It’s a well known phrase, but for those working from home, “procrastination is the thief of time” is a truism. We know that there’s a lot to be said for working from home: you enjoy perks such as spending the day in your pyjamas if you want, having a fridge full of food at your disposal, and being more flexible with parenting duties. But we also know that it can be hard to keep yourself focused at the best of times. When you make the decision to work from home, however, there’s a lot more dedication required than you might have first thought, and you can easily become your own worst enemy thanks to the sneaky procrastination monster.
Procrastination can hit anyone in any type of job, but the trap can be particularly easy to fall into when you’re working from home. Because there are no peers to compare your work time to or a boss leering over your shoulder (except perhaps for your toddler), you really need to keep yourself in check and have excellent time management skills.
Thankfully, there are a few easy things you can do to keep yourself focused on the task at hand so that you’re able to hit your deadlines each day. There’s no need to give up the many perks of working from home, provided you can make the effort to manage your time and keep your focus where it needs to be.
Have A Dedicated Workspace
If you’ve ever tried to get anything done with the TV blaring you know it’s just not possible, and throw into the mix some crying kids and a barking dog and there’s no chance you’ll succeed. With all of this going on, it’s easy to lose focus and move onto another task such as cleaning the kitchen, getting started on dinner or getting sucked into whatever’s on TV. To keep yourself free from distractions you should have a dedicated work space that allows for as little procrastination as possible.
Uninstall Your Facebook App
Consider that the average person checks their phone 150 times a day, with a huge chunk of that spent browsing social media, and you’ll realise how important it is to get rid of Facebook on your phone. The easiest way to zone out and procrastinate is to scroll through your feed, and for some of us, it can be so second nature we don’t even realise we’re doing it. To stop this time wasting habit, simply uninstall the app on your phone to take the temptation away from yourself, and eventually, you’ll lose the urge to log on and scroll through every 10 minutes or so.
Don’t Stray to Other Websites
It starts as something simple like looking at a recipe online to get some dinner inspiration, and before you know it you’re reading into your star sign for the next 12 months. If you’ve succeeded in ridding your phone of time wasting apps like Facebook, you might need to go one step further and do the same on your computer. Thankfully, Chrome has some great extensions like StayFocusd that allow you to manage your time spent outside of work related websites and will even set a limit on how many minutes a day you can visit them.
Divide Your Day into Smaller Jobs
Sometimes the mere thought of how much work you have to do can be enough to scare you away into procrastination land, so try not to look at it as such a huge task. Have a daily planner that you update regularly which divides your work into smaller and more manageable pieces with breaks planned throughout the day. This time can be saved for relaxing and shutting your mind off so that you’re more likely to stay focused during the work periods.
Commit to Set Hours
Avoiding procrastination can be as simple as assigning yourself set work hours and sticking to them. Just as you’d enter your office in a workplace at a certain time and leave when the day is through, so too should you have this approach working from home. When you know you’re meant to be working and are due to finish shortly, you’ll be more motivated to stay on track and get it done without succumbing to the temptation of procrastination.
Make Your Time Work For You
When you can make the working from home gig work for you, there are so many ways you can benefit. Not only will you be in charge of your own work day and do something you really enjoy, you’ll free up your time so there’s more to spend with your kids and on yourself.
If you are a mum working from home, we’d love to hear about how YOU stay focused.