crispyambulance 46 days ago [-]
Many folks have been going through this. It sucks, and what works for some may not work with others.

Things that have helped me:

* Clear the goddamn desk. Things on your desk other than what you need is a distraction even if you see them and don't act on them.

* If you're like me, you have certain pavlovian impulses to hit up your favorite social media sites. HN has anti-procrastination features, use them. There's also black-listing browser extensions you can turn-on so you don't go to whatever time suck social media you use.

* Commit yourself to doing at least some meaningful work everyday. It's OK if it's only a short time. 1 or 2 hours of intense focus can easily look like a solid day's work to anyone that's paying attention to productivity.

* Talk to human beings one-on-one. If you can't help yourself, try helping someone else. You will feel better about work. Just call them up and offer to help them out of the blue. If not a co-worker, then a friend.

* When you take a break, really take a break. When you sit at your desk, really work.

These work for me. They may not work for you or anyone else.

wodenokoto 46 days ago [-]
To add to the desk and HN thing:

Keep your work and private computer separate. Makes it much easier to do work when on the work machine and social network stuff when on the personal machine.

Failing that, have two separate accounts on your computer.

If possible, take breaks and lunch in a separate room from the computer.

dublin 43 days ago [-]
THIS^^^ Especially important if you work for someone else. (If you're an entrepreneur, work and the rest of your life are just going to meld together, so in that case, one computer is handy, but keep separate emails, and I've found using separate browsers is good.)

I use Firefox as my personal/side project browser and Chrome/Edge for work. NEVER, EVER do personal or side project work on a computer you do not own - in most states that's enough for your employer to be able to claim IP ownership in anything you do. If you have to, go buy a used $100 laptop or Chromebook. If you can't afford that, you have no business pursuing a side hustle yet, anyway.

I've accidentally found that a shared monitor helps - I have a nice, big, 4K monitor that's way nicer than the dreck my employer provides, so I use it for work, too. Because I actually have to switch the input and that's a bit of a pain, it keeps things focused on work until the end of the day, when I switch over until the next morning. (This would be easier if the POS MacOS could properly detect the removal of monitors - Windows does this flawlessly!)

soupfordummies 46 days ago [-]
This is great actionable advice no matter where you’re working. Had to login just to upvote this.
bilinguliar 47 days ago [-]
Sometimes you are not focused because deep inside, you know that the task at hand is not what you need. If this is the case, and you can admit it, then it is an excellent opportunity to reflect on yourself. Maybe you are at a meaningless job, and it is time to move on. I just want to make a point that lack of focus may not be a bad thing.
mrwnmonm 47 days ago [-]
I hesitate to give people this advice because most jobs have some meaningless tasks. If everyone who has a task like this would leave his job, no one will stay at his job for a few months. But I deeply understand what you mean.
peruvian 46 days ago [-]
The unfortunately reality is that most office workers, even tech ones, are so alienated from the results of their labor that it is easy to rationalize their jobs as meaningless.
fishingisfun 46 days ago [-]
... man this hurts deep but truth of the matter is that we need jobs to pay bills and not be homeless. I totally agree with you though
lifeformed 46 days ago [-]
I'm working on stuff I find deeply meaningful and yet I still struggle with focus and motivation. Working on things that are meaningful and inspiring is an important foundation, but there will always be tedious parts to meaningful work, and burnout can strike any project. The most helpful things I've found is to work alongside others if possible, to take care of your health, to switch things up periodically, and recognizing that getting just a few hours of work done a day is actually pretty good.
mvanvliet 47 days ago [-]
Having had years of anxiety, stress and also depression I have immersed myself in the topic.

Staying focused or motivated is a goal that shouldn't be a goal in the sense that if you take care of your mental health. Motivation and staying focused will naturally occur. Per person it differs what you need to do to stay healthy, maybe see a therapist if things go bad (e.g. if it really affects your daily living).

