantly of my positive points.

You should do the same as well. Every morning, take a few minutes to remind yourself why you are good at what you do. Remind yourself of the experiences, the attributes, and more that make you awesome at what you do. Don’t ignore the points you need to work on to improve your craft, but don’t beat yourself up about what you’re not good at either. Be humble, but also be prideful.


Do work you enjoy

One of the greatest decisions I made was hiring other writers to tackle the work I didn’t enjoy. It has given me the luxury to pick-and-choose work I enjoy, and fill my work day with work I love rather than work I begrudgingly do to pay the bills. It’s given me the option to ‘have my cake and eat it too,’ as the old saying goes, and I highly suggest that if you have the opportunity to surround yourself with only work that you enjoy, do it. Hate doing a certain task when developing your indie games? Hire an outsourced employee to do it for you. Wish you could focus more on one task over another? Again, hire an outsourced employee to lighten the workload so you can use the work day to focus primarily on work that you love.

What will happen? You will actually look forward to working during the day. Gone will be the days that you dread work tomorrow – and that’s powerful. This will be another notch you can add to the second tip, because you know what? Most people do work they can’t stand. You are standing above the rest by working on work that you enjoy, so pat yourself on the back.


What techniques do you use to stay motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. nathan

    Thanks, these ideas struck home more than the usual ‘wear pants and go outside’ comments on other sites. I’ve only been working from home a bit over six months and have recently hit a form slump – it’s not that I don’t have plenty to do, it’s just easier to procrastinate the day away which leads in my case to feelings of guilt and depression, a process that feeds off itself. It’s not that I wouldn’t have these feelings from time to time in an office environment, but the external motivation of co-workers and managers shortened the length of the slump – right now I cant see an end to it, ‘working’ on my own at home.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been working at home for a few years, and there are just days in which you can’t seem to get a grip on the day and get things done in a timely manner. That’s why I usually set mini deadlines for myself and restrict myself to certain amenities through the day. For example, if I want to eat lunch early, I make myself finish a set of tasks before a certain timeframe in order to reward myself and eat lunch a little earlier than usual. If I want to watch an episode of some TV show during the day (something I’d never do normally), I force myself to finish a set of tasks before I’ll reward myself. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a schedule in front of you so you can remind yourself of everything that you have to do during the day.

      Also, I think your problem could be that you’re looking at the day as a whole instead of taking the day one task at a time. That can certainly lead to procrastination. Take each day a task at a time and I think that too will help to minimize your desire to procrastinate.

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