Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through that link. There’s no cost to you, and I’d never leave you high and dry – everything I promote or suggest is because I love it myself!
Do you often find you struggle to stay energised all day long when working from home? Do you find you’re often in a slump by 11am with still a million things to do? With no energy or inspiration to do them?
I often used to find, working from home a lot, I struggled to keep the momentum up all day. Whilst I would be able to start the day with a fresh head, by lunchtime I was dragging. And by the end of the day I was exhausted even though I hadn’t accomplished a lot.
But we all know to get a successful business, we need to overcome what drains us, so we can power through with our goals and learn to thrive in situations which would normally overwhelm us and use up our resources.
So today I’m sharing 8 quick and easy ways to re-energise, re-set and power yourself back up in your day. So you can get your stuff done and still feel refreshed at the end of it.
1: Acclimatise – cool down or warm up
When our temperature isn’t right it can have all kinds of effects on our mood. I’m quite a fussy person when it comes to temperature. If you’re around me and I’m slightly too cold or slightly too hot – trust me you’ll know about it.
When we’re hot we’re groggy, and when we’re cold we’re shivery. Either way leads to feeling tired, drained and in need of a pick-me-up. It sounds so simple, but simply making yourself a hot or cold drink, layering up, or putting some shorts on can make such a difference to your energy levels.
When it’s baking hot, sitting with a fan near you or an open window and an ice-cold peach ice-tea can be just the ticket to feeling more refreshed.
When it’s freezing? Well there’s nothing more re-energising than a hot chocolate, a big jumper and a blanket. Avoid putting your dressing gown on if you can, it can make you ‘too relaxed’ – see below for more on that!
2: Eat Something – but not everything
Ah the benefits of working from home. All that food just sat there waiting to be grazed on. I don’t know about you, but if I could, I would eat chunks of cheese all. day. long. In fact sometimes I do – and I don’t feel great about it. Even when I work in my part-time job I’m constantly surrounded by bake sales, vending machines and leftover conference food.
Cue a lethargic, slumpy, bloated mess.
But when I don’t eat anything, food is all I can think about, and I just am not powered up to do anything else. Therefore it’s about making sure there’s plenty of good stuff in your kitchen or in your bag to snack on periodically throughout the day.
A great little trick if you’re wanting to avoid eating too much bread (Oh, bread…) is to make a sandwich but have half of it mid-morning to see you through the morning pangs of hunger. And then the other half just after midday to get you through until the evening. I often do this as I’m usually STARVING around 11am, but then realise around 1pm I should have waited… And now I have no choice but to have more bread… (Oh, bread….)
As an extra bonus just stick a few healthy snacks in between so you’re replenishing your energy levels every few hours. Slicing an orange into segments can be a very refreshing burst of vitamin C. As can having a few healthy snack bars to hand. My personal faves are these yummy chocolate orange fruit and nut bars.
3: Move – go for a walk
I know, I know, anyone who’s been reading this blog will be sick of me saying this, but I honestly can’t vouch for this simple remedy enough. Kieran and I go for so many long, short, adventurous, relaxing, morning, evening and lunchtime walks – and it’s such a refreshing pick-me-up. Plus there’s rarely a time in your day that you can’t find the opportunity.
Set your alarm an hour early, block out your lunch hour as “you time” or give yourself an hour straight after work. Dress for the weather and head out to somewhere you love nearby. Be it a beautiful park, lake, river, town centre or just your local area. Walk until you’ve acclimatised to the temperature. It gets your circulation going and wakes up your mind. Especially when you’ve basically been lying down or sitting at a desk for 8 hours.
Even better – leave your phone at home, or stick it on airplane mode/do not disturb. And I always vouch for no music in your ears. The natural soundtrack will do you wonders for getting in a meditative and focused state. Even if it’s roadworks and traffic. Learnt to let it in without being bothered by it.
4: Structure – organise your day
If you’ve got a million things to get done that day, you’re going to struggle to stay motivated as things always take longer than you think. Not to mention with new things always popping into your inbox, you’re usually falling behind way sooner than you’d like. Result? Drained and frazzled before lunch. It can create the ‘giving-up’ mentality and leave you feeling down and uninspired. If you don’t have a structure to your day at all – well that’s a recipe for not getting ANYTHING done. Not to mention I bet you’re not giving yourself as many breaks as you need.
