Ah, procrastination! It’s a common issue that plagues everyone; some more than others. Today’s blog post deals specifically with this issue. When you distill this issue down to the core, there are actually only two big reasons why people struggle to stay productive: distractions and lack of motivation. And this article teaches you how to deal with these! Read on mate, especially if you work from home!
Eliminating distractions is certainly easier said than done, especially if you’re a work-at-home parent. After all, the point of working at home is to be available for your family when they need you, right? The first thing to do is to know thy enemy – by writing down a list of potential distractions. Sit down and write out an honest list of things that distract you while you work. For most of us, this list could include things such as: email, social media, texts, phone calls, instant messages, and the kids.
Ok, what next? Out of sight, out of mind – which means that within site means that it remains in your mind? Keeping this list somewhere in your work area will help you recognize the distractions before they become a problem. For example, close your email box and only check it at planned times during the day. Sign out of all instant messengers. Turn the phone on silent. Taking these steps means you are consciously making the effort to remove the distractions and focus.
The next point pertains only to those who work from home. Talk to your spouse and children, if they’re old enough to understand, about the time you’ve dedicated to work your hours. It is best if the people in your life can treat your work-at-home job as if you did not set your own hours. They need to see it as a traditional job with set hours, during which they leave you alone.
Think about it – they wouldn’t call you at the office 15 times in three hours if they knew your boss was around, would they? Give the people in your home some sort of signal when you’re working, so they know to leave you alone unless it is an emergency. For instance, if you have office, keep the door closed when you’re working. The closed door is the sign your family needs to leave you alone.
Okay, you might follow these points logically, but it is easier said than done. The reality is that being productive is a skill. Any skill you obtain will require practice and repetition to fine tune and perfect. Even the most productive people will become distracted from time to time, and this is a fact. If you find yourself becoming distracted, take a few minutes to centre yourself and refocus. Eventually, it will become easier.
Now we move on to the second area – finding that motivational spark. No matter how much you will it done, the work you have to do isn’t going to do itself. Finding your motivation will be easier on some days than others, but the key is to make sure you can get to that motivation when you need it the most. The first way to do it, as I found out when authoring books a few years ago, was to create an “emergency” situation.
When you create an emergency because you know the project is on the last hours before it is due, you’re going to get more done in those last few hours than you did in the days before. Of course this works for some and not others. If you can fake yourself out into an emergency situation, just like I did before, you’ll get more done. Just like the previous point, this also takes a lot of practice to get into the right frame of mind.
Then comes the next step – just get down to business. This is where I show some tough love! No more excuses. Sit down at your work area, and do what needs to be done. Once you finally bite the bullet and get over whatever it is that was stopping you from starting the project in the first place, you will find it easier to get more done than you thought.
If you still find yourself having trouble, think about the reasons why you love this project. Even if it’s the most boring project in the world and you loathe it, it has to be done, and there’s something that will make you love it – even if it’s what you can do when it’s done. And, when it gets finished, you’ll be able to cross it off your to-do list, and move onto something you enjoy more.
Just like what I write in the Winning Psychology Manual, you have to think about why you are doing it. Plus, when the project is complete, that’s money in the bank. Money you need to pay your bills. If the idea of getting the payment still doesn’t motivate you – think about the consequences and what your boss would say. Oooh, I went there unapologetically! I hope this has helped you.
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