Major advancements in wireless technology and communication have allowed people to leave their office cubicles and work from home instead. From data processing to retail-based customer service, a variety of industries are offering their employees the option of working remotely, and while there are some benefits, some workers may begin to experience productivity roadblocks, such as self-doubt working from home. We at The Flexible Professional would like to offer you some tips for conquering this problem and put you back on the road to success.
1. Avoid Comparisons To Co-Workers
Tracking your productivity while working from home can help keep you focused, but when you get a glimpse of what your co-workers are accomplishing, you may begin to doubt your own abilities. This might apply to other remote workers who take more customer orders, phone calls or complete more piecework than you daily. This can sabotage your self-confidence, but you can reduce these feelings by keeping a few important facts in mind, such as:
- Everyone works at their own pace
- Not every worker has the same in-home situation
- Work habits can vary widely throughout the company
The less often you compare yourself to other people, the more chances you might have to streamline and improve your own work.
2. Maintain Good Hygiene
While being able to dress however you want can be a major perk of working from home, slipping into a lazy or sloppy routine can cause you to think negatively about yourself. Over time, this self-sabotage can become a habit that can affect your productivity. After all, if you are already dressed for a nap on the couch, why not take one in your favorite pajamas instead of getting started on that next project, right?
You can prepare yourself to face daily responsibilities by changing out of your pajamas before you start work for the day. A shower or some time at the sink shaving or styling your hair can help you feel better about yourself and allow your brain to shift gears. Once you make this a habit, you might find yourself battling fewer incidents of brain fog and see an increase in your daily work energy.
3. Practice Positive Thinking
Negative thoughts can breed self-doubt to the point where you might find yourself paralyzed by it. This can happen when an assignment is large or difficult or if you are dealing with a new set of rules or guidelines for a project, and learning them seems overwhelming. While you might be tempted to give up, turning negative thoughts around may help you accomplish the work.
If you find yourself full of self doubt working from home, remind yourself why you started working remotely in the first place and what normally drives you and gives you motivation. If you find yourself struggling in this area, reach out to a friend, co-worker or even a manager to share your feelings instead of trying to deal with them on your own. They may provide you with solutions and support that can help you feel better about yourself and your projects.
4. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes repeat tasks can put you in a comfort zone that may breed apathy and self-doubt. When this happens, it may be difficult to maintain a standard of quality, and your work could suffer or you may make errors you might not otherwise. Recognizing this problem is not always easy, but challenging yourself may banish the blues when it comes to remote work.
If you have a work routine, consider making a few small changes that push you out of your comfort zone. If you work in a home office, head out a few times a week and work at your favorite coffee house, where the atmosphere may reinvigorate you. If repeat tasks have you feeling blue and full of self-doubt, ask your manager if there are any new projects you can involve yourself in. Whether you choose to make big or small changes, challenging yourself can help you understand exactly what you are capable of.
5. Challenge Your Feelings
As self-doubt grows, it can seep into almost every aspect of your remote work, from accepting new tasks to bidding for new projects. These thoughts can present themselves in a variety of ways, including:
- Doubting your skills or worth
- Feeling like a fraud
- Persistent feelings that you have failed yourself
These thoughts can have negative consequences, but challenging them can help you understand and reaffirm your value as a remote worker.
One effective way of challenging feelings of self-doubt is to write them down. This makes the feelings a bit more tangible and may allow you to examine them more objectively. For example, if you feel doubtful about completing a certain task, answer those thoughts in writing and argue against them. You may find that these thoughts are usually born of anxiety and not any actual failure on your part.
6. Break Down Tasks
One instance that can breed thoughts of self-doubt is feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you face. Deadlines, interruptions and fatigue can all play a part here, especially when you feel like you do not have much support from others. You can manage these feelings by breaking work down into smaller tasks rather than looking at the big picture, which may completely overwhelm you.
As you begin your work each morning, tackle the most difficult work first. Getting these tasks out of the way while you have plenty of energy can make for a simpler day later on. If the job is a large one, you can break it down into sections, such as focusing on one paragraph at a time when you have a large article to complete. When tasks are more manageable, you may doubt yourself less about your ability to finish them.
7. Accept Your Mistakes
Few issues can trigger self-doubt like realizing you have made an error in your work. When this happens, you probably feel like you failed the client, your manager and yourself, and bouncing back can be difficult. However, self-incrimination may only cause you to doubt yourself further, which could create a vicious cycle that becomes difficult to break.
When you make a mistake, acknowledge that it happened but try not to dwell on that fact. Instead, take steps to correct it and note what caused it so there is less of a chance of repeating it in the future. Learning from mistakes instead of wallowing in them can help you grow as a professional and an individual.
8. Practice Self-Care
When there are many tasks to complete, you may put self-care on the back burner. While pushing through your work may seem like a good idea, this might actually sabotage your mental health and lead to negative thinking. As you go about your day, schedule breaks for exercise, meditation, taking any daily medications and regular meals.
Keeping a daily journal and tracking these moments of self-care can help you feel your best and maintain the mental clarity you need as a remote worker. When you take care of your mind and body, you can banish self-doubt and maintain a standard of quality in your work that you can be proud of.
Self-doubt can sabotage your remote career, but there are ways to combat it. At The Flexible Professional, it is our goal to help remote employees work with more efficiency and create an environment that supports positive thinking. Visit our website today for more information and discover how to build a fulfilling career working from home.