Nobody could have predicted everything that would have happened in 2020. One thing we can all agree on is that the only way out is to face these challenges.
We turned quickly when the plans changed and we innovated by adapting the way we work. We also had to exercise patience to learn from the unknown. Now, many people in the workplace are approaching nearly 10 months of working from home – so it is reasonable to expect some fatigue and a lack of motivation.
We could all use new tactics to revive and give ourselves a boost. That’s why we’ve reached out to our team members across the Sprout organization to see what new habits they’ve learned to stay focused, motivated, and fight burnout.
Read on to uncover our team’s best practices and refresh your focus.
1. Practice mindfulness and take the time to step away from your screen
It’s easy to spend more than half of our day in the same place with the same view and sometimes doing the same thing. Taking a moment to step away from the screen and practice mindfulness can re-focus and offer many other mental health benefits. This was what Noah Navas, a customer development account manager across the pond in the Dublin office, had to share on the subject:
“I’m always motivated to take on additional projects and challenges that I can take on, be it reading, swimming in the Irish Sea, at work, through additional professional training, exercise / running, or getting creative by going on different ways to come into contact with people curfew. It fills my day and I find more comfort when I am exhausted and know that I have achieved small successes after each and every one.
However, the most helpful change I’ve made is taking breaks to be present. Meditating, coffee walks, and dancing bursts are some of my favorite ways to take time off the screen. ”
2. Play positive background music to jam
Some days are busier than others, especially as you crank out or near a deadline. How can you increase your work productivity and make a busy day more enjoyable? Jamie Dalton, Strategic Services Consultant, shared some advice that may be exactly right for you.
“It is normal to get tired from home after working in your home office for more than eight months. There are a few things I do to stay motivated and full of energy, but finding the right music for the day is the most fun. When I’m not in customer meetings, I put on my favorite music to stay focused. An upbeat playlist and new jamming songs make my day and work more enjoyable. “
If you are interested in working from home for your day, this is what you should check out Work From Here: A Sprout Social Playlist, a playlist that will keep you focused, energized, and engaged – no matter where you’re working from.
3. Get 1% better every day and take advantage of this momentum
If you make tiny adjustments in your work, relationships, hobbies, and personal life today, it will lead to something more important if you stick with it. For Ben Lawrence, Enterprise Account Executive, motivation and dynamism go hand in hand.
“When I lose focus or motivation, I usually get stuck or waste energy. I build momentum by experimenting with a variety of things outside of work. for example; Running, painting, fly fishing, fantasy football, gardening … I’m starting to sound like my dad. The small improvements here give me overall momentum. Taking a step forward every day (sometimes literally) helps me build momentum and motivation.
I am inspired by the people around me: mentors, executives, colleagues, friends, artists, podcast presenters, athletes. For me, it is important to spend time with people I can exchange ideas with and talk to in order to gain perspective, insight, inspiration and motivation. “
Practicing the art of continuous improvement can change the course of your life. If you choose to make daily decisions to get 1% better every day in a month, your life will be different.
4. Return to an active routine
It’s no secret that being active has a multitude of positive benefits for the mind and body. However, it’s much harder to be physically motivated when you spend twice as much time around your favorite comfy couch. Getting in tune with your exercise routine can be challenging, but there are many rewards. Customer community strategist Joe Huber shared a similar sentiment.
“A big loss for me was having access to the gym at work. We have so many great amenities at the Sprout office that encourage us to be healthy. The workout helps me keep my energy level more focused. Since working from home, I’ve found a new way to stay in tune with my workouts. That helped me stay motivated and feel more clear.”
5. Use your tools and resources
The tools we use to do our job every day can also help build focus and motivation. Olivia Jepson, social media specialist, provided some focus points with tips within the Sprout Social platform itself.
“While working from home, I try to be creative and recreate my office rituals. I find that if I can step back for a short time, I can stay productive, creative, and motivated. I also spend a fair amount of time on Sprout and found these three tips great for keeping me focused, productive, and not overwhelmed.
- Focus mode in the Smart inbox/ Flattening filters is a great way for me to stay on track and not get distracted by other tabs and tasks. Below is an example of using filters to focus on one platform at a time.
- Chatbots This is a great way to save time on the inquiries I get on a regular basis and to get some general context about what our audience needs before I respond.
- The mobile app is great for staying connected and focusing on the go. I never feel stranded when I’m away from my computer and need to do a task, reply to a message, or post something on time. It’s easy to get your job done without adding another task to a long to-do list.”
Would you like to learn more about our all-in-one social media management tool? Request a demo and take a tour.
6. Try an Established Method: The Pomodoro Method
Try an established and proven time management method. This method was developed in the late 1980s and uses time blocking to increase productivity. To give it a try, you will work concentrated for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. Aisha Quas, communications specialist, shared how this works for her.
“The Pomodoro Method is incredibly useful when you’re trying to focus on a single task. The idea is that you only give yourself a certain amount of time to work on one thing and in the end you will see how much you have achieved in that amount of time. This is especially useful for repetitive tasks that seem to drag on. Time boxing in a digestible time frame can put the mind in focus mode – you’d be surprised how much you can do in 25 minutes versus an hour! “
7. Sprinkle in a few days of refreshment
With the disruption of the travel industry and the need to stay home, it’s easy to forget vacation days. However, it is more important than ever to include a few update days in your schedule. Whether you decide to explore a new area or simply take the day off to get away from your screen, these days offer a much-needed break. Liz Dotson, Agency Customer Success Manager, has struck the perfect balance between work and adventure.
“This summer I was very fortunate to be able to explore a large part of the Midwest. We went on short weekend trips to Michigan and Wisconsin, enjoyed the fresh air and nature, but also didn’t venture too far from home. It was nice escaping my apartment and the city to have fewer people and to switch the dial to my thinking. A few days here and there didn’t disturb my swing at work, but accelerated it – I felt better and better and more motivated to get involved again.”
In short, the stress of preparing for the PTO shouldn’t overshadow your ability to recharge and enjoy a vacation. After the pandemic, remote workers need more help than ever when it comes to disconnecting and making room for free time. If you’re looking for a smooth transition to a PTO, this is what you should check out 10 simple steps to a smoother work vacation (with template).
Practice self-care this holiday season
Take care when the holiday season is ahead. Whether that means diving into a new hobby, taking some well-deserved time off work, practicing mindfulness, or delving into productivity, do whatever it takes to keep you feeling refreshed. Give yourself permission to try something new.
Are you looking for more resources?