Freelance work and working remotely are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. But once people start working from home, they realize that it is not what they expected and that procrastination at work can quickly take over.
People aren’t lacking in eagerness or motivation. It’s just that the pull of temptations is quite solid, and many people aren’t ready to address them right away. As per a survey, 54 percent of participants said they would want to work from home due to the pandemic permanently, and 75 percent said they would want the opportunity to work remotely part-time. With this transition, it’s critical to counteract procrastination temptations and ensure that you’re just as efficient and productive as you are in the workplace. Your job may not be the riskiest thing on the planet, but it can suck the life out of you if you avoid doing your work. And the innate hard-wired reaction of your mind is to avert any challenge or source of worry.
When the daily grind of corporate life does not surround you, it is easier to procrastinate. There are so many temptations, a snack, a fridge that needs to be cleaned out, and possibly children or cute, irresistible pets—that can all pose additional challenges to productivity. Procrastination is a problem we all experience, but there are productive and healthy ways to overcome it.
You are not a procrastinator.
Changing your outlook is the first phase toward overcoming procrastination. Instead of smacking yourself when you procrastinate, being not too hard on yourself allows you to recover faster. The next goal is to determine what is causing your procrastination. It is likely that this isn’t the work itself that provokes you to procrastinate, but rather the delicate negative thoughts that the work is causing. Procrastination isn’t about putting off work; it’s about putting off negativity.
Reasons for Procrastination and What You Can Do
Make your workspace comfortable and ideal. Leave your phone in a different room or in a location that is far away from you. Other tasks that come to mind should be written down on a to-do list. You may do them later.
You hate the task.
Negative self-talk should be monitored and analyzed. Think about the value of the work you despise.
You’re not confident.
Limit your self-criticism and be kind to yourself. Recognizing minor improvements, such as starting up, is also part of self-compassion. If you are unsure about your project, spend some time learning about it and conducting research to understand better what you need to do. It is critical to have clarity about your tasks to complete them.
Set deadlines ahead of the official deadline, and notify someone so that they can hold you fully responsible.
You’re in a rut.
If you can’t seem to think of a new idea for a creative project, try to modify your workspace, sitting in a different position, working outdoors, or simply going for a walk. If you cannot go outside due to COVID-19 limitations, you can simply re-decorate or update your workstation. Consider incorporating innovation for a fresh space, such as an ergonomic desk chair for comfort when sitting and standing desk or standing desk converter to promote movement and posture while working. You may also add some greenery and maybe open some windows to lighten up a dark, dull room. Perfectionism is common in procrastinators who are creatively obstructed. Allow yourself to write a flawed first draft. If you have the time and energy, you can strive to enhance it.
You have no clear goal.
Procrastination can sometimes go further than self-control and willpower. According to experts, one of the main reasons why people procrastinate is when they don’t have a specific goal in mind. Consider the positive aspects of your task and why you should complete it, whether it’s about getting promoted or needing that raise for goals outside of work.
You’re not pressed for time.
There are other reasons why some people procrastinate when working remotely, and some of these individuals have concrete objectives. And it occurs when we believe we have enough time for the project. Try to focus on the tasks while thinking about all the other things you can do once you’ve completed it, without worrying about the impending deadline.
Ways to Curb Procrastination
The tips provided here will assist you in gaining control of your time. You’ll start prioritizing your objectives more and acting accordingly.
Create a workspace.
Begin by reducing home comforts by converting an extra room or a corner of any room into a workplace. Consider what you might need for the next few hours before going into your home office for the day to avoid distractions, which can lead to procrastination.
Have goals and prioritize them.
Take on tasks as they come up, so you don’t have to resent starting them. If you switch between tasks after you’ve started one, you risk the chance of becoming disorganized. Getting some momentum can help you get unstuck.
Start with the most challenging tasks first.
If you are just beginning your day, it is critical to complete the most challenging task first. This way, you’ll get through the thing you’re most tricky with, and the rest of your day will be filled with less complicated activities.
Attempting to do everything at once is a sure way to procrastinate. You will become swamped and lose focus on whatever task you are working on. Concentrating on one project at a time allows for optimal efficiency.
The majority of my tasks do not have set deadlines. Set deadlines for your activities and share them somewhere or with someone who can hold you liable for them.
Every time you leave your desk, set a timer. The timer could be set for 5 minutes for breaks or 45 minutes for lunch. One of the most beneficial things you could do for your productivity is to avoid taking extended breaks.
Disable phone notifications.
Make sure your smartphone is set to “do not disturb” or silent mode so that those bothersome beeps don’t grab your attention while you’re focused on your project. Even better, you can leave your phone at a safe distance when working.
Try the Pomodoro technique.
The standard Pomodoro timer is 25 minutes of focused work followed by a five-minute break. A rep for four 25-minute blocks before taking a longer break. If you’re having trouble, increase it to 15/5, with an extended break after two cumulative hours of work.
Avoid comparing results.
When you work from home, it is common to compare your results to those of others. When your outcomes do not match, it is effortless to become dissatisfied and put off much work. It is critical to recognize every small step you take each day and stop judging yourself depending on the outcomes of others. This will confine your ability to complete tasks.
Block out noise.
Noises such as vehicles, flushing toilets, or loud dog barks can all be sources of distraction. Noise-canceling earbuds or headphones can be used to limit this noise.
Forgive and reward yourself.
It is difficult to let go of the harm caused by procrastination. Instead of expecting perfection, strive to be a better version of yourself.
Good habits are formed with the help of rewards. Various rewards will appeal to different people; distinguish what you want as a reward, jot down, and allocate it to each task.
Incorporating these techniques into your productivity tool kit will motivate you when you lack inspiration. You’ll also find it a lot easier to recover from negative thoughts preventing you from having a productive day.