But in general it boils down to these things:

-Do work you enjoy, i.e. that relates to the values you have

-Take regular breaks and time-off. No lunch break behind a desk. Take holidays. Don't work 80 hours a week.

-Do meditation/yoga and/or sports to stay physically healthy and lower stress

-Do fun things next to your work that activate/stimulate your body. Playing guitar, painting, meeting friends, cooking. Watching TV / doing computer games is more of the same behind a screen work and thus does not re-energize you

-Take care of your social life, meet friends, family etc.

Hope this helps. Otherwise check Happify for exercises and tracks around this topic.

admissionsguy 47 days ago [-]
A strong sense of purpose in life. When every productive day brings me closer to realising a wonderful goal, I can endure even the shitty client I am unfortunate to work with.
bladegash 47 days ago [-]
Your perspective reminds me of Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. At least for me, many times the pursuit of a goal is the majority of the fun, even if I never reach it!
cferr 47 days ago [-]
This is the most underrated comment in this thread. Purpose is essential in ensuring one's mental well-being. Without it, you hit burnout or depression quickly.
superbcarrot 47 days ago [-]
I don't see how this helps anyone who is struggling. Purpose isn't something that you can just go and get more of.
TheAdamAndChe 47 days ago [-]
I disagree, a sense of purpose is absolutely pursuable. It's merely a state of mind, a sense that what you're doing has meaning or makes progress towards a larger goal. What that meaning or goal is can be molded by conscious processes.
superbcarrot 47 days ago [-]
Everything in your comment can be true and the advice can still be useless. People need specific, small, actionable steps that they can realistically take. Generic stuff like "you need purpose" is either completely meaningless or inspirational in the short-term but with no real consequences.
cferr 47 days ago [-]
We can't tell OP what their purpose is.
obsequiosity 46 days ago [-]
True. We could tell them a strategy to discover their personal values and strengths which would suggest an ideal purpose, however.
46 days ago [-]
redis_mlc 46 days ago [-]
For men, being on their purpose is the most important thing in their life.

The reason a lot of men struggle, especially younger ones, is that our society overall, especially single-parent homes headed by women, don't provide an example of this.

If you need advice on this topic, check out the Red Pill and MGTOW channels on Youtube. They emphasize being on your purpose first, and dating last.

water8 47 days ago [-]
Better than no client
pc86 47 days ago [-]
I think it's important to figure out whether or not you're feeling this way because of the work, because of the pace of the work, or because you're home so much.

The work isn't interesting: Depending on your team dynamics you may be able to talk to your boss about this and try to get some more interesting stuff added to your plate. If you work for a toxic org or you're on a very small team this may not be possible. And to add another answer that people typically don't like - just do it. I just saw this tweet yesterday[0] and it was very timely for me as I've been struggling with motivation this week and last.

The pace of the work isn't interesting: I have trouble motivating if I have too little work - "oh I have three days to do this 4 hour task!" I also have trouble motivating if I have way too much - "I'm definitely missing one of these deadlines" and I worry about whichever task I'm not working on at any given moment. Having too little work may be an indication that you're ready for the next level in your career, at your current org or elsewhere. If you have too much, you need to talk to your boss.

You're home so much: Go for a run. Get your own groceries instead of Instacart or drive to get your carry-out instead of using DoorDash. Go for a drive for no reason. There are plenty of ways to get out of the house without being risky about it unless you are high-risk.

[0] https://twitter.com/BStulberg/status/1356330365007355910

TheMerovingian 47 days ago [-]
Sounds like you're suffering from mild depression; one of the common symptoms is lack of motivation. If you try powering through your symptom, there is a good chance it will make your anxiety rise. And that's arguably worse.

Let me ask you: How often do you exercise? Do you meditate? When was the last time you lost yourself on a good walk? Have you been taking vitamin D supplements (important for us northerners during the winter)? Lastly, when was the last time you met up with a few friends for coffee (if viable in your location)?

dgellow 47 days ago [-]
How do you jump from lack of motivation to a diagnostic of depression?!
ArtDev 47 days ago [-]
The correct answer to the motivation question is not a single solution, but a holistic one.

