Staying motivated and productive is difficult at the best of times, but home environments can sometimes be the worst - full of constant distractions and the ever-present options to just go back to bed. It can be even more difficult to stay focused when one is living alone or with flatmates that you do not get along with. In this article, Emily Christie outlines certain small steps that can make life more bearable and to boost productivity.
HAVE A SCHEDULE
If you struggle to get up and go in the morning or find it overwhelming to try and get everything done, then making plans, rotas and schedules can be helpful. If you live alone, then try something like making a list of chores or tasks and sticking it on the wall, so that you can actively see what needs to be done and tick things off as you go. If you know you struggle to wake up then schedule an hour-long period in which to get up, so that you can ease yourself into the day gently but with control.
If you are living with housemates, then creating cleaning rotas together and displaying them publicly, on the fridge or in a communal area, can be really helpful. It takes the pressure and tension of splitting housework away and quantifies work, so that everyone has a chance to do the same chores without one person having to pick up the slack. Having a structured chore schedule also means you do not have to have unnecessary interaction with your flatmates and lessens the chances of cleaning-related arguments that can make living situations awkward.
GET SOME DISTANCE
If you live alone, then getting out the house, even for a fifteen-minute walk or to grab a coffee, can help you motivate yourself or remove you from a negative headspace. Getting some distance from work and taking a break from being at home by being active, no matter the level, can help with mental health and increase productivity. If you are not up for walking, then just sitting outside is a great way to clear your mind and feel less trapped.
If you live with housemates, then getting space and distance is equally important. If tensions are running high or you are just fed up, then meeting friends outside the house, going for a walk or taking part in a hobby can help show you the bigger picture and remind you of the support and the world that exists outside your living situation. This is especially helpful if you are becoming frustrated or angry, as it can prevent arguments that you might regret later.
OWN YOUR SPACE
If you live alone, then decorating your house and creating a comfortable space can really help with feelings of isolation or boredom. Burning incense, candles or getting a reed diffuser can help make the flat smell great and personalise your space for very little money. Also, having photos and posters of your friends and interests can help create a space that is yours and reflects your personality.
If you live with flatmates, then do not feel forced to confine yourself to your room. Own the space you are in by making sure you have equal share of the fridge, cupboards or communal spaces as well as making your room personal and comfortable, so that you can feel like you have a safe space to escape to if you are feeling down. Again, photos of friends and reminders of life outside the flat environment can be helpful in lifting you from negativity.
Of course, having days off, sleeping in and staying in the house is perfectly healthy and important, so do not feel bad if you cannot do chores some days or if leaving the house seems like too much. Know yourself and work at your own pace. Remember your living situation does not have to be permanent and you have lots of other options available in the future, so it can, and will, get better!