There is notable irony in writing an article about procrastination while being near constantly distracted as I go about doing so—right? Well here I am, writing these words while doing everything I can not to go and ‘check’ the fridge and its contents, or flick on a YouTube video.
I am writing these words in the middle of the afternoon, yet I started writing the piece yesterday morning. During this time, I have been drawn away by the glow of my smartphone as it lights up with notifications, binge-watched episodes of a show I’m not sure I actually enjoy, and pointlessly reorganized my workspace more than twice.
Sound familiar? You’re certainly not the only one!
Procrastination is a crippling modern habit. Part of this roots to the digital world. We have become conditioned to skip ahead while watching something. We have become used to deleting what doesn’t interest us. The phenomenon of ‘double-screening’ has also arrived into our daily existences. Ever found yourself watching a film with your loved ones while absent-mindedly scrolling on your phone? Yes, exactly.
With so much distraction around us it can be difficult to focus. We are our own worst enemy in many ways. We crave constant entertainment yet cannot focus on one thing for longer than a goldfish sometimes. Unfortunately, procrastination can block us from reaching our goals and achieving our ambitions. This is where procrastination stops becoming something, we roll our eyes at and more of an element that causes harm to our happiness.
Oh—and then there was the global pandemic thrown in too.
In the past 4 months our world has been turned upside down with the arrival of the Covid-19 virus. We have been plunged into previously unknown lifestyles of social distancing, home quarantine, and remote working. We have been faced with even more digital distractions than ever with our screens being one of the only outlets for stress and socialization. No easy task!
So how can we stop our minds (and attentions) wandering while working from home?
Here are 7 Tips to develop into your most productive self during the pandemic and beyond:
1.- Decide what you want and why-
Heading blindly into a set of tasks won’t result in personal success. You need to tap into the driving purpose of what you’re trying to achieve. Sit down with a notebook and write down your goals. Add notes detailing why you want to achieve your ambitions. Got a goal without a reason? Chop it off your list – it doesn’t belong in your plans. When you have your final goal list, pin it up in a spot you’ll see it to keep the positive flow going.
2.- Create a healthy space-
In order to be effective while working we must take good care of our wellbeing. The standard basics include staying hydrated and eating properly. Further to this, we must remove whatever agitates our minds and hearts. Are you being distracted by a cluttered office workspace? Donate excess items to charity to clarify your environment. Give yourself the gift of freedom by removing what holds you back in any way.
3.- Minimize temptation –
Why make life more difficult for yourself than it already is right now? Lessen your daily battles by removing visible distractions. Move your television to another room. Charge your smartphone in the kitchen while you work on your laptop in the living room. Ask your chatty roommate to give you room for a few hours with the promise you’ll catch up that evening. Detox your personal space to power boost your productivity.
4.- Create bitesize goals –
It takes approximately 29,035 steps to climb Mount Everest. Every ascent starts with a single one of those uphill steps. Instead of overwhelming yourself with the bigger picture, identify the smaller goals that will help you to achieve your larger goals. What small movements could you make today that will bring you in the right direction? What actions could you take tomorrow morning that will keep you moving? Laying a brick at a time eventually results in a wall. Start building!
5.- Up your energy levels –
If you are drawing a creative blank when you sit down to start a new task, you may need to refresh your energy levels. Taking a brisk walk outdoors for 20 minutes can do wonders for your focus capacity. Even 10 jumping jacks before you sit down can help to boost blood flow and oxygen to your brain. Get moving to start achieving!
6.- Build your toolkit –
Not sure you trust your own willpower at this stage? Sometimes technology can be a significant help to us. There are a variety of apps available that can help with planning and productivity. Choose the apps that will keep you on track with regular reminders to stay focused along with tracking your progress. Experiment with different options to see what works best for you.
7.- Be kind to yourself –
It’s important to nudge yourself forwards as you venture in life. But this doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up when you might fall or falter on occasion. Forgive yourself when your mind (and attention) starts to wander. Note it within yourself but don’t obsess over it. Reward yourself for your successes no matter how small they may be. Perfectionism isn’t helpful but self-love always will be.
Most importantly of all— transform the inner narrative you’re telling yourself. Instead of saying to everyone (and therefore yourself) that you struggle with procrastination, start saying you believe in your own potential. You’ll be amazed at how quickly things will change as a result.
Those dreams you have are worth chasing both doing the pandemic and far beyond it!
Stop quipping those routine self-deprecating jokes on impulse (you know the ones) and start valuing yourself as highly as you deserve. Doing so will make all the difference to the energy and momentum of your future experiences.
Oh, and you’ll have a lot more fun along the way too!
If you find yourself struggling with changing some of these believes that fuel procrastination, I am here to help you and guide you through it. Don’t wait any longer and click here to Schedule Online a session with me.