Motivation and mild depression can be easily conflated.

bdcravens 46 days ago [-]
The same way one can jump from lack of energy to a diagnosis of poor diet or poor exercise.
BlueTie 47 days ago [-]
Start by setting realistic expectations. A normal human can only do about 4 hours of difficult work per day before burning out. The whole office thing was/is a way take 4 hours of work and make it feel like an actual workday. If you don't have stupid/annoying tasks to do outside of those 4 hours that's a good thing - don't miss it or feel inadequate.

Next try to move around or set non-work tasks or outdoor tasks for breaks or even during all-company calls if you have them. Going for a walk or gardening or even laying outside in the sun for a 60 minute zoom call that you're only a passive observer on does wonders compared to sitting in an all-room office.

Also avoid any escaping behaviors (e.g. addictive) like alcohol, drugs, video games, social media, etc. If you start doing these things from a place of weakness things get ugly fast. Only do them from a position of strength like celebrating something not because you're bored/unmotivated.

Morizero 47 days ago [-]
Most times I've seen this question asked, I see a reference to "Spaceship You". So here's the obligatory link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=snAhsXyO3Ck
thimabi 46 days ago [-]
That is a great video. I found it intuitive and useful to pass along to friends and family. Thank you for sharing it!
jppope 47 days ago [-]
First, This question is a lot deeper than probably can be answered in a HN comment... but in theory the only thing that changed for you by working from home is the amount of time that you "see" other humans... I would offer that the first place to make an adjustment should be there. Human beings are social animals and we need time around other humans. If you aren't currently getting enough of that you should add it into your life (like working out, or sleeping 8 hours a day).

Second, a while ago someone reframed the "motivation" concept to me and it's been really beneficial. It's easy to think of "motivation" as an extrinsic concept, but most of what we call "motivation" is actually better termed "discipline". It's a lot easier to fix "discipline" issues than "motivation" issues.

Lastly, if the issue is deeper look into the japanese philosophy of ikigai.

(I also find music can be pretty useful)

pmw 47 days ago [-]
In the morning, I write down (and tell my team at standup) what I plan to accomplish today. I need to feel that the plan is doable, and my team needs to feel that the plan is making good progress toward our goals.

As I go through the workday, I move tasks from "need to do today" to "doing" or "did today". The "did today" list becomes what I tell my team the next day at standup.

I also have lists for "need to do this sprint" and "need to do sometime (non-sprint work)".

I track my time working. I use an iOS app called ATracker Pro, and I like it because it's local-first and simple. When I am engaged in work or doing something work-related and mandatory (trainings, OS upgrades, etc.), the timer is ticking. When I step away for lunch, bathroom, breaks, etc., or feel like browsing Hacker News for a while, I stop the timer. I have a goal for myself of 7 hours of work a day, and 35 hours of work a week. The app notifies me when I hit the goals. Some days I manage only 5 hours, while other days I exceed 10.

The time tracking is for me to stay accountable to myself. My workplace doesn't require me to track/log time. It's simply for me to know that I am giving my employer the time they expect of me... not less, and preferably not more. It helps me to find work/life balance. I can allow myself to take a nap in the middle of the day, or start work late, and know that it'll work out.

I try to be consciously aware of procrastination. The timer is to help with that (so I stop the timer if I feel like procrastinating---then I can do so guilt-free). But also, I am aware that procrastination is an emotion management problem, not a time management problem. Reflecting on that helps me to break out of it. I ask myself, what do I feel negatively about? Is the task too vague? Are the implementation details unpleasant? What's the smallest step I can take to make progress?

Lastly, I recommend the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," specifically the first three: Be Proactive, Begin With The End In Mind, and Put First Things First.

jarenmf 47 days ago [-]
I have been struggling with lack of motivation and anxiety for a while. I've found the following things helpful - Start the morning by exercising or at least a small walk outside even just for shopping for e.g. buying bread or coffee.

