Ahhhhhh procrastination, one minute you are focussed on work & what needs to be done, next, your 12 quizzes deep on Buzzfeed trying to find out which Teletubbie you are (I’m Tinky Winky BTW).
We’re all human so we all experience periods of procrastination, it’s just the depth & length of time that varies. I’m generally pretty focussed, but working from home you have no-one sitting just over from you to bounce ideas off, so when you need to stop and think it’s easy to just stop. You’re also pretty aware that a nice hot cuppa, the lounge & Netflix are just a few paces away, hence I quite often find myself like this.
Given my extensive experience on the subject, I feel I’m well placed to offer up some tips on dealing with procrastination.
Make a to-do list & use planners – I am obsessed with using lists and filling my planner, the pure enjoyment of writing things down and crossing off tasks as I complete them. It’s a visual of your achievements & goals. You can better manage your time if you plan out your day on paper, it keeps you accountable & serves as a reminder of how much you still have to do (so get off Facebook & get back to work)
Put away your distractions – ….. you know what’s up – PUT DOWN YOUR DAMN PHONE we are all guilty of falling down the rabbit hole with our phones at work, they are time sucking devices with no reward. Think about the frequency you open your phone without being influenced ie: without the phone ringing or getting a message. Get your fix then put it away until you’ve taken care of what needs to be taken care of.
Create deadlines & establish goals – another way of keeping yourself accountable and motivated. I don’t know about you but I work best when working towards a deadline, I switch it up a knotch and I’m completely focused until I’m done.
Don’t multitask – focus 100% of your attention on one task at a time, I used to be a multitasker but as I progressed in my career into more intense jobs with high work loads I couldn’t sustain it, I would miss things, I felt scatter brained and all over the place; something had to change. And this brings me to………..
It’s ok to take breaks – this is a must & includes getting a good nights sleep and switching off when you leave work. Exhaustion & productivity do not go hand in hand & never will. Burnout is a real thing and results in reduced productivity and a major lack of motivation. If you feel yourself losing focus take 5 to clear your head and recharge; go sit on the loo, get a drink, go outside and catch some rays, you’ll feel infinitely better.
Reward yo self – The more you reward yourself for small achievements, the less you will feel like you are missing out or being deprived, hence you will procrastinate less. I don’t mean pulling the credit card out and treating yourself, I mean get up, go outside & appreciate the view, have some T2 in your draw to use for moments just like this or have a playlist of your favourite bangers to listen to for the rest of the day.
Obviously this isn’t going to work 100% of the time (something, something, only human), nor will you just adapt your work style for change straight away. It takes 66 days to form a habit so just refer back to these tips when you find yourself getting a bit lost and with time it will become second nature.
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