Working from home changes a lot of aspects of your life. Instead of spending large chunks of your day at your place of work, you’ll spend that same time in your home.
Spending so much time at home can make you stir crazy. Everyone needs to escape their place of work by going out and going home, but what do you do when home is your place of work?
When working from home you’ll want to figure out the best ways for you to stay positive, happy, and motivated. The big key to staying positive when you work from home is to start and end the day on a positive note.
1. Daily Theme
The best way to start off a productive and positive workday at home is to start with an uplifting quote of the day. Having a daily theme, motto, mantra, or quote can give you something to think about and reflect on throughout your workday. Inspiring quotes can also influence your mental wellbeing throughout the day.
Quotes also help us have a small personal, internal goal for the day. It helps us with self-reflection so we can become more self-aware and grow. It can help you exchange bad habits for better ones, and inspire you to get creative, think outside the box, or feel positive about yourself and your future.
Try putting your motto in a frame on the wall where you work or write it on a motto/quote white board so you can see it every day.
Share a morning social media post sharing your daily quote and what it means to you. Then, at the end of the day you can check back in on social media with any new insights you might have. This way, you can also inspire others!
2. Use Designated Spaces
Make designated areas in your house for different activities. You need a dedicated workspace to focus, block out distractions, for more privacy, and for space to work on things. But you also need a home office to get in the zone to work. A home office will help your mind transition better between “being at work” and “being at home” even if you aren’t leaving the house for either.
Then you can more easily leave your home office, shut the door, and shut the door on your workday. Being able to literally put your work out of sight and out of mind will help you relax and be home without letting work seep into the rest of your life too much.
Make your at-home workspace organized with everything you need for work. You can even include a small fridge for snacks and beverages to have throughout the day. Decorate, install good lighting, and use comfortable and ergonomic chairs, footrests, and keyboards so you can work comfortably.
Then you can take this principle and see its benefits in other areas of your home life too. For instance, you can create a designated table for jig-saw puzzles, board games, card games, an area for working out, and a reading or relaxation chair where you just rest.
3. Make a Schedule
Routines are one of the strongest influences we have for our state of mind. Certain actions can bring our moods up or down. Starting your day late, rushing, not being able to finish getting ready can make the start of your workday a bad one. So set a better bedtime routine and wake up earlier to keep your morning routine on track.
There might be other things that help you get in a positive mindset first thing in the morning. Maybe having a nice breakfast first thing always puts you in a great mood. Or maybe getting freshly showered at the beginning of the day, or going for a walk or doing a workout before you do anything else. The beauty of working from home is that you have a lot more time to dedicate to a healthy morning routine for yourself.
But don’t stop at a positive morning routine. Schedule out each hour of your workday too. This will make your work go by faster and make sure your workday is productive.
4. Make Future Plans
Give yourself things to look forward to. Just because you’re working from home that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out of the house and do things.
Future plans can include anything. You might plan a week-long future vacation, or shorter weekend getaway. But your future plans to look forward to don’t have to be a trip either. You can also plan an event.
Go explore one of your local nature trails or hikes. Plan a bike ride and picnic, a virtual meetup with friends, a movie night, or an at-home bake off. It doesn’t matter what you plan so long as it’s fun and takes your mind off work. In the end, the purpose of future planning is to give yourself fun things to look forward to and break up the monotony of life.
5. Use Do Not Disturb
Use the do not disturb features on your devices to help you focus at work and to help you focus on family and home when work is over for the day.
Keeping strict business hours is important when you work from home. If you work outside your house in an office building, then it might not be a big deal to sometimes bring work home and work on things after hours. But when you work at home and you live at home, this distinction becomes crucial to having a balanced life. If not, then you’ll be in danger of feeling like you’re always at work and can never escape it.
So set your business hours, and set your devices and applications so that the do not disturb feature helps you focus on work when you need to, and take your focus off work once it’s done.
6. Good Things List
Take a moment to realize the things you have to be grateful for and happy about each day. Write down a gratitude list or a good things list at the end of each day. This can be a great way to end your day on a positive note! After all, you want a positive evening routine to match your positive morning routine.
Sometimes when we’re feeling bogged down, we forget all that we have to look forward to and feel happy about. Taking a moment each day to write down a list of things you’re grateful for can remind you of what you have and retrain your brain to look for things that will make you feel more positive than negative.
There are innumerable benefits to keeping a journal. It can be a cherished heirloom for future generations and can carry important information about your life. But journaling can be a really great personal exercise in positivity as well.
Practice writing in a positive tone and you’ll start adopting that tone in your day to day life. A journal can also document your progress as you succeed at being more positive each day.