- When it's difficult to start the day, I usually fool myself, I'll say OK I'll try 25 minutes and see if this works, usually I get hooked and continue working for hours.

- Try to adjust the task in hand so it is not so boring and not so challenging

- If you finish working leave something half finished (and a bit exciting) for the next day, since usually the start is the most difficult part I leave something unfinished that I actually want to do from the work I'm doing

staunch 47 days ago [-]
When my workouts, diet, or sleep start slipping, I find working more difficult. When I do all three right, work usually seems easy and enjoyable.

1. Exercising well (45-60 min of strenuous exercise, 4-6 days per week, walks for sun exposure)

2. Eating well (limited junk food, no alcohol, no eating outside of a fixed time window, home cooked, mostly veggies)

3. Sleeping well (8 hours, consistent timing, early to bed, no caffeine after noon)

pojzon 47 days ago [-]
That sounds like one step away from being a robot.
Ariez 47 days ago [-]
Those three things are not hard to do or unenjoyable.

You feel better for doing all those things and want to keep doing them as a result usually. I love to lift heavy weights and sleep. Eating healthy not so much but life isn't all about having what you want all the time.

I do differ with the no caffeine past noon though. I don't have too much trouble with caffeine and falling asleep though.

Apart from sleeping well, fitness & diet are tough at first but once you get in the flow they're easy and actually become a part of what you love to do. Just got to find the right workout for you.

staunch 47 days ago [-]
Because it's counter intuitive. Living healthfully seems boring but feels exciting. Just like partying all the time sounds exciting but is actually super boring.
jeremyis 47 days ago [-]
If you're concerned about leaving your house due to COVID, the Oculus Quest 2 ($300) has helped with feeling trapped a little bit. I feel like I'm in the environment when I have the goggles on. And the exercise apps have been a great way to exercise in my room (I use Supernatural and Thrill of the Fight)
dgellow 47 days ago [-]
That’s not something I felt before lockdowns, I was already working remotely from home and had no issues with it. But since COVID, and more precisely since my country of residence started their latest lockdown (now 4+ months in and no way to know when it will end), I really have difficulty staying focused.

Something I’m currently experimenting with is to practice sport outside and more regularly. I just got a bike with the goal to go outside a bit every day or so, and relieve my anxieties and other sources of tensions.

That worked for me in the past with other types of sports but all sport facilities (swimming pools, squash courts, bouldering areas, etc) are currently closed here. So let’s see if biking helps ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

dreen 47 days ago [-]
It's different when working remotely during a pandemic or not. Yours (and mine too) lack of motivation are likely due less to remote nature of work than to our isolated limited lives in general.

I'd say try to enjoy this, focus on things other than work for now.

jasperry 47 days ago [-]
Definitely this. You might even find that stopping trying to be more productive actually makes you more productive in the long run. Give yourself permission to do the bare minimum for a few days, and sometimes do nothing but relax. Loosening the bow for a while could let your mind reset and rediscover its sources of motivation.
huy-nguyen 46 days ago [-]
My way of staying focused:

- Use the Leechblock browser extension (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock-ng...) to block all distracting sites (facebook, twitter, news sites etc) from 8.30 to 6.

- Leave my phone across the room. Your phone should never be in your sight.

- Use tactile and audible gadgets (not computer or phone apps) to keep track of time, such as:

- I bought one of the cube timers with audible and flashing lights on Amazon to remind myself to close my eyes for 2 mins after every 20 mins of work. This podomoro timer gives me a sense of momentum throughout the day.

- I use timeular (https://timeular.com/), an 8-sided physical Bluetooth time tracker, to accurately track the time I spent on various tasks during the day. Once I've spent 7-8 hours of work-related tasks, I feel completely free to stop working. This encourages me to focus on work during the day.

