For many over the past year, remote work has lost its novelty. The enthusiasm for time saved commuting and working in pajamas is long gone, replaced with forced laughter at too many “Groundhog Day” comparisons.
And while perfecting our workspaces with the best in video conferencing technology and ergonomic chairs is fairly straightforward, managing our mindset is not.
If your to-do list is growing as your motivation to tackle it shrinks, you’re not alone. Fatigue has settled into the norm and with it, plenty of reasons to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and regain focus.
Make a Habit of Getting Up at the Same Time Every Day
Even if you don’t have to commute an hour into the office, keep your alarm set for a decent hour—one that affords you time in the morning to mentally prep for the day.
An extra hour of sleep will sound really tempting but using the time for active self-care will be more rewarding. Work out, take a walk, read the paper, journal, take a shower and get dressed. What you do with the time isn’t really important. It’s more about holding yourself accountable to actions that will, over time, benefit your mental clarity and well-being.
Time Block Your Calendar
It’s been said before and we’ll say it again: time blocking is a great tactic for keeping yourself on track and focused throughout the day.
Think about when you’re most productive and schedule your todos accordingly. Having a visual layout of what you should be working on and when will help in moving progress forward, even if only incrementally.
Listen to Yourself Objectively
The little voice in our head is a flip-flopper and often highly critical. One day we deserve a giant slice of chocolate cake and the next day, we’ve over-indulged. One day we’re incredibly satisfied and happy with our professional accomplishments, the next day we haven’t done enough.
What you tell yourself on any given day is heavily influenced by emotion. So, before you react, take the words with a grain of salt.
When a critical or disparaging thought pops into your head, approach your response from a place of neutrality. Are the things you’re telling yourself actually true or unfounded conclusions driven by fear, insecurity, or anxiety?
When we’re feeling burned out and unmotivated, one of the quickest ways to snap back into action is to look outside ourselves. You don’t have to dismiss what you’re going through—just get curious about your surroundings.
In doing so you’ll often find a regained sense of purpose. Maybe you volunteer at a food bank once a month. Or pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor. The action doesn’t have to be extravagant to have a lasting impact on the community you’re serving and personal outlook.