Work at home bees, what are some tips to help you to stay motivated?!

posted 3 months ago in Career
Post # 2
372 posts
Helper bee

I work from home about 4 days per week. Some days it’s super hard to not just pretend I’m working lol. My actual only motivation is I get a nice bonus at the end of the year if I get food feedback haha. I have to put a movie or something on in the background otherwise if it’s too quiet my mind wanders and I get tired. 

Post # 3
1900 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I would recommend coming up with a schedule and sticking to it. Yes, it’s nice that your job is flexible when you need it but it will be too easy to fall into the trap of “I’ll start in an hour” unless you stick to a schedule. I start my work day between 8-9 when I’m working from home. I have a dedicated office space with no distractions. And I sit there all day just like I would in my office at work. Sure, I walk the dog or go get a snack/breakfast/whatever but for the most part my butt is in the seat for our core work hours. 

Also, I’d recommend working on the assumption that someone is checking up on your files and the hours you’re working. In fact, I’d bet on that, especially as a new employee. The easiest way to lose an opportunity to work from home is to be caught not working when you should be. it sounds like you can work as many/few hours as you want. I’d figure out a target number of hours per week and try to plan ahead. If you normally work 5 hrs a day but have a doctors appointment one day? Work extra hours the day before to make up for it. Put your work hours on your work calendar so people can know when you are available. It will hold you accountable. 

I have friends that work from home and don’t like the solitude so they go to Starbucks. I don’t trust the security of a public network like that and my job requires a lot of conference calls but If you find yourself not motivated maybe try the library or something else to get you out of the house occasionally. I also start my day with a quick trip to the coffee shop because to me that’s how you start the work day. If you have habits like that, keep up with it. Same with getting up, showering and getting dressed for work. I might wear leggings instead of business casual but the act of getting ready mentally prepares me to “go to work”. 

Good luck and congrats on the new job! 


Post # 4
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I work from home full time too! I go into every week with a set expectation of what I need my team and I to accomplish – and check in daily to make sure that I’m making progress against those goals.

Is all of the work you do totally independent, or do you work with other people on certain projects? For me, having calls on my schedule helps (as does having a chat going with co-workers… that we mostly use for work collaboration but also just to share funny articles, etc.) 

Honestly though… I think the most important thing is just being motivated and serious about your job. I find what I do interesting and exciting, and as long as I set up an environment for myself without distractions, I sort of naturally focus on work.

Post # 5
4469 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I work from home and, a couple years ago, moved into a position that is less daily task/project oriented and more business/program oriented which means that I can have a lot more ebb and flow in my work schedule and it can be more challenging to stay focused. Here are the habits I’ve developed to stay motivated and productive:

– I put my phone in do not disturb mode during the day so that I’m not getting a bunch of beeps and rings that interrupt my focus

– I removed social media apps from my phone so that I have to sign into them to see them rather than being able to just click on something (it’s too easy for that to quickly turn into mindless browsing).

– I love working from an appointment book where each double page is a full week, so I can lay out all of my tasks like a To Do list for the week first thing. I’ve also used project management software like Asana for recurring tasks (that was one AMAZING when I was managing multiple projects with a lot of details and deadlines)

– I let myself honor my rhythms- I tend to work best if I start my day a bit more slowly and then ramp up, take a couple breaks when my afternoon slump hits and then end my day slowly by closing things out and figuring out what needs to move over to the next day’s list.

– I stop and do laundry or a little bit of picking up or wash dishes when I need to- sometimes I’ve been on a meeting and folding laundry (on mute). It allowed me to keep my mind focused (so that I’m listening to the call rather than continuing to work on my computer) and also get other stuff done!

– I work out in the mornings- I’ve noticed that when I start the week or day with spin class, I’m the most productive with the rest of my day(s).

– I listen to music or inspiring talks (especially talks by female business owners) to keep myself hustling and motivated during the day.

– I put Rescue Time on my computer and my phone so that I can tell how productive I’m actually being with a standard work day/week- it was really informative.

– I love my job and I recognize that if I don’t get my work done, it has a severe and negative impact to the company, so there are times when I’ll sign on after dinner to take care of something or hop on before bed to take care of one last thing. I don’t do this often but I feel that their willingness to honor flexibility for me makes me more willing to do things like that to close out a work day or project or task in a good way.

Congratulations on your new job! I hope you enjoy all of the joys and perks of working from home!

Post # 6
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m a nurse working from home for the past 6 years.  I get cases that I have to review.  The biggest motivation for me is that I don’t want to lose my job!  We had 3 massive layoffs one year and they laid off people based on their productivity, so I made the cut each time.

Another thing I do is have my own schedule of what needs to be done.  X, Y, Z, clerical work in the morning, work cases, Q, R, S, clerical work at 3 pm, then more cases until the end of the work day.  Other nurses may do all clerical work in the evenings and cases in the morning.

I keep a running total on a word document of every case I do so I keep track and have certain goals for myself each day.  I save that word document under the day’s date, came in handy a few weeks ago for management needs so that was cool.  If I’ve only done 3 cases by noon I know I’ve got to hunker down.

Also, my company, like most, gives the managers reports on how much each person does.  Not only do they track your productivity but they count ‘keystrokes’ and ‘phonetime’, etc.  some companies count “nonproductive time” if nothing is touched for 10 minutes, my company starts counting after 10 seconds.  Sounds intimidating but I don’t think they even care or look too closely unless your productivity is hurting.  There are days I’ll do 20 cases and days I’ll do 4 because it gets weird with other work, but as long as they can tell you have a good work eithic they never ever say anything even if I haven’t touched anything for 3 hours.