ChrisLTD 42 days ago [-]
Which cube timer did you get? There are lots of cheap ones on Amazon.
FpUser 47 days ago [-]
I've worked from home for the last 20 years ( occasional visits to clients do not really count ). Sometime work gets too boring and it would require great deal of a discipline to get it done. But if that's the case I really doubt being in the office can help it in any way. I have it both way. I design and create products from start to finish. My own and for clients. this part is interesting and exciting and does not need much efforts to keep engaged. But then comes the time when you have to just write pile of boring code to implement that gazillion business rules and it is suddenly no fun.

Obviously where your home office is matters a great deal. I am occupying whole basement of the house. I can imagine someone in small apartment with kids would have absolutely horrible experience in comparison and I can't imagine being able to concentrate on any work in such environment.

Sometimes I feel mentally wasted and I just go for a bike ride, hike, swim whatever.

gilfoyle 47 days ago [-]
Lack of motivation and thus focus could be due to many factors. Finding the root cause is the first step.

If it is due lack of social contact (due to working from home), try hanging out with friends or acquaintances everyday. It's a good idea to do that anyways.

Lack of exercise and exposure to sunlight can be a factor. Being outside on a nice sunny morning really cheers me up. Carve out time to walk in a park or in the midst of nature.

If the work isn't interesting, try to see if there are other places you can contribute and ask for it. If you can also identify a interesting problem worth solving then you can own it and run with it.

Lack of appreciation at work or from colleagues can also be a factor. If that is the case, acknowledge that many are also going through a rough time at this point. Perhaps you can help set an example and try influencing the culture a little bit. For e.g. an attaboy on a solid PR to a colleague or engaging in conversations outside of work before start of meetings.

dominotw 47 days ago [-]
Same here. I tried pomodoro for a while but that was just not sustainable. I have no spark or enthusiasm for work.
mehphp 47 days ago [-]
Just curious, in what way did pomodoro because unsustainable? I don't use it all the time but mostly when I don't feel the "spark" to work.

I've tried many things but I've come to the conclusion that I will never have the same motivation for tasks I'm not interested in.

I've found that if I sit around and wait for that motivation to hit, it will never come so it basically boils down to "just doing it".

I know how that sounds but I have to just force myself to do it. I have the opposite problem with my own projects... I work on them to a fault so I'm not sure how to resolve this other than to start my own business.

dominotw 47 days ago [-]
pomodoro was making me really unhappy, i cannot explain it :)
askafriend 46 days ago [-]
I can imagine the pressure of a timer counting down can really get to some people.
mehphp 47 days ago [-]
Well I can't fault you there! I hope you find what you are looking for
carabiner 47 days ago [-]
Sounds silly but the only things that have helped:

- Working at a cafe, if they're open near you. Prevents distractions like porn, pets, TV.

- Getting a physical pomodoro timer like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J5OFW0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b... I tried the webapps and they just wouldn't stick. I needed something on my desk that I cannot minimize or close. I set it to 40 min blocks for "work" in which I devote myself to staying focused. Every time I want to click away to youtube, I glance at the timer and it brings my focus back. When it's done, I set it for a 10 minute break. This is what I did in college too.

dfxm12 47 days ago [-]
I don't. I find my motivation to be the same, but it's far easier for me to focus at home; I've got fewer distractions there.

If I have any tips, first, try to figure out why you can't focus or you aren't motivated. If you can't focus because of a distraction and it can be removed, remove it. If it can't be removed, can you remove yourself (to another room or even outside for a bit)?

Getting motivated can be tough, because there's probably a million things that can factor into that and your job is only one of them. That takes some self reflection and maybe a friend to talk it over with. One clue you've given is that you seem to lament spending so many hours of your day at home. Prioritize getting outside when you can, if only for a walk. Work outside for a bit if you can.

wallflower 47 days ago [-]
What is your home office setup like?

In the before times, most of us went to offices and we got into "work" mode. Offices are specifically designed for that. An astonishing amount of GDP is spent on offices to "encourage" you to focus.

