Fed up with being told that standing on your head while eating a tangerine will cure your procrastination? Do you sigh in frustration at reading how ginseng infused tea balances your life energies and helps you achieve more through the power of universal harmony? Fed up with that click-bait and supplement selling nonsense? Here are my five hacks to get me started and working and disciplined.
A Good Breakfast
Eat heartily and, like the old adage says, “Dine Like a King”. The better the breakfast you have in the morning, the more energy you will have. We skimp on this too much, all of us. How many times have you seen commuters eating breakfast in their car on a cold, wet Monday morning – and what is the breakfast they are eating? A banana or an apple. Healthy, yes but not enough considering they will not have eaten anything in the last twelve hours. When you work from home you have no excuse not to have a hearty breakfast to set you up for the day. A good breakfast should give you enough energy to take you beyond lunch.
When you work from home, on your backside and not getting the daily exercise you might get in an office (it won’t be much, but it will be more than you get), you will start to feel sluggish. This is especially true if you skip breakfast, have no energy and feast on biscuits and cakes throughout the day. Taking an hour out for a run, a long walk or simply to go to the supermarket will help you focus that little bit more. I run and it provides me with the energy I need. Go at a time that suits you, early morning, evening or middle of the day. It sharpens the mind and the body. The achievement is often a reward in itself.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You can effectively get your work done when you know how much you need to do on a daily basis. Divide up your tasks or simply make a list and break them down by day. Staring at a planner is not the way to go because you’ll be persistently reorganising it; at the end of the week you’ll realise you’ve done nothing and have only a nicely coloured wall chart for your efforts. You will need to be flexible as a client’s needs change or something else comes in, so be prepared to change your plan. The better your plan the better you can re-plan but don’t waste all your time on it.
Look at Your Accounts
Are they looking good? Want them to look better? Who doesn’t want to make more money this year than last year, especially when your business is growing? Ok, right, now get off this blog and go and do some work! All joking aside, the desire to succeed at what you do and the satisfaction of having a good reputation should really be all the motivation you need. Let me hasten to add that time off should not be shunned in favour of earning an extra few quid this week but a good should be a great motivator, especially towards the end of the tax year (ours is a few weeks away in the UK). One of the greatest difficulties of working from home is winding down and you need to do it. You can be very productive with the discipline of work and when you…
Schedule Down Time
Facebook: “Hey, I’m over here. You haven’t been on for at least five minutes. When are you coming back?”
You: “Sorry, I have work to do.”
Facebook: “Of course you do, but that’s no need to neglect me.”
You: “No, I really have work to do. This is a big job and the client wants it by Monday.”
Facebook: “But I have needs! I have pictures of cats to offer you. And you know that racist friend you try to ignore? They’ve posted something that you can easily refute.”
You: “Oh ok then. Just five minutes.”
You can stop procrastinating by scheduling in a stop every so often. Knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel can really help you focus on what you need to achieve. Act as though you are working in an office with an overbearing boss making sure you get work done, but one who equally doesn’t like it when you skip breaks. Taking breaks helps you recharge, takes your mind off work worries and reconnect with the other important things in your life.
Stopping / preventing procrastination is about making sure you schedule your time effectively with the work you have, and making time to get your head and your body out of the process of work. When you are kind on yourself and plan your time effectively, it is surprising just how much you can get done.