For all those working from home right now, you may find yourself wandering the battlefields of procrastination. Scrolling the web when you should be writing, clearing the junk out of your cupboards when you should be creating, and following every single thread of distraction doesn’t lead to things getting done. Of course in times of upheaval, we need to be kind to ourselves and not turn up the pressure, but the reality is – we still need to get those projects done. Here are the best tips we have rounded up to help you combat procrastination…
Understand Your Schedule
Some people work better in the morning, others work better at night, some need a nap after lunch and others know they will fly through their tasks between 4-6 pm. Understanding the rhythm of your own energy and how you work best will save you tons of wasted time. If possible, always try and work in harmony with your natural rhythm. If you know that after 2 pm your brain starts to slump, then do all your heavy loading in the morning. This way even when procrastination shows up, you will have gotten something done at least.
Get Up and Move
If you find yourself sat at the computer gazing into space or relentlessly stalking the sister of a girl you met once on an aeroplane – stop. Get up from your desk, move around, take a short walk, or even do a five-minute yoga stretch. Breaking the pattern of sitting at your desk and procrastinating will help you to associate this space with being productive.
The Five-Minute Trick
If you feel too daunted to even get started on a task, perhaps its time to take the five-minute miracle trick. Simply ask yourself, what can I do right now to move this task forward even if only by an inch. Set a timer and start working on it. Starting a task is always the hardest, and once you find a way to break into the flow, perhaps the pieces will fit together with a little more ease. Our brains are more likely to finish the things we have already started.
Scratch Beneath the Surface
Sometimes procrastination can be a little more complicated than it first appears. Try writing on a piece of paper ‘I’m avoiding this because…’ and let a little automatic writing help you to dig deeper and discover what is really going on. Maybe you don’t feel you have the support you need, or you aren’t inspired by a particular project, or you are having self- doubt about your abilities. Whatever is hiding beneath the bed, you need to pull it out as it will help you to move forward and also to live clearer in your own authenticity.
Curate the Environment
Only you know what environment you thrive the most in. Do your best to create that working environment. Whether it's adding a little Feng Shui energy to your office, throwing your phone out the window for an hour, switching off WIFI or making sure you have coffee on tap – its those small ritualistic needs that can add to our productivity.
Short Sharp Bursts
Just like the five-minute magic trick, don’t sit at your desk and try and slog away for hours on end. Instead, try and work solidly for 20 or 40 minutes and then reward yourself with a 10-minute break to stretch, make tea, check your social media, or whatever you need to do. This way your brain knows that in 20 or 40 minutes it can switch off for a few minutes rest, making it more likely to pick up the pace right now and get things done.
Do you have a tendency towards procrastination? Share your tips and struggles with us in the comments.