In these times, I highly recommend a dedicated physical location in your home where you try to only do work (an office if you have a house, a small desk if you have an apartment). Working on the couch does not work for me. In fact, it makes it worse.

If you can manage it, put your phone as far as physically away from possible. The phone is a pandora's box of distraction. I don't care how much self-control you have or if you have turned all notifications. If you can have it within arms-length, you are always within arms reach of losing focus.

jszymborski 47 days ago [-]
Something that's helped for me, and frankly isn't possible for everyone depending on their living situation, is to keep an "office", in any way you can. The other thing I do is try to, even ever-so slightly, diversify my schedule.

I work from a laptop and desk in my bedroom, and in the evening if I want to do "computery" thing, I move down to my basement where I've a gaming rig set up. There, I can work on side projects, play video games with friends, etc...

The only rule I make is that I can't work on side-projects on my laptop, or work on my main work on my second rig.

In terms of diversifying my schedule, I try to not work on any one thing for more than 2 hours. I force myself to either work on something else, take a coffee break, or literally anything else.

davnn 47 days ago [-]
On the flip side: how to stay focused in a loud office? It's surprisingly difficult for me compared to working from home.

Edit: Suggestions for OP. Find purpose; keep your workplace tidy and if possible try to separate work from your free time as much as possible.

ufmace 47 days ago [-]
I find it helps to stick to an office-like routine even when you don't really need to. Like do actually wake up on time, take a shower, perform normal grooming tasks, get dressed in professional clothes, make breakfast, and get online on time.
Ariez 47 days ago [-]
Pavlovian effect is pretty strong. Same goes for fitness - put on your working out clothes (have some specified) and you'll want to work out, partially because you will feel stupid if you put on your fitness clothes and don't work out ;).
bouncycastle 47 days ago [-]
+1

also go outside for a short walk to simulate the daily commute.

sylens 47 days ago [-]
The biggest change I've had to make this year is to dedicate my working space to just that - work. Before, my desk used to serve as my PC gaming setup as well as the sometimes work from home zone. However, sitting at it all day every day has caused work and personal time to blend too much. I find myself tempted to watch Youtube or fire up a game in between meetings during the day, and at night I find it hard to unwind and get my mind off of work.

I bought a PS5 and have been doing most of my gaming on that in a separate area and it's helped in both aspects.

bloqs 46 days ago [-]
I have perused threads like this for years. Ive read most popular self help books and watched all the recommended videos. I still havent permanently cracked it, but these two things helped me more than most other things.

1. Use one monitor. Dont have videos or TV on. Dont do non work related things before work.

2. Breaking tasks into manageable chunks so you can experience meaningful progress. Watching yourself complete things spurs you on, but only if you arent dwelling on the overwhelming nature of the task. Focus on the little picture.

lame88 47 days ago [-]
Motivation from within is the strongest, and requires that work be aligned with personal goals, either in developing skills or making something happen. In these conditions, I've found that I'm at my most productive no matter where - I'm working against the clock to realize my own ambitions within the many constraints of my job.

However, this could simply be a mental health thing in anyone's case. There is nothing to lose and nothing to be ashamed of by consulting a professional about it.

smk_ 47 days ago [-]
I have this past year felt what you feel, and I know many others have too. First of all, as I’m sure you know, there are certain necessary conditions for fulfillment and motivation: regular social contact, a healthy microbiota, exercise, and a regular sleep schedule.

But that’s not always sufficient. As several others have pointed out: he/she who has a why can endure almost any how. Find your purpose & goal, and align your work with that purpose. The concept of ikigai is a good starting point.

dncornholio 47 days ago [-]
I always found it odd I needed to bring my laptop to another building every day to do work. So I'm enjoying working from home a lot. I do miss some of the occasional real life interactions with colleagues so in that way I do miss walking around in a building.

