So I’ll admit it – I am a word-class procrastinator. Back when I was in uni and living with friends, we even came up with the term ‘procrastibaking’ because every time exams loomed, our kitchen would become a hive of activity, the three of us trying out various new recipes – anything to avoid the studying we should have been doing!
Working from home, with no one to answer to but yourself, it can be all too easy to let procrastination take over – from spending hours on social media to cleaning the bathroom, I think we all find ways to put off those tasks we dislike the most, whether it’s marketing, accounting or filing.
But when you are solely responsible for your business, if you want it to be a success you need to overcome the desire to procrastinate and actually get things done. I’m slowly getting better at this (although I still have a long way to go) and thought I would share a couple of the things that really help me out.
- Strict Workflow
This is a nifty little extension for Chrome that blocks certain websites for a set period of time before giving you a ‘break’ period where you can access them. I find it really useful for avoiding social media when deadlines are looming. Added bonus – I also use it to remind me to drink more water and get away from the desk through the day – I spend my break going to the kitchen and getting a fresh glass of water.
- Set working hours
When I first started freelancing, I worked very long hours – but wasn’t really any more productive than I am today. Knowing that I could work until 3am meant that I didn’t have the same impetus to get my work done, so would procrastinate throughout the day. I would also mix professional and personal tasks – sorting the laundry, doing the grocery shop etc. through the day. Now, I work set hours every day and personal tasks are done during my breaks (if they are quick) or at the weekend. Knowing that I have to be finished by 6pm helps get me through that mid-afternoon dip in energy!
- Do It Day
This is a new one for me – and the inspiration behind this blog post. Last week, a group of us designated a ‘Do It Day’ – a day where we hold each other accountable for ticking things off our to do lists. There is something about being accountable to others that makes it much harder to procrastinate, and I got through a few tasks that had been on my list for far too long! I learnt about do it days from a podcast by Tess Whitty – a really useful resource to check out (although not when you’re meant to be doing other things, of course)!