Journaling also acts as a therapeutic outlet. Use your journal to safely vent your frustrations and disappointments and work through your problems. Keeping a journal can also help you work through your goals, making you a more successful person.
8. Mental Health
Seeking out personal help and support is becoming more popular, accepted, and available these days. Which is great! Resources like therapy and support groups can be vital tools to helping us navigate our lives and maintain positive outlooks.
Schedule therapist appointments and see what they can do for you. Sometimes talking things out with an unbiased third-party can help us gain the perspective we need to really get the help we want.
But there are many other ways to seek out help with our mental wellbeing. There are also groups and clubs you can join to create a support network. There are also online therapy options that make therapy sessions easier and more accessible for some.
9. Consume Uplifting Media
There sure is a lot of media to consume out there, but not all of it is very positive. It’s good to stay informed about the news, but it’s also important to maintain your sanity. Make sure you mindfully consume positive media each day as well.
You can find all kinds of uplifting media to listen to. There are uplifting podcasts, TV shows, TEDtalks, movies, and good news sources. Read some uplifting news before you start work each day to remind yourself of the good that exists in the world.
10. Do Good
Don’t just remind yourself that there is good in the world, be the good in the world as well. Do a good deed or an act of kindness every day. Doing something nice for someone else will make you feel good and make your surroundings a positive and happier environment.
11. Dress for the Day
Get dressed and ready for the day even if you’re going to be home the whole day. Getting dressed will help you be more productive then you would be if you stayed in your pajamas all day. It will also make you ready for anything the day might throw at you.
There’s nothing like a sudden conference call when you’re still in pajamas to bring down your day a little.
Pursue personal hobbies outside of work. Work is important, and for many people work is their passion, but having personal passions outside of work can further enrich your life.
Gaining a new skill can also give you a boost of confidence. Your new abilities might even carry over to your professional life somehow.
Think of something new you could start doing and take on a whole new hobby to occupy your personal time.
Meditation can be a helpful way to calm down, relax, and change your mindset. At the end of a long workday you might need help transitioning your brain from work to home, especially when you work from home.
If you have this struggle, try taking just 5 minutes at the end of your workday to close your eyes and meditate. You could use a mediation app and listen to a short session, or you could just listen to music and think about nothing for a while.
14. Turn Negatives to Positives
Practice looking at negative things in a positive light. Almost any negative can be turned on its head somehow to become a positive. This can help you learn to take advantage of opportunities you otherwise might miss.
For example, if you get fired you could look at it as an opportunity to get a new and better job. If you burn dinner in the oven you can look at that as an opportunity to order your favorite take out!
Negatives are a given in this life, but we have the power to at least make the most of them.
15. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Taking good care of your physical health is essential to keeping a positive attitude while working from home. Workout a little each day. Even if you just stretch your legs with a 30 minute walk each day, your body will feel better and your mind will feel better too.
Make a goal to eat more mindfully. You don’t have to go on crazy diets get great benefits from eating great foods. Just make more of an effort to schedule healthy foods and a healthy dose of physical exercise each day and your mind and body will thank you.
16. Get Outdoors
Go outside once a day. Even if you just sit outdoors for 5 minutes each day, you might notice a positive difference in the way your mind thinks. You can even combine your outdoor time with your daily exercise, or daily meditation as you go on a quiet walk.
You can do a lot with a little outdoor time each day. you can walk the dog, go on a walk or bike ride, or just sit outside in the morning as you sip your morning coffee.
17. Build a Community
It can feel isolating to work from home and not have the ability to socialize and talk with other adults during the day. you might have to work a little extra hard to create your own community since you don’t have a prebuilt work community already set up for you.
To start building this social community you can try using teamwork tools to collaborate with other people from work. You can also find other remote workers to bond with and create a type of “virtual office” for remote workers. You could also get to know your neighbors, create a club, or find a club to join.
18. Set Goals
Everyone’s life needs different aspects. There’s the professional side to life and the personal side to life and both of these parts of life have goals! Develop all the many interesting facets of your life by making careful and smart goals for both your personal and professional life.
19. Take Breaks
Some workers have a harder time remembering to take breaks than other workers. For some of us it’s easy to forget about breaks and try to work all the way through a workday without pause. But you aren’t doing your best work if you aren’t taking good breaks.
Take your breaks very seriously when you work from home. No what your company’s policy is on breaks and lunch and use that time to step away from your desk.
20. Be Flexible
Working from home can be a frustrating struggle at times. You can get distracted and things can get in your way. But learn to be flexible and ok with things not going exactly to plan. Part of being a great worker is to be adaptable. So don’t be afraid to be adaptable and have patience with yourself as you work from home.
Psychology Today. “7 Tips for Staying Positive.”