Excessive procrastination can become a major hurdle for those wishing to meet their goals. Procrastination is the forgotten topic of conversation surrounding remote work, despite how it could obstruct the potential success of those working from home.
Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago labels thrill-seekers, avoiders, and decisional procrastinators as the three basic types of procrastination. There are several steps one can take to combat the habit in lieu of seeing a doctor.
Managing such behavior is possible for anyone who works to mitigate the behavior which leads to chronic procrastination.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
For those new to working in the digital arena, losing track of how productive you are during the workday can quickly become a determinant. Therefore, it’s paramount to be honest when it comes to your work behavior.
Are you really going to feel like finishing a project tomorrow? Are you too tired to work? Is your best work really done at a deadline? Unless you are battling a cold or flu, using either excuse is a subconscious way of lying to yourself.
Being aware of the thought process behind these questions will allow you to manage and eventually defeat procrastination. If you know that your goals are dependent on completing tasks in a timely manner, being honest and setting realistic expectations for yourself is the right way to go.
2. Limit Your Focus When Possible
Vanessa Loder details a great way to limit procrastination.
“The key to beating procrastination is focus. We often give ourselves too many things to do and become overwhelmed. Start by choosing just ONE thing that you’ve been procrastinating and make a commitment to complete that task in the next week.”
While some remote work situations may require taking on more than one project at once, the general premise remains true. It’s mentally easier to focus on completing one topic at a time than three or four.
Becoming overwhelmed will drive down your productivity and could lead to a spiral of procrastination which becomes difficult to break. Maintaining a balanced schedule will also prevent your work from seeing a drop in quality.
3. Attempt To Find Work You Enjoy
Finding employment in something you enjoy doing will naturally make it easier to motivate yourself to work. Fortunately, there are numerous outlets featuring remote work opportunities. Search around and find a client you can easily communicate with and a work subject which you care about.
While you may feel obligated to accept any work when beginning, that isn’t the case. If you are interested in copywriting, there are hundreds of different topics to write about, especially if you have academic or professional writing experience.
It can be difficult to self-motivate if you absolutely hate the work you’re doing, especially if you are responsible for setting your own schedule. If you aren’t in a financial bind, try to avoid working on projects you know you won’t enjoy.
4. Use Apps To Maximize Productivity
Noisli is an app which, “helps you stay focused and work productively by listening to different sets of ambient noises.” Noisli even has a ‘Productivity’ tab which plays a set of sounds to help the listener focus on their task at hand.
Forest is another creative tool which helps combat procrastination in an interesting manner.
“Whenever you need to focus on your work, open the app and plant a tree. It will keep growing as long as you don’t get sidetracked. Leave your phone alone with the app open, but once you quit it you’ll kill the tree. For every tree you grow, you’ll have a full forest representing your focused tasks.”
Note: You can also make use of a productive noise cancelling app which removes background noise in calls in real time. All you have to do is switch Krisp on and enjoy the rest of your call noiselessly from all sides.
5. Music And Binaural Beats
While remote work can be lonely at times, there are ways to create a workspace that is entertaining and fosters productivity. If idle noise isn’t enough to keep you focused, there are several other quality options.
Binaural beats are a soundwave therapy where the left and right ears listen to a different tone, yet the brain perceives them as one.
Studies have shown potential benefits to the therapy are stress reduction, reduced anxiety, increased concentration, increased focus, and increased meditation. Brainwave Power Music has a deep catalog of such beats which can help manage procrastination.
Listening to your favorite music during work hours will allow your body and mind to focus. If you have a problem working in complete silence or being distracted by random noises – playing music will provide a relaxing atmosphere for you to be productive.
Much like binaural beats, traditional music has also been found to reduce anxiety and stress. Bathing your work area with positive sounds is a great way to keep yourself motivated.
6. Work In Intervals And Get Your Sleep
Working eight, six, or four hours in a row isn’t always necessary. In fact, you become less productive if work for extended periods without a break.
Remote work allows you to be flexible, take advantage of it. Start scheduling yourself to work for thirty to hour-long intervals at a time. Once you find an interval you’re comfortable with, stick with it.
Working eight or more consecutive hours is mentally draining and results in lower quality work. Knowing when to take breaks, schedule days off, and enjoying life will make you far more productive when you focus on work.
Getting six to eight hours of sleep prior to a work day will help you feel refreshed and fight the desire to roll back into bed.
You’re more likely to waste time if you’re feeling fatigued while attempting to complete a project. A lack of sleep is one of the best ways to guarantee that you will become susceptible to procrastination.
There are numerous steps you can take to manage and eventually defeat procrastination. We hope our tips provided great actionable advice!