Scheduling your workday, ridding yourself of distractions, and taking breaks are just a few ways to stay on task. Tom Merritt offers five suggestions for preventing procrastination.
Working from home is great! No boss constantly looking over your shoulder to ask if you've got those reports done yet. Nobody watching to see if you're working or playing Animal Crossing. No one to stop you from putting things off. Oh my gosh, it's a procrastination nightmare! Whether you work from home or not, putting things off can be a huge cause of stress because you have to eventually do them, and if you put them off long enough, you have little or no time to get them done. Here are five ways to put off procrastination.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule. Don't assume you'll get to things later when you have time. You will never have time unless you make that time. And you make that time by scheduling it and not taking meetings during that time. Oh, and schedule it for when you're most productive if that's possible.
- Be honest. Set goals you can achieve. Don't give yourself too many things to knock out in a day, and don't assume you'll get work done a lot quicker "this time." On top of that, don't assume you can get a whole job done in one go--break it up into smaller, less daunting parts.
- Get rid of distractions--whatever they are. If it's your phone, put it away where you can't see it. If it's a website, close that browser or that tab. If there are other people in your house, do your best to let them know you'll be working and close doors if you have them.
- Take breaks! This goes along with giving yourself the proper amount of time and breaking work into chunks. The longer you go without a break, the harder you'll find a task, and the less you'll want to work on it. Set a timer and take that time to not work. I'm always surprised just how effective this is at getting me back on track.
- Reward yourself. At the very least do the hardest least enjoyable stuff first so the work gets easier and more rewarding as you go. But also literally reward yourself. Whether it's a snack, a TV show, or something else, promise yourself a perk when you get your scheduled task done.
It's basic self-management really. The things that work for managers to get the most out of employees will also work to help you get the most out of yourself.
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