If there is one thing that I've learnt from being my own boss for the past few years it's that I can be quite the procrastinator. I'm not sure where it's come from as I never used to be like this when I was younger. Especially at university, I used to be so strict with myself but now I've kind of fell off the productivity train. But because I'm my own boss I still need to be productive as sadly faffing around organising my notepads doesn't pay the bills and here are a few ways that I've found to help me not procrastinate so much [although sometimes you can do it productively].
KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE
I realise that having a dedicated space like a desk to work at is a huge luxury and not something that everybody gets to have. So wherever you do work keeping it as tidy as possible is something that I've found to work really well. Having a nice space to work at that's clean and tidy does wonders for my work day. As if I'm trying to work in a cluttered messy environment usually my brain feels the same way and I never manage to get anything productive done as I'm mostly just staring at all the mess that's surrounding me.
USE TIME BLOCKS
It wasn't until the last year or so that I started to use time blocks for getting my work done and would so often let tasks run over and spend hours on one thing. When that task never requires that much time and I'm mostly just faffing around. Now I like to block off a few hours to one dedicated task and not allow myself to do something else in that time frame [within reason of course]. Doing this also really helps when it comes to winding down for the day as it gives me a set amount of hours to work to.
TURN YOUR WIFI OFF
For years I used to spend a lot of time on a train and that is when I would always get the most done and I realised it was because I wasn't connected to the internet. Sometimes I have to be connected to wifi to do things like e-mails and comments etc but for the most part, I can deal with not being connected. I love the internet, it's awesome but it's certainly distracting and I find myself getting lured in by the likes of Twitter and YouTube far too much. It's such a simple thing to turn your wifi off but I find that forces me to work without distraction or the ability to open up a million tabs. There are websites you can also use to block off certain sites for a set amount of time but that's a little bit of a faff when you could just simply turn off your wi-fi.
HIDE YOUR PHONE
Some people might have great self-restraint and not need to hide their phones from themselves but I do. I either have to put in a desk drawer where I'm not tempted to scroll through Instagram looking at sped up cake making videos or I put it in a separate room altogether. Typically I don't need my phone for whatever I'm doing and if anybody does need to iMessage me or call me it comes through to my computer anyway [if I'm connected to the internet of course]. There is a reason why when you work in a 'normal' job they make you put your phone away and it's because it's a huge distraction.
I'm a big planner, it's something that I talk about time and time again. But I think it totally depends on what job you have and also who you are a person as not everyone enjoys planning. For a while I tried to challenge my brain and skip writing a list and then, to be honest, there were sometimes I was just far too tired to slog over a list and just wanted to get on with my workday. But I found whenever I wouldn't write a list I was nowhere near productive and procrastinated even more than usual. I always try and write a good solid to-do list the night before so it's not something I have to worry about doing before I start my workday. As that's also something I find to be disruptive when it comes to my workflow. Having a solid idea of what I need to do stops me from straying too much and really have a productive day and get everything ticked off my to-do list.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE HAVING REGULAR BREAKS
Whilst I am pretty terrible at procrastinating, in general, I usually find that when I start faffing around, day dreaming and generally not being very productive it's because my brain wants a break. I used to be really bad for just working straight through the day and evening and not giving myself a proper break. Even when I was eating my lunch I would work straight through and eat whilst I was doing something and I now know that is such a terrible habit to get into. I used to believe that if you were busy obviously the best thing to do was to plough through and work every hour and that's not productive at all. The more breaks I have and the more I rest my brain the more productive I am compared to the days where I would just work relentlessly.
Do you have any tips for avoiding procrastination?