It happens. No matter how much you try to stay focused on what you need to get done, procrastination quietly starts peeping at you from around the corner waiting for just the right moment to pounce. Sometimes, whether we like to admit it or not, we fall victim to it -- we become the procrastination's prey.
There is no sense in getting your knickers in a knot. When you find yourself in this situation, all you need to do is face procrastination head on. Look it in the eye and remind it who the boss is. (That's you -- you are the boss). Then, do something else for a bit until you can regain your focus.
Choose one of these 7 things to do while procrastinating.
1. Clean out your inbox.
If there is one thing that can get out of hand quickly, it is an email inbox. Moment by moment, 24 hours per day, this inbox is wide open for receiving. If you are overly efficient, then perhaps you have rules set up that automatically direct each piece of incoming mail to the proper folder. However, if you are like most of the population, that inbox can blow up in a matter of hours - leaving you scrolling and scrolling to find what you are looking for.
Cleaning out your inbox is a fantastic habit to get into. It keeps you better organized and reduces the risk of missing something important.
2. Go for a walk.
Walks (or any type of exercise) can help get the blood flowing, your endorphins released, and your breathing relaxed. When you find yourself struggling to concentrate and focus, go for a walk and then come back. This short break away may be all you need to get back on track.
If you sit in front of a computer all day, you should be doing this regularly, anyways -- but that's a story for a different day.
3. Update your social media pages.
Read this carefully: Update your social media pages. That doesn't say scroll, check out your best friend's activity, or read memes until you turn into one. Just update. Post an updated status, change up your profile picture, etc. In other words, help keep your pages active.
4. Organize your desk or workspace.
Some people work best when surrounded by a mess. Others, not so much. If you find yourself unable to focus on your task at hand because your desk or workspace is cluttered, then take some time to de-clutter and organized the space.
5. Listen to a podcast.
Depending on your industry, there are many reputable podcasts that offer up tidbits of knowledge, insider information, new ideas, and the like. Take a few minutes to listen to a podcast - letting yourself absorb something beneficial. You can even sit back and close your eyes while doing so.
Reading is part of learning and growing. This is something you can do just about anywhere. So, when you find yourself procrastinating on a project, turn your mind to a book, a blog, a magazine, something, anything, that can lead you down a successful pathway.
7. Write a blog.
Sometimes you just have words within you that need to get out before you can focus on anything else. Take a moment to release it so you can move on. Blog, journal, doodle, or whatever it is that you do best.
You can be productive while you procrastinate. Sure, the work you need to get done or have a deadline for isn't going to finish itself. But when you are not focused and find your attention straying, you have a choice. You can waste time or be productive.
What will you choose? What do you do when you find yourself procrastinating?
Being a writer doesn't mean you always find yourself sitting in front of your laptop. It is actually very easy -- and common -- to tell yourself that you can put your writing off until tomorrow and all will be ok. And, it may very well be, but only for the moment.
Take a moment to consider the effects of your procrastination: Your deadlines are pushed back, your client’s work is delayed, and you are keeping someone on hold from reading your impactful words.
So, is your laundry/ Netflix binge watching/ cleaning house/ lunch with an old friend/ ____________________ (fill in your poison) worth the outcome?
Life gets busy. Trust me, I understand this all too well. And, when you are working from home and for yourself, it is easy to get pulled in many different directions.
Put your delays and procrastination to an end. Now. Here are 6 ways that you can effectively get your work done AND do what you want to do.
1. Stay organized.
Get yourself a calendar (or a good calendaring app). Then, use it. Plan out your week – or month – in advance.
2. Leave wiggle room.
You should know by now that, in life, nothing ever goes as planned. Something will always throw a wrench into your plans. The only way you will truly be hurt by this is if you are not prepared for it.
3. Take time for yourself.
It is hard to find a few extra minutes to spare each day for yourself. However, if you pack your days so tight that you don’t make time for yourself, you will burn out quickly. Calendar at least 10 minutes each day for yourself to journal, practice breathing techniques, space out, etc.
This is something that you will need to get used to. You may feel overwhelmed when looking at deadlines or filling in your calendar, but as long as you prioritize your tasks – and stick to them – you should be able to relax a bit.
5. Treat it like a real job.
Your friends and family may be jealous of your working from home situation – and for yourself – but they won’t be for long if you don’t treat it like a real job. Otherwise, you may find yourself back in the employment line.
Take your work and your clients seriously. Treat them as you would your own boss, customers, or colleagues. Respect them.
6. Have fun with it.
You are a writer. You are working on your own doing exactly what you love – what you have always wanted to do. Don’t take the busyness of life so seriously that you forget to have fun and actually enjoy what you are doing.
Well, there you have it – the 6 ways that can help you find time to write. So, go on. You can do it. You can take care of your life and your writing, too.