From time to time, it’s not uncommon to experience burnout and a lack of motivation. The pandemic has brought many challenges that impact our mood, such as loneliness from being isolated at home and juggling homeschooling while working from home. If you need some help increasing your energy, motivation and enjoyment of work, we have some simple tips and strategies that you can incorporate into your day.
Get a quick win
Start your day with a win. Studies have shown that one of the top ways to boost your mood and motivation is making progress in meaningful work. When looking for your quick win, ask yourself “what is the smallest first step I can take to achieve what I need to do today?”. This may be something as simple as writing an email.
This small step is like pushing over the first domino and will create the momentum for the rest of your day. When you complete a task, make sure to cross it off a list. It’s satisfying crossing things off, as you can see your progress, which might motivate you to achieve more.
Mindfulness and gratitude
Practising mindfulness puts you in the present moment. Mindfulness has been found to increase relaxation and reduce anxiety, helping you navigate the stresses of the day. Make an effort to dedicate some time in your day to meditate, relieving the stress you may be feeling. To learn how to incorporate mindfulness into your day, read our guide.
Exercise regularly and eat a good diet
It’s no secret that eating well and exercising are good for us physically and mentally.
As we spend more time indoors due to working from home, getting outdoors and exercising is going to make a difference to your mood. Exercise releases endorphins which improves mood and helps relieve stress.
Studies have found that certain foods such as blueberries, salmon, eggs and dark chocolate contain nutrients and vitamins that can boost your brain health as well as improve your mood. Fitting these into your diet will help with your energy production and make you feel good.
To help you create healthy habits around exercise and eating habits, Headspace has some guides that will put you on course to a healthier lifestyle.
Schedule your day
Planning out your day strategically will keep you energised throughout the day. A big killer to mood and motivation is working for long periods, which can lead to fatigue, poor decisions and procrastinating.
Simple tips for scheduling your day include:
- Schedule periods in your day for intensive work, for no longer than 90 minutes. This is the average amount of time that we can effectively create quality work.
- Don’t book meetings back-to-back. Giving yourself as little as 5 minutes between meetings allows you time to reflect on what happened in the previous meeting, and take any necessary notes. It will also help you mentally prepare for the next one.
- Schedule downtime in the middle of the day. Allow yourself to recharge your batteries so you aren’t fatigued towards the end of the day.
- Create blocks of time where you exclusively respond to emails. Constantly going back and forth between a task and looking at your email can slow you down, as it takes time to refocus on what you were doing previously.
Humans are social creatures. Better Health highlights proven links between having strong social connections and lower rates of anxiety and depression. Conversely, loneliness can have dramatic consequences on your health as it may disrupt your sleep, increase stress, blood pressure and lead to depression. If you are feeling a bit down due to the isolation of working from home, make a deliberate effort to regularly be in contact with friends, family and coworkers. Have a quick coffee with someone, jump on a Zoom call or go for a walk with someone.
Our brain is connected to our eyes and is hardwired to respond to simple cues. When our eyes begin to droop, this tells our brain that we’re tired and need to sleep. Today, we’re looking down at a laptop or tablet which means lowering our eyelids for long periods. Unknowingly, we’re telling our brain that we’re weary and need to sleep, which is why we feel drowsy.
A simple trick for you to prevent this is to have a monitor that’s at least parallel or slightly higher so that you’re looking up for the majority of the day. If you’re feeling tired, a fast fix is to look up at the ceiling for 15 seconds. It’s that easy. For a complete rundown on this eye and brain relationship, you can learn from Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman.
Getting into good habits will help you to feel a greater sense of motivation while working from home, as we navigate our way through challenging times.
If you are looking for a job that creates a greater sense of purpose, we can help. PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers so take the next step in your career with PERSOLKELLY today.
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