We start each day with a video call with the team. Even when there's not much to say. Sometimes I just have a voice channel on discord open with a few colleagues where we can spit our stuff.

reimertz 47 days ago [-]
I would suggest to take a look at https://gather.town

It wouldn't replace being in an office but some of their features definitely helps create a sense of being somewhere else such as having a desk, meeting areas etc.

What I am currently trying to do is to find a office space just for myself close by but that has proven pretty hard since everybody is expecting to write contract for > 6 months.

TurkishPoptart 46 days ago [-]
That looks cute and fun, but the moment anyone would try to video chat me, I'd turn off my video. Can't deal with it.
yrgulation 47 days ago [-]
I raised my daily rate. Built an ultimate (almost) home office. Bought new PC (top amd, loads of ram, rtx 3090 recently), a nice quadruple monitor set-up, and a new coffee machine. None of these will change much if you dont like your job tho but a dream setup and an office can help. If you have mean coworkers just remember they are a nuisance you have to deal with a few minutes a day while you control the rest of your time.
agentultra 47 days ago [-]
First, understanding motivation and feelings is important. A good therapist can help you understand these things better and how they affect you.

The working from home part I have a lot of experience with:

1. Rituals are an important factor in maintaining a psychological distance from your work and your personal life. Create a concrete, formulaic morning routine! Get dressed in certain clothes for work, wear different clothes in the evening. Listen to a particular genre of music at work that you never, ever listen to in your leisure time.

The goal is to have your brain associate certain behaviours and feelings with particular stimuli. I don't have any papers to cite about the effectiveness of this practice but I've been working from home for years at a time and I can't imagine why I would ever go back to commuting to an office regularly. This has been more important for me when I don't have a dedicated home office!

2. Don't stress about being butt-in-seat. Go for a walk if you get in a rut. Take a 15 minute nap if you get sleepy in the afternoon. You'll get most of your work done during the day and often your subconscious brain needs time to work and it does that when you're not paying attention to things. Focus on getting good quality work time in. Across all industries, knowledge-workers are most productive when they are well-rested and are not stressed out.

3. Talk to your doctor about your sleep patterns if you're not getting enough. Sleep is key.

4. Do not forgo ergonomics. This goes whether in an office or at home but you need a good physical space that is suited to your body type and needs. Don't try to hunch over a laptop at your kitchen table for hours at a time. Get up, move around, try different postures and aim to get whatever funds you can access through your company, government, local network to get proper equipment.

5. Have a local network of folks you can meet up with on the regular. Pandemic times and all but even if you can meet on a corner for a little water-cooler chat it helps build a sense of place and belonging. Lots of people are working from home these days. In non-pandemic situations I'd go for coffee at a regular cafe we'd meet at and had a pass to a local co-working space. Being out in your community and seeing those familiar strangers along the way is a good thing and worth holding on to.

techstrategist 46 days ago [-]
When I left an office and starting working freelance from home, I tried every productivity trick in the book with little success.

In the end, it turned out that I had undiagnosed ADHD that had been accommodated by an almost perfect office environment. At home, the glaring lack of focus became a huge issue.

I don’t know if you may have the same, but to my understanding this is how many people have first discovered symptoms.

ph2082 47 days ago [-]
I use this quote occassionaly by Chuck Close:

  "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself."
Second advice is - Get a routine. Learned about it from a book - Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make time, Find Inspiration and Get to Work.

The book has short paragraphs and anecdotes about world famous artists, writers, novelist, musicians, scientist, painters etc, so some people may find it boring. But I keep reading it intermittently.

alltakendamned 46 days ago [-]
In essence, discipline.

Motivation is fleeting, sometimes it's not there. And in those situations, discipline helps you continue doing what you do.

superbcarrot 47 days ago [-]
I can relate. And most of the advice to exercise, separete work from personal life, have a routine etc. doesn't seem to help.
fsociety 46 days ago [-]
I do fun project work early in the morning. It is easier to start and helps me build momentum.
tryauuum 47 days ago [-]
One thing I wanted to do (but never did) was to get a dedicated pc for work-related stuff. Because on my current pc distractions are one click away, one minute you are waiting for the pipeline to finish and the next one you find yourself looking at memes.
Vanclief 47 days ago [-]
I have found this works very well for me. While I use the same PC, I have double boot with Linux for work stuff and Windows for anything fun related.

