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When I studied, I went to the library to have some form of social control. The social pressure made me work better.

I'm now working from home for a living. It's my first week and my motivation isn't as it should be.

Are their tricks and tips on this subject to have the same type of pressure to make me work?

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Thanks for this very important question. It is also a question of mine for a very long time. Sorry, I can't give you more than +1 – Anwar Jun 27 '12 at 8:58
up vote 18 down vote accepted

I used a couple of simple mental tricks when I had to work from home for extended periods:

  • Put on a suit - this made me feel like I was in the office and ready to work
  • Completely separate personal from office - when I was in my home office, I would work, and I wouldn't take any of that work out of there

These both help to keep the routine going - don't let the fact you are at home take over from the fact you are working.

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Now to work out how to seperate my business from personal space. Which isn't easy with only one pc for work and one room to sleep, work in. Not to mention it's also my girlfriends room. I'll definitly wear the suit from now on. – Demian Kasier Jun 28 '12 at 15:00
When I work at home I tend to spend the entire day in my pyjamas or other perhaps too comfortable clothing but I've noticed that if I change to work clothes I do get more productive and less distracted. I only do it every now and then, otherwise it would probably lose its effect. – Daniel Feb 24 at 17:40

@Rory's got some excellent ideas, and I'd like to add a more theoretical / esoteric spin based on my experience. It may help you frame WHY you're not motivated.

After working at an office my whole life, I went freelance in 1999. I had the exact same problems you did. The change of clothes wore off after a while, so did my dedicated home office. Then I ran across the idea of the Third Place. Having a background in mythology and symbolism, I'm always intrigued by threes. Three points define a plane; a stable, even surface. For me, that represents balance. The third place is essential to balance with work & home.

Working in an office, you have your home, you have the office, and you have (usually) another space that you frequent to socialize. A favorite restaurant, coffehouse, bar, gym, store, mall, etc. However, working at home, two of your three spaces are the same. Imbalance. This, I postulate, is why you're successful at the library.

Eventually, I decided to work from a neighborhood coffeeshop a couple times a week. These were usually centered around client meetings instead of my visiting their sites. Even two half-days a week out of the home office really helped me be more productive when I got back to it. Having that third space really helped me stay motivated about the work, and in retrospect, it wasn't that I was unmotivated to work, but I was unmotivated to be in the same HOUSE, sometimes for days on end! It's as if cabin fever was preventing me from focusing on the work to be done.

Taking a break from my home office and keeping my mind on "balance" really helped me overcome what you're going through right now. Perhaps it can help you, too! Good luck!

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Great indepth answer about how my workplace influences my motivation. I didn't choose your answer as the right one because the one I choose offers an extra solution on top of yours. Although I do like your explaination a lot, and it sorta makes sense. – Demian Kasier Jun 28 '12 at 15:02
This answer reminds me of coworking. Look for a coworking place near you. – w00t Aug 7 '12 at 19:29

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