I used to waste hours, days even, sat at my laptop, faffing, occasionally doing something that isn't really important at all. Then I'd feel really guilty because I actually had loads of work to do.
Procrastination is a little bugger. We all do it and actually we shouldn't beat ourselves up over it as it usually happens for a reason, e.g. we've got too much on our plates, we need to give ourselves a little break, we're over tired or because we're stuck on something.
Since I started working from home last year I've tried out different techniques for beating it so here's a run down of the things that work to help me get more done now!
1. Set yourself goals – the key bit is setting a deadline for when you want to achieve each goal and then working backwards to breakdown and diarise all the steps involved to get there.
2. Set a timer to work to - everyone will have a different concentration span but I've found 35 mins suits me, I just use the timer on my iPhone and work until it goes off. Then I go out of the room I'm working in and have a good 5-10 mins break (usually consisting of making another cup of tea and fussing the pugs!)
3. Limit your social media time - I now schedule all my social media updates in advance so if for some reason I get really stuck into something, have a meeting or just plain forget to post something it doesn't matter as my posts are going out anyway! I usually check in to respond and interact with my followers just a few times a day e.g. whilst I'm having breakfast, lunch or on a break which also prevents me wasting lots of time scrolling through Facebook when I should be getting more done ;-)
4. Write down your achievements each day - I have a paper diary and the last thing I do before I stop working for the day is write in there what I've achieved that day / 3 things I've done towards my goals. This helps me to finish the day feeling like I've accomplished something and is good to look back over when you're struggling for motivation.
5. Make yourself accountable - I have a few entrepreneur friends who I Skype with once a month, each time we catch up I let them know what I'm working on so they can keep me on track. Just telling someone else what I want to get done before our next catch up motivates me to make sure I can say it's ticked off!
6. Set a daily or weekly routine - be careful not to 'over-schedule', you're working from home / running your business to give you freedom and flexibility after all! However a loose schedule for the week really helps me... for example I usually walk the pugs for an hour around 3pm everyday, try to finish working by 6pm and use the mornings for content creation / writing and the afternoons for more admin based stuff.
7. Set reminders in your phone - for everything! Deadlines, meetings, weekly tasks, the odd motivation quote, anything which helps you remember things you said you'd do ;-)
8. Don't be a slave to your inbox! - Do the most important thing first each day before you even open your emails, this way before you have a chance to get distracted you've at least done what you needed to do.
9. Write down all the questions you have - particularly if you are procrastinating because you're struggling with something. Then go through them all and write down any possible places you could find the answer to help "unlock" that stuck feeling!
10. Go out somewhere first thing in a morning - I try to schedule meetings in the mornings, pop out to the shops or run an errand as I find I come back in a more productive mood than if I'd have just taken a slow, leisurely start at my laptop!
Do you have any tips to beat procrastination to add this list? Which ones do you like best?
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