It took me a while to play around with a weekly schedule that works for me, but now, I make sure I split my day into 4 slots and give myself one task to do in each slot. (One of them being a ‘quick-win’ slot where I can tick off a few smaller jobs.) This means I can concentrate fully on that task at hand. I’m not worrying about other tasks as I have scheduled in time to do them. Therefore I’m powered up to give that task 100% of my attention. And upon completion (and a well-deserved break), I’m fully geared up for my next slot!
5: Reset – have a quick 5 minute work-out… or a power nap!
Yes these options are complete opposites, but there’s so much benefit in both. I find if I’m exhausted mentally then a power nap works wonders for resetting myself for the afternoon. If I’m just feeling low in energy all over and struggling to ‘power-up’ then I need to get my body moving, get circulation going and ‘stretch’ myself out a bit.
For mental exhaustion, set a relaxing alarm to wake up to, and give yourself about 20-30 minutes if you can. (I’ve been known to sleep through this alarm however so use with caution! Cue 3 hours later and I realise the day is now over). Even if you don’t ‘sleep’, just go and lie down for 20 minutes with your eyes closed and some really chilled music on. It’s hard not to feel energised after that.
Whereas if I just feel low in energy, I usually do a 5-10 minute power yoga session with Yoga With Adrienne to wake myself up. I personally like her 7 Minute Yoga Boost session as it really stretches you out and gets your body moving in a short burst of time.
6: Change It Up – move rooms
Working in the same place all day, every day can breed inactivity. And as lovely as it may be to have a dedicated home office space, it can become ‘dull’ to commute to the same space everyday. Sometimes a change in environment (even if it is just the next room in your house) can often be really beneficial to help you think of new ideas, stay on topic and freshen your mind. Is there another room you can set up a temporary office in for the day? Even if it’s just the dining room table.
Depending on your set-up this may be easier for some than others. I have an airy 2 bed apartment, with our second bedroom as a home-office for Kieran. I tend to work at our dining room table, but often when we’re feeling a lack in creativity and motivation, we switch rooms. And that’s great for helping us ‘reset’. Be careful though – avoid working on a sofa or in bed if you can. As appealing as it may be, it’s just ‘too comfy’ to keep you focussed, and the TV remote is far too tempting.
7: Get Dressed – and then change!
I know, the temptation to work in your pj’s all day long can be too strong to resist. But it’s so counter-productive as your mind and body are still in ‘bed-mode’. It is possible to be too comfy, and there’s a reason you tend to dress smartly for an office beyond looking the part – it stops you being ‘too relaxed’. You need to be able to focus, and being fully dressed stops you feeling the temptation to just go curl up on the sofa with your laptop.
Get an outfit ready the night before so you’re not faffing with what to wear (that used to result in me just staying in my pj’s). I avoid yoga pants for the entire day as it has the same effect as pj’s. A great trick is to get properly dressed for the morning – jeans or office wear, and then in the afternoon change into something else! (I often opt for yoga-pants for the afternoon…) It’s a real wake-up to be in different clothes and it does rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.
8: No TV – but lots of music!
I used to love getting up in the morning, getting into comfy clothes (big no-no), getting comfy on the sofa (bigger no-no) and getting a good film on ‘in the background’ (are you kidding me?!) How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I’ll just have it on in the background’? It never works! I ALWAYS end up watching the film, and my work ends up being in the background. By the time I try and re-focus, I’m distracted and sleepy from being ‘too comfy’.
Instead of TV, put some music on in the background. Try however, listening to something you wouldn’t normally listen to. For instance, instead of watching a film, I’ll listen to the score on Spotify instead. It allows me to really focus on the task – especially if what you’re listening to has no words in it. I started to really love listening to orchestral and classical pieces of music, or even soundbites such as a train, heavy rain or a thunderstorm etc. The Calm app is great for picking loads of different nature-inspired soundbites to listen to. The ‘white-noise’ effect keeps your brain really focussed, without distraction, and avoids the dull-ness of working in silence. You’d be surprised how much you’re accomplishing when you’re in an almost meditative state by listening to something simple such as a gentle surf.
Tiredness breeds inactivity, whereas feeling energised breeds productivity.
As homeworkers, we are not held accountable by anyone, so it’s difficult to stay motivated and energised all day long. We’re too easily tempted by the comforts that come with home-working. But what we forget is that it’s these comforts that deplete our energy and leave us feeling too tired to make any progress.
We don’t always have the funds to work in an office space or a coffee shop, so we need to find ways to stay energised and motivated all day long. Finding quick ways to do that in your working day means you can crack back on with the task at hand and overcome the obstacles we homeworkers struggle with. Which is mainly the TV remote.
Do you have any tips on how to re-energise? Comment below with your thoughts!