Since everything that can distract me (except HN) is blocked in Linux, I am forced to reboot to access it which is a great deterrent.

dustymcp 47 days ago [-]
This is funny i actually have 2 windows installed one for gaming and one for work, it works excellent.

The gaming setup doesnt have slack/messenger and all those distracting things so when i boot it up in the evening i know im off work.

ehmish 46 days ago [-]
I've found switching jobs to a company that does a lot of pairing helps a tonne, the other person acts as an accountability partner which helps keep you focused.
D13Fd 47 days ago [-]
Use an app to block websites that you tend to spend time on that you shouldn't be using. I use Cold Turkey on the Mac but there are many options.

Speaking of which...

softwaredoug 44 days ago [-]
I have the opposite problem: how do I disconnect from work and treat the home as a relaxing refuge with work from home?
joshxyz 46 days ago [-]
- Clean / reorg everything every once in a while

- Stay physically active / exercise

- Get sunlight every once in a while

- Stay socially, intimately, and sexually active

tpoacher 47 days ago [-]
Not for everyone, but somafm.com/dronezone does wonders for my concentration.

Add a pomodoro ticker on top of that, and you're good to go.

47 days ago [-]
water8 47 days ago [-]
Exercise at least 60 minutes a day
Antoninus 46 days ago [-]
I have bills to pay and dependents to feed.
PeterWhittaker 47 days ago [-]
Interesting question timing, at least for me, give the last 24 hours....

I've worked mostly at home for most of the last 20 years (albeit with some BIC periods, depending on customer work) and I have found the last year terribly difficult, far more than any other period (even when I first started working mostly from home after about 15 years of full-time BIC).

Sometime yesterday I just stopped. I couldn't work anymore. I had plenty to do, but I felt drained, far more fatigued than simple lack of sleep would explain.

Long story short, playing cards with my GF for an hour before supper then vegging for the evening and getting a solid night's sleep reset things for me.

I had burnt myself out, again. There's been a lot of that this past year.

My prescription? Little things.

1) Take breaks.

Even if you have a lot to do. Even if breaks are essentially somewhere else in the house right now. Get away from your screens, do something that allows as much of your work self as possible to disengage. For me, this means not reading, not even wrenching (unless the project on the go is well in hand, or something I can do without thinking, like changing the brakes or oil).

2) Exercise.

This the toughest one for me. I am not a gym rat and have no love of exercise, but I love how I feel afterwards. Force yourself to get a walk, do squats, pushups, anything. It really does help.

3) Keep a schedule, more or less. Keep separate work and non-work places.

Working from homes gives you 7/24 access to work, and sometimes work is a break from the real world and its covidiots and its selfish twits. For me, engaging in work gives me a break from that selfish, twitty, covidioty world.

But work fatigues your work self, and too much work self fatigue exhausts it to the point you can no longer work.

4) Forgive yourself. Be graceful with yourself.

We are our own worst critics, we see our "flaws" thousands of times larger than they are - if they "are" at all (cf "spotlight effect"). Some days, the schedule will be hard to maintain, exercise won't fit in to that schedule, the non-work-self distractions will pale, or any of a thousand other things will cause you to ignore the advice you have given yourself, the routine you have tried to keep, and you will skip the breaks or the workout or you will overwork.

And you will be tempted to chastise yourself, to be angry with yourself. Don't, don't be.

Forgive yourself as you would forgive someone else, give yourself permission to backslide today and try again tomorrow.

5) Reach out to others. That helps too. Just like you did here.

We're not "all in this together", necessarily, but we are in this more or less the same way. We can learn from each other, support each other, and that helps us too. Selfish altruism, as it were.