How to avoid isolation and stay motivated working from home

Coach Fiona Clark of Inspired Mums gives some advice on how to stay motivated while working from home:

The other day I was talking to a mumpreneur whose PR business has taken off over the last few months. She’s got what she wants – she’s her own boss, she works from home and has the flexibility to choose her hours and projects. “I love it,” she says, “but I’m also finding it quite hard to stay motivated. Some mornings when it’s gloomy outside, I really miss the buzz and camaraderie of an office environment.”

Working alone from home can be really tough when it’s miserable outside and everyone else seems to be having Christmas lunches and parties, making you feel like a recluse and often spiralling into bouts of self-doubt.

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Here are my top tips for staying motivated working from home:

–      Mix it up: If you usually start the day writing press releases, shake up your routine and make phone calls first. When you’re running out of steam on a project, take a break and call someone or do research for another client before returning to it.

–       Build bridges: Reach out to other mumpreneurs. Sharing experiences and discussing the highs and lows of working from home often makes you feel less isolated.

–       Go for coffee:  Your business will not collapse if you meet a friend for coffee or lunch every now and then. (This is quite hard when you’re paying for childcare, but give yourself permission to do it anyway. It will refuel you!) Working in a buzzing coffee shop could also make you feel part of the world again.

–       Exercise energises: Don’t put it to the bottom of your priority list! Go to a weekly yoga class, a jog or brisk walk to wake up body and mind. If you can’t find a friend to join you, go alone and use the time to having quality thinking time.

–       Meet new people. Go to networking meetings, even if you don’t really feel like it. Spending time with other people and sharing ideas can create that spark you need to keep going. Not everyone will be your cup of tea – but remember this is the same in an office!

–       Build a virtual team: If you employ freelancers for social media, marketing or web design find ways of feeling that you’re all part of a team striving for the same goal such as meeting regularly and sharing successes.

–       Focus: Make a plan each evening of three key things you want to achieve the next day. This will make it seem manageable and help you focus instead of feeling weighed down by a never-ending list of tasks.

–       Divide work and home: Don’t be distracted by the dirty dishes in the sink or overflowing washing basket. Either get domestic chores out of the way first thing or set aside 30 minutes before school pick up to blitz the home.

How do you stay motivated working from home? I’d love to hear some more tips to help other work-from-home mums.

*Fiona Clark is a qualified confidence and career coach who founded Inspired Mums to inspire women to reach their full potential at work. She is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles.  Start the New Year on a positive note by joining Fiona for a series of 4 career workshops in a beautiful setting at Sanctum in Beaconsfield. The workshops will offer inspiring and practical advice for finding a fulfilling and family friendly career. Find more details on her website or contact fiona@inspiredmums.co.uk




Comments [6]

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for those interesting perspectives and sharing your personal experiences. I agree that isolation can really affect your motivation – especially when you are self-employed you are really only accountable to yourself and self-imposed deadlines!
    I also agree that the issue of boundaries for home-based people is also relevant – might be a subject for a future blog!
    Love the idea of splitting your time into defined categories – great idea!
    Fiona, Inspired Mums

  • Anonymous says:

    I run my own Network Marketing Business under the umbrella of an amazing 35 yr old Health and Wellbeing company. I find that networking and build relationship with people doing the same or similar, helps, as well as looking after clients and building a team, building bridges with other home-based business really helps. I split my time into three areas business, family and networking. planning at the beginning of each week, keep it varied, working alone is difficult when it come to validating your experience, and making time for others whether it is client, family or friends is important. thank you for this article

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this uplifting article – I have worked from home for a couple of years now but recently moved to a new town and the isolation is beginning to make its mark! My motivation has dropped in the past few weeks but reading this piece and the comments remind me that I'm not alone and that many home-based workers/ business people feel like this from time to time. I think it's important to acknowledge that the work-life balance is just as big an issue for home-based people: setting boundaries is vital because that will help to maintain focus. Thanks and Merry Christmas to everyone

  • Anonymous says:

    I run my own Network Marketing Business under the umbrella of an amazing 35 yr old Health and Wellbeing company. I work from home though, building a team of like-minded people. I plan my week, block off me time, chore time (washing, tidying etc), time with husband and children and plenty of business time. Always do a weekly plan, split your days – variety is the spice of life. I agree, there is nothing wrong with working in a coffee shop, or taking a walk to clear your head – you can still make calls and do a "mental to do list" whilst out here.

  • Chene Koscielny says:

    I agree that most solo business people find it difficult – not sure having your partner at home too is the answer for everyone – but glad it's making life easier for you!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a challenge I face every day, and I think all solo business people find this aspect of working alone difficult. My wife and I both work from home, which makes it a lot easier for us.


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