By May 23, 2013 Read More →

Working from home – the motivation and separation

Finding the motivation to get off the sofa!

Motivation for working from home - Greg Dillon, Strat-TalkingHow can you get motivated to work while surrounded by domestic comfort?

Today’s guest blogger is freelance brand strategist Greg Dillon.

He talks about finding a way to separate work and home life

to achieve your deadlines:

Working from home is a curious thing. You are in a happy, comfortable place yet you are working your posterior off to earn a living often sacrificing human contact for a few more hours in front of the laptop. 

The motivation
This should be clear. Your motivation is to work for yourself in order to have a better work / life balance. You are paid more as you are freelance and can therefore pick and choose your projects accordingly, whilst having a healthy degree of spare time to work on other projects, blogs or just chilling out. 

I find that I can be a lot more productive during my day even if I sleep until 10am as I don’t have that hour commute either way from home to wherever I’m working. It means that my morning routine can be more relaxed and I can keep going later into the evening until my fiancé gets home from work. 

By doing this I manage to pack a lot more in whilst ironically spreading my time out. 

The trick is to find the motivation to focus, and this can be hard

You are surrounded by a comfy bed, Chesterfield sofas, cats, views out into your garden and the temptation to eat everything in sight. 

How do you combat that and find the motivation to get the work done? 

Think forward to Friday afternoon when you get to update your invoice template and send it out to your client knowing that you’ve done a great job and are to be paid within the next few days.

As Jay-Z said – “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip. You can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever.” 

All the messing around or playing with the cats is great as a relief mechanism, but only if you knuckle down when it matters and really put the effort in to deliver great results for your clients. 

The separation
This leads on from my last point. 

Yes, you are at home. But no, you will not put the washing on. You will not wash the dishes. You will not pop to Tesco. 

You need to treat this environment as if you were making that daily commute – it is your place of work, not your place to spend 8 hours a day doing chores. 

It’s a hard one to get used to as you will inevitably get requests to do some of the chores mentioned but you need to be strong when you have a deadline on, say no (both to yourself and your better half) and get your head down. 

If you have spare time between projects then do something nice for the person you live with, tidy up, do the washing etc. It is a much nicer surprise when they are not expecting it and you will feel a lot better knowing it is not eating into your project time. 

work from home secrets

Greg spends his home working days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world. You can find out more about him at his freelance strategy blog

And check out Greg’s home office – complete with Chesterfield sofa! – at the bottom of the Spare Room Home Offices gallery and in Creating a home office.

Posted in: Routine

7 Comments on "Working from home – the motivation and separation"

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  1. Alex Zemkus says:

    Great article Greg, about having separation in your home business. It’s too easy to get sidetracked with all the conveniences at your disposal. Love the quote by Jay-Z – “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip. You can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever.”
    Alex Zemkus

  2. Greg Dillon says:

    Hi Alex, thanks for your comment and kind words. Really is tough, today for example I’m working from home for the first time in a few weeks due to a mental schedule of travel and I’m lusting after my Nespresso machine and itching to play with the cats! Must focus though. Have 5 separate client calls today too so things like that keep you focused, especially as I take all client calls on my treadmill.

    How do you stay focused?

    • What a great idea, Greg, to spend time on the treadmill when you’re concentrating on a call. Treadmill desks were mentioned at the discussion about flexible working on the pedibus last week. I’m afraid I haven’t yet even graduated to a standing desk, even though it seems like a good idea and apparently you can lose quite a few pounds just by standing to work for a while each day.

  3. Greg says:

    I do love the treadmill – bought at 60% off during an Argos sale in January but yeah I need a few more client calls I think to lose a few more lbs!

  4. Fi Phillips says:

    As a fellow home worker, I need to develop more ‘separation’. Great article.

    • I think the amount of separation needed depends on the individual. I find it’s helpful to get up and do some housework if I’m stuck. The key is not to feel you have to do it, to the detriment of work.