Fighting procrastination is difficult for many of us, especially if you work from home. But there are ways to ensure that your home is a procrastination-free zone. Here are six ways to use procrastination positively.
If you’re studying or working at home, make sure your working environment is clean and tidy. Mess makes it more difficult to concentrate and impacts on your mood. A spacious environment for your laptop, papers and books is a must. Don’t pile everything in a huge unmanageable heap. However, you must also be careful to avoid procrastinating by cleaning. Stop once you’ve cleaned your work space.
Eat/drink BEFORE you start working
Healthy, low GI foods will provide you with sufficient energy to focus for long periods of time. This also prevents you from feeling hungry (which can be distracting enough), then stopping work to go prepare something to eat (which might take a while) and doing stuff as you walk to and from the kitchen, like watch TV or wash dishes. Be prepared to work for a long duration.
Don’t fight it!
Paradoxically, the best way to fight procrastination is not to fight it, but rather to accommodate for it. Face it, you will procrastinate. No matter how hard you try not to, you’ll check Facebook or plug in your iPod while you’re supposed to be studying or working. But that’s where the fundamental problem lies. Denying your bad habits and going cold turkey doesn’t work. Instead, give yourself five minutes every hour to procrastinate. Don’t make them lengthy breaks – just allow yourself 5 minutes on Facebook rather than denying yourself, because you’ll end up spending a whole hour on it afterwards and instantly regret it.
Focus and will power are like muscles – the more you exercise them, the stronger they become. Just like you won’t be able to lift a car after a week of working out, you won’t be able to study or work for days on end after a week of focusing. At first, start with 5 minutes of procrastination every hour, but gradually increase the amount of time between procrastination. This way you’ll focus longer and soon, after three or four months, you’ll find it easier to concentrate and avoid procrastination.
Make a to-do list
A to-do list is invaluable to all those of us who can’t avoid procrastination with deadlines and/or time limits. It helps you remain organised which will in turn help you avoid procrastinating. It keeps your goals clear and concise with reasonable timeframes in which to do things. It also provides a feeling of great satisfaction when you cross things off your to-do list.
Once you’re done working or have accomplished your work goals, treat yourself to something nice. This creates a link between an undesirable activity and a positive outcome, making the aforementioned undesirable activity more bearable. It gives you something to look forward to.
Adrian Rodriguez is a freelance writer and university student. He often procrastinates by searching for houses for sale. Greenvale is a lively place and provides many distractions which he finds hard to avoid. Click here to learn more about living in Victoria.