Back before the pandemic, when I ran out of steam sitting in my home office, I’d go somewhere else to work. Often that was a coffee shop, but sometimes it was the local library, or even the beach.
I don’t have the same flexibility now that it’s getting towards winter and we’re in the second Covid-related lockdown in the UK. So what is a remote worker to do when they’re feeling less motivated than usual?
Here’s three things that I do, just in case they’re useful for other people:
- Take a moment to reflect — what’s going on? I’m not suggesting a full OODA loop, but I consider how I’m feeling and why I’m not getting on with stuff. Is it because I don’t have anything to do (unlikely!) or because I’m not sure how to do it, or something else?
- Gain clarity — can I move somewhere else? I’ve realised that, pre-pandemic, moving physical location was a proxy for moving conceptual location. So can I go for a walk to figure things out? Or shut down something that is taking my attention (e.g. social network) and move it somewhere else (e.g. email/Slack)?
- Act — what can I do? If there’s something that needs clarifying, I try to gain that clarity as soon as possible. If not, I have to decide how comfortable I am in sitting in the uncertainty. If that’s the case, instead of ruminating, I act, often by doing something else. Like writing this blog post!
This might seem like the world’s most obvious advice, but the first step is the most important. A healthy introspection helps me move from feeling stuck to understanding what’s going on, and then to action.