How To Stay Motivated While Working From Home
There is a high desire from dental professionals to work from home. I always dreamt about working from home. I wondered if I would be the person who could stay on task or not. At first, I would turn on the TV and “listen” to the newest Hulu show. Only to find myself binge-watching and less productive than I thought I would be.
Thankfully, I have found a few ways to stay motivated while working from home. I found that working from home has been more productive for me. There are fewer interruptions from other team members, doctors, and patients.
Here’s what I learned to stay productive:
First Things First
First, make your bed. Making your bed gives a feeling of completing one task before your day even starts, and when you pass your bedroom throughout the day, you will not be tempted to crawl back into it. Then shower and get ready for the day. Just as you would if you were heading into the dental practice. Do your make-up and your hair. You have heard the term, “Dress the part you are playing.” Wear business casual even when you’re at home. Planning to wear your pajamas all day because you can, keeps you less motivated. Then, grab your coffee cup and head to your home office.
Make a List
Staying on task is extremely important. Make your “to-do” list. Whether you keep a copy on your computer, cell phone, or a piece of paper, make it checkmarkable. Crossing things off a list helps you visualize that you are getting stuff done. Make it fun by using colorful markers. You may even want to put your less-fun tasks at the top of the list to be completed first to avoid procrastination. At the end of the day, you will feel more accomplished.
Get in the Zone
Avoid distractions. By placing your cell phone aside, you can avoid the distraction of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Turn your TV off, and do not try to binge-watch your favorite show; the Kardashians can wait. Your favorite fur baby could be a distraction, but more than likely, they are there to encourage your at-home working relationship. They will get used to you being at home and happy to have you there to give them the love they need. They could even be the reason you want to work from home anyway.
Working from home can make you forget about some very important things – like lunch! Be sure to take your lunch break. You can still go out with friends for lunch. Most importantly, do not eat at your desk! Remove yourself from the area and enjoy your lunch. What about breaks? Yes, you need those too. This would be a good time to check your cell phone or get a little distracted by social media. If you are a person who gets off-task easily and can sit for hours watching videos, you may want to set a timer during your lunch or break times.
Know When to Quit
Finally, have an ending time for your day and try your hardest to stick to it. Hopefully, your daily tasks have all been marked off. You may still have a task that did not get finished; remind yourself that that is Okay! You kept on task, and there is always tomorrow! Add the to-do you did not get completed to your list for tomorrow. I promise it will still be there when you get back. Turn off your computer for the night. Now, relax and enjoy your evening. Life-work balance is the key to your success!
About the Author
Lisa Lash, FAADOM, is a Practice Manager with Associates in Family Dentistry and has a total of 26 years of experience in the dental industry. Lisa enjoys attending the annual AADOM conferences to see her “tribe.” She has been an AADOM member since 2017. In 2018 she earned her Fellowship Designation. Away from work, Lisa has always been a “team mom” for her two children’s sports teams, recently serving as the President of the High School Football & Lacrosse Boosters. When Lisa is not in the office, she and her husband of 24 years (whom she met in kindergarten) enjoy traveling to watch their son play college lacrosse.