Dealing With Procrastination
As you know I mainly work from home and it's a much different environment than my previous jobs where I worked on a shop floor, a crowded office and a lecture theatre. It takes a certain type of person to work for themselves but it takes an entirely different type of person to be able to self motivate, day in and day out. I can safely say I'm not one of those people.
I still struggle with when to stop (as we all know) but I also very often beat myself up when my day doesn't go exactly to plan too. My aim for any work day is always to be productive and being productive certainly doesn't go hand in hand with procrastination. My sworn work day enemy!
From picking up my phone far more than I need to, to staring at a blank WordPress template for what seems like an eternity and from struggling to get through my daily checklist, to watching my inbox implode on itself - procrastination can rear it's head anytime, anywhere. Here's how I deal with procrastinating and resetting my day when I need to.
Now this one definitely isn't fool proof, I'm a fully fledged example of that but I do know that the majority of my most productive days come from being organised. Knowing ahead of time where I'll be, what I'll be doing and when I can be on my emails always gives me a sense of calm and a feeling of 'This will be a good day/week'. In an ideal week there will be a mix of meetings, office time, consistent chats with my managers, content creating and of course time for me. A huge bonus of organising what is essentially a very new type of career, often means no 2 days are the same and that's a huge deal for me in counteracting procrastination. Often it's the days I'm not fully organised and the weeks where I'm at my desk too much, that distraction becomes inevitable in my work day. I need to be an equal mix of creative, organised and excited to really avoid procrastinating.
Of course organisation is just one step in my anti-procrastination trifecta, the second for me, is always to prioritise. Often it's the tasks that I reserve for the late afternoon hours, that signal any sort of distraction possible - tidying my desk, decluttering my beauty bits, endless social media scrolling, even cleaning the apartment! One of the best things I've been taught about working for yourself and having to self motivate when you're working alone, is to realise that you are only capable of so much. A certain amount of decisions, a certain amount of your best quality work and a certain amount of concentration. You're not a machine - you can't endlessly work and not be impacted both personally and professionally. My answer is to prioritise the things that NEED to be done either early in the office day or at least in the AM. That way my mind is at it's freshest and the chance of procrastinating is virtually nil - at least until I'm due my second coffee of the day!
So there's being organised, prioritising my workload and then comes the need to stop and reassess altogether. Adding the ability to be flexible into my working week and reassess when things aren't working, is another important tip for trying to avoid procrastination entirely. Not only does it allow me to be a little kinder to myself, it encourages me to listen to what my mind and body need. Sometimes in life we don't have the luxury to take a step back and reassess but sometimes it's sorely needed. I've realised there is absolutely no shame in realising that perhaps today just hasn't gone to plan and if you can, without sacrificing deadlines of course, you need to change things up. Maybe you need to embrace a change of scenery and a little fresh air or maybe you need to ask for help and embrace the fact that tomorrow will be a fresh new day. It isn't always possible, but reassessing your workload will deflect the incoming procrastination and the guilty feelings that often appear alongside it.
Do you have any tips for when procrastination strikes or do you successfully ward it off before it appears? I'd love to know below!
These images were taken during a press trip to Marrackech with the wonderful Vita Liberata team.