It’s oh-so-tempting to procrastinate, especially if you’re one of the many people working from home due to the pandemic. Are you putting off projects by cleaning your workspace, playing with the dog, or taking multiple snack breaks? If so, check out some of the best procrastination busters we’ve found—and see how quickly you become substantially more productive.
Reduce distractions. Choose a quiet space in which to work—an extra room, a basement, a porch—and post your “hours” for family members. Turn off email and social media alerts. Use noise cancelling headphones for better concentration.
Hold video conferences. Person-to-person interaction sparks new ideas, new ways to implement those ideas, and higher motivation. Arrange a daily or weekly group chat with the boss and co-workers to catch-up on work-related issues, along with some personal news. Short video chats with colleagues can also be productive breaks.
Create structure. A lack of structure is bound to boost procrastination. If your employer doesn’t set a schedule, set your own. Determine what time you’ll start each day and what time you’ll stop. Build in a time for lunch and times for short breaks to reset your concentration.
Set realistic goals. Divide projects into small, manageable steps. Each time you complete a step, no matter how tiny, you’ll feel an emotional lift that will motivate you to continue. Work hard but eschew perfectionism, which can lead to even greater procrastination.
Ask for guidance. If you’re unclear on what is needed on a given project, check with your boss or teammates. Find out exactly what steps you need to take to complete it. You may be procrastinating due to a lack of direction.
Decide how you’ll handle interruptions. Face it: Delivery people, kids, pets, and calls from family members can set you back. Tell folks you’ll call them when you’re free; and handle necessary tasks as quickly as possible.
Stay positive. Your work is important (to your organization and to you—you’re getting paid!) The more meaningful your work, the less you’ll procrastinate. Consider all the aspects of your work you’re thankful for.
Give yourself a reward. It could be a cup of coffee or a walk around the block after completing a small task; or you could stream a movie at night after completing a big project. When we associate rewards with work, we work harder and procrastinate less.
So stop stalling, and start being more productive today!