Are you having trouble scheduling your time, while working remotely? Most of us have been there. Here are a few tricks to avoid that scary pounding word — 'procrastination'.
Working remotely and freelance sounds like bliss to most people. They tend to think that we got it all figured out — that we can pretty much choose our working hours, be productive whenever we want to, and get to enjoy life without the pressure of a 9-to-5 working schedule.
Although I do admit working remotely has its benefits, it’s not all daisies and pumpkin fields, and we do struggle with an overwhelming enemy we tend to call procrastination. Setting your working hours at home becomes especially difficult sometimes. But have you thought, in more detail, why?
While I was completely avoiding work a few days ago, I came to realize that I had developed a few patterns, which I need to work on, in order to be able to sit down and work when I really need to.
Although there is no ‘one shoe fits all’ solution because we are diverse human beings, here’s what’s been working for me and a few of my friends who also work remotely, with whom I have shared bits of my concerns on the challenges of working from home.
Do NOT Start Working in Your Pajamas
Did you happen to watch that famous show Valeria on Netflix? I have, and it was an eyeopener of how a freelancer does it all wrong when trying to commit to work. As Valeria tries to finish her book, she notices how she starts working in her pajama, which makes it impossible to make a psychological division between bed/nap time and work time. So it hit me that I often do the same, and avoiding this is crucial to really get some work done.
Don’t Skip Your Morning Routine
This is for all of us who like to work during morning hours. For me, it has been important to not start working right after I get out of bed. Take some time to practice your morning rituals, have your coffee, take your dog out, and have a light breakfast – and then, this little routine will reflect productively on your working table.
Schedule Your Working Hours
Don’t leave it up to the mood you wake up in. Schedule your working hours for the whole week, and unless something really pressing comes up, try not to change your schedule. I get that sometimes lunch and break offers from friends can be really tempting, but think about how relieved you’ll feel after finishing up your work and being able to go out without thinking about unfinished tasks.
Change Your Working Spot When Bored
The mistake I often used to make, was that I would start to get bored working around the house, and I would consider that my productivity was done for the day. I’d close my laptop, and blame myself for not being able to concentrate. However, I have tried going to the park to work lately, as well as working from coffee shops or libraries, and it works just fine for me, or even better than at home I may say. A switch of the environment is always welcomed if you’re a person who can also bear a little bit of background noise.
Don’t Think You Have Enough Time
Agh, Buddha was so right on this one. The problem is indeed in that we think we have enough time. But then our workload piles up, and we wake up on the last day of our task submission, with crippling deadline anxiety, thinking, “what the hell have I been doing with my time so far?” So get going, and avoid feeling like this. It becomes overwhelming if you continuously procrastinate, and you might even experience burnout.
Start small, see what working hours suit you, become aware of what’s getting you to procrastinate, and work with that. Best of luck!
Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock
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