You’ve probably heard of the morning pages exercise – the successful technique many people do first thing in the morning.
It’s nothing more than sitting down to write a few pages by hand, clear your mind and get positive about the following day. And that has a great effect on so many areas of your life.
What makes people give up soon after they’ve started, though, is that they find it boring. They feel like nothing interesting is happening, see it as an obligation – something they want to get done quickly so that they can move on with their days.
But it doesn’t need to be like that.
You can make the morning pages practice a unique experience, something to look forward to from the evening before. It can be exciting, inspirational and thus super effective.
How to Make Your Morning Pages Pleasant
1. Know you’re doing it for yourself.
Always remind yourself of why you want to make it a habit:
• it’s one of the best ways to start the day;
• you improve your writing and creative thinking;
• many successful people are doing it;
• it’s beneficial to your health, peace of mind, awareness and ability to express yourself;
• you want to be more relaxed and less stressed and writing first thing in the morning can help you with that;
• it’s also a therapy for you – you describe the stuff that’s bothering you, admit your deepest fears and desires by putting them in writing.
2. Combine it with something you enjoy.
You can add some music, or read a favorite book for a while before you get to writing.
Lack of energy is one of the challenges of working from home. Staying focused and productive, keeping our motivation levels up, not getting distracted and ignoring interruptions are all things we struggle with as bloggers, freelancers and online business owners.
In fact, I got lazy earlier today around noon and that annoyed me a bit. It’s proof that even years of working from home aren’t enough to get rid of this. It’s just how the body and brain work. And while there are some productivity and energy hacks we can try, it’s something we’ll need to make peace with.
But I was determined not give up and call it a day and start doing unproductive things. Instead, I finished an article I was writing for a client and did a few other little things. One more cup of coffee and I started getting ready to go out. I hit the gym and felt accomplished. Imagine if I stayed at home allowing the lack of energy and mental clarity to take over?
It’s always better to just start doing stuff, as you’ll see below. If you too are working from home and struggle with keeping your energy for the whole day, here are some tips that really work:
Tips for Staying Energetic When Working from Home
1. Work while standing.
You can alternate periods of sitting and standing while working from home. Or you can just do it while standing for a few hours.
I begin the day by creating a fake standing desk, placing my MacBook on it and working like that. These are my sacred hours and I do my most important work then. Standing definitely keeps me alert and helps me be more productive.
But don’t just take my word for it. It’s science-backed. Plenty of studies have found that working from a standing desk improves not just productivity but also health.
2. Get moving.
When you’re doing work on your laptop, especially if it’s something repetitive, rather boring or just a project you’ve been stuck with for a long time, you can easily feel sleepy. To get your focus and energy back, get up and do something.
Declutter a bit, do a chore, go to the store, take a shower, start getting ready for going out even if it’s too early for that, do a few squats.
Any type of movement would be beneficial to your energy levels. That’s a quick trick whenever you start feeling lazy but have more work to do.
3. Snack strategically.
I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and don’t have a big meal in the first part of the day. The first calories I consume are from the milk in my coffee. Then, during or after my most important work for the day, I eat yogurt and nuts, an omelet or a fruit. These all give me energy yet they don’t make me feel full or get distracted.
A big meal, however, especially one rich in carbs, would ruin my productivity. I’ll even feel like napping right after it and no work is usually done after that.
The fresh air, the act of leaving home itself, being around people and being in public are all things that will freshen you up and make you alert. You can take a walk, be in nature or just spend 15 minutes outside your building.
Here’s why sunlight and fresh air are great for the body and mind.
5. Gather all your willpower.
Earlier today when I felt like skipping the gym and leaving the rest of the work I had planned for the day for tomorrow, I imagined how bad I’ll feel in the evening. And especially tomorrow when I’ll have to compensate for all that.
I like my productive self the most and know it’s a matter of willpower to get things done.
Working from home makes us lazier indeed but the energy itself isn’t gone, we just need to remember why we do what we do and bring it back by building momentum.
So that’s kind of a mind hack to have energy all day when you work from home.
6. Get social.
Freelance isolation is a real thing. I’m personally struggling with that too. Social interaction makes up happy and gives meaning to our days. We crave it especially when we run an online business and spend most of our time at home.
So to wake up your mind and get it ready for more work call a friend, get a client on a video call, have a meeting with your virtual staff, or meet with a friend for coffee.
If you need more social interaction around the afternoon slump, take your laptop to a coffice or a coworking space.
7. Hit the gym.
That works for me every time. It’s the part with getting there that’s the challenge.
You need to get ready, leave home and actually have a proper workout. But the feeling after it is great. Fitness is one of the main reason why I can focus in the first part of the day and why I’m more productive and energetic for the whole day in general.
So that’s how I beat laziness when working from home and save focus and productive energy for the day. You can do the same.