Post # 7
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I’m a freelancer so I work for myself and have 4-10 clients on the go at any one time, vs a main job that I telecommute to. It means my schedule can be extremely flexible (but also that there is no job security, so there’s that…) I work outside the house as much as possible, but I also don’t really like spending time at home in any circumstances. I’m always at Starbucks, or the library, or another friend’s house that works from home, or even on my boat/the docks sometimes in the summer, it doesn’t matter to me, but when I go out to work, that’s work time.

My husband works 2-midnight m-th, so as much as possible I work during his hours, but I also don’t work full time most weeks. Typically, I work from 2pm for 4-6 hours, take a break to go to circus school or another class, or make dinner, or whatever, and then work again (this time at home) from 10-midnight. I’ll work over weekends to meet deadlines/free up weekday time, but I don’t work rigid hours.

I have a custom daytimer from that I love! It lets me track current projects, upcoming or applied for jobs, and then how much I’ve billed each day. At the end of the week I add up the week, and I have a spot for a running YTD tally. This is the first year of doing that (and my 9th year freelancing, so don’t be as late to the party as I was!) but seeing my exact earnings every day has made me so much more accountable! I imagine the more files you work on, the more you’ll make? You’ll probably find that a pretty good motivator 😉

Also, don’t be afraid to figure out and then implement your work style, even if it’s not conventional. I cannot deal with silence when I work, so I’m either out, or if I’m at home I have the TV on in the background. I love HGTV since you can glance up at the start and see the mess and then look at the end and see the finished product, and the 20 mins in between are just babble in the backgound that I completely tune out yet am WAY more productive with.

Have fun! It has its own challenges, but I love freelancing/being location independent!

Post # 8
1471 posts
Bumble bee

yeah, wanna echo daniTS  and say it’s important to find out what your work style is and implement/modify/optimize it. It may take a while, so don’t get too worried if in the beginning(after an initial honeymoon period) things start to fall apart a little. It may even be an ongoing thing always requiring tweaking. 

I know now, for example, my most productive time is early afternoon to evening. But I also know I can’t plan to be out and about before then or it messes up my workflow. I need me-time at home before I really hunker down in order to get into my stride at about 12 or 1 pm.  If I plan a lunch with a friend or something then it’s all out of the window and really hard to get back into focus for  me. 

Also deadlines are my best friend. It’s my personal work style, but I find I work best with really clear deadlines for every single week if not every day. (these are deadlines I have either gotten from my boss or made myself and made public to our team and projekt manager)  

I love working from home!


Post # 10
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Chateau Lake Louise

valencia247 :  I just started working from home and am getting my land legs. I’m also production based and hourly so I have a set amount of time and tasks I need to accomplish. 

I have found really entering my office as though it’s The Office really helps. 

I leave the room when I’m taking a break or lunch. When I’m there, I’m AT WORK 

Creating the mental threshold between home and work is super important. Wherever that is, just tell yourself once you’re there, you’re working. 

You’ll figure it out. A bit of trial and error are to be expected. 

Post # 11
19 posts

valencia247 :  I work from home in e-commerce, so I work more hours than most people who work outside the home. I haven’t had a day off in 4 years. So I suppose it depends on work ethic and what type of job you have. The best advice I can give you is to make a schedule, just like you would have in a job outside the house.  Schedule errands and work around the home, everything. Good luck! 


Post # 12
1816 posts
Buzzing bee

I did freelance for a couple of years and these things were always key to me!

1) Set personal goals/deadlines and use lists  It’s much more satisfying when there’s more of a defined sense of accomplishment to your work and you can tick things off and visualize what you’ve completed.

3) Planners & calendars Again, makes it more satisfying and gives you a structure to work with so you don’t get off track and realize months have passed and you’ve done f**k all. 

2) Have some kind of structure to each day. For me it was always breakfast & coffee while checking emails, then gym/run, then head to the library or coffee shop for at least the first half of the day. Flexibility is great and the timing of it can be loose, but if there isn’t some kind of rhythm to it I tend to de-rail

4) Get out of the house. It’s too easy for me to get distracted at home. I’ll randomly wander into another room and suddenly an hour has passed and i realize i’m reorganizing my closet for some reason. I usually did at least a couple of hours of focused work out of the house each day, and then did easier stuff at home in front of the tv as a treat. 

Post # 13
406 posts
Helper bee

newbee592 :  “I have to put a movie or something on in the background otherwise if it’s too quiet my mind wanders and I get tired.”

I always thought that this only happened to ME! Mind = blown! surprised

Post # 14
1137 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve been working from home for the past 10 yrs. I moved my office into a spare bedroom. That’s all this room is used for, work. There is no TV, but I do listen to talk radio through my computer. 

There are perks like I can throw in a load of wash, or take the dogs out at break time. I try to break every day at the same time. Keep to the usual schedule. Walk out at 5pm. 

Post # 15
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

A good workspace is really helpful.  I need a room with a door that I can close, a real office chair, a proper monitor (not just laptop), office supplies within reach, etc.  Without a monitor or office chair, I wind up slumping, which makes it hard to sit still for long periods.  Without a TV in the room, I don’t get stuck “just” keeping tv going in the background.  A door I can close reminds others that I’m working and helps me eliminate the “visual noise” of SO walking about, or seeing clothes that need to be washed, looking at the fridge, etc.

I also ABSOLUTELY need to keep a real schedule.  If I would shower, change, commute then work… I exercise, shower, change, then work. I try not to be “late”.  If I say I’m starting at 7, 11, 1 or whatever… that’s when I start.




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