Community Magazine

5 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Telecommuter

By Emily @emily_ladau

In a recent post, I wrote about some of the best and some of the most difficult aspects of working from home. I love to work and I thrive on productivity no matter where I am, but as a telecommuter, staying motivated always needs to be a priority for me. From the research I’ve done and the telecommuting tales others have shared with me through my blog and social media, I know I’m not alone. I heard from a range of people in the disability community and the blogging community about their experiences working from home and realized that people have the most success through developing positive habits and routines. So, I’m going to share some of my favorite ways I stay energized while working and blogging from home, and if you’re a telecommuter, I hope you’ll share your ideas and words of wisdom on motivation with me!

Here are my top five tips for telecommuters:

Tips for Telecommuters: Get enough vitamin D, Listen to background noise, Take short breaks, Volunteer outside the house, Join supportive social media groups.

1) Get enough Vitamin D – A lack of Vitamin D can actually be an issue for anyone who spends too much time indoors. The best source of it is a short amount of sun exposure each day. If you’re working inside and don’t leave the house, you might be deficient in Vitamin D. Supposedly, Vitamin D helps boost your mood and combat depression. It does a bunch of other super important things for your body too. Plus, sunlight just makes you feel good! Even so, I know that mid-day frolicking outdoors is not always a possibility when working from home. To make up for that, I’m trying out something called the Verilux HappyLite, which is said to simulate natural light. I’m hoping the combination of the HappyLite and natural light from my windows will work wonders!

2) Listen to background noise – I know this tip isn’t for everyone. Some people need total silence to concentrate, but I actually concentrate better with a little background noise. I don’t mean blast the television, though. I play quiet music or relaxation videos on YouTube to keep me calm and focused. It also makes me feel like I have a little company!

3) Take short breaks – This is advice I need to take. When I start a lengthy project for work, I tend to get lost in it and keep going from start to finish. I’m going to start taking 2 minute stretch and movement breaks every once in a while to avoid body stiffness and brain mush!

4) Volunteer outside the house – While this may not be possible for everyone, I highly recommend volunteering outside the house a few times a month. I’m lucky that one of my monthly volunteer gigs provides me with transportation. It gives me a change of scenery and a chance to give back, so I return to work the next day feeling positive and refreshed.

5) Join supportive social media groups – I need to do some more research on work-at-home groups, but so far I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some wonderful people via disability-related and blogging-related social media networks. Chances are they’ll always be a great place to find a laugh, share something interesting, or pass on some advice!

Of course, these tips apply mainly for the work day. After work hours…go on and get out, if you can! I spend evenings and weekends with family and friends as much as possible. That’s the ultimate morale boost. But during the work day, I’m wondering what other people who work from home do to feel active and connected.

It’s so important to take care of yourself to stay energized while telecommuting. What strategies keep you motivated and in touch? I’d love for other members of the work-at-home crowd, and even people who work in an office from 9-5 to share your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas!

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