How To Fight Procrastination When Working From Home

Written by: Anna Sharples
Published on: 18 Jun 2020

You have a mountain of things to do and yet, you just can’t seem to get them done. For centuries, the home has been a place of comfort, the space we returned to after a long day at the coal face.

The Key to Fighting Procrastination

However, there are many more of us working from home. And this means fighting back hard against the ways we have always seen and used our homes.

Homeworkers are not the only people who procrastinate, of course. When DIY jobs beckon, it is amazing the other things we find to do to fend off the inevitable job…

But it isn’t just about avoiding DIY. And procrastination takes many forms – and swallows a lot of precious time too.

For example, watching the TV, browsing the web, checking social media, tidying up (again!), making yet more cups of teas all contribute to wasting time, roughly four hours a day.

So, how do you avoid procrastination when working from home?

Define a workspace

It may seem comfy, curled up in bed or balancing your laptop on your lap on the sofa, but by not having an allocated work area, you are more prone to being distracted by the TV, the radio, what’s going on outside…

A defined workspace gives boundaries and a sense of purpose, especially when you have tasks you simply must complete.

Styling it is important too. You need to strike the right balance between it being an invigorating space but one that isn’t too distracting. Ensure you have a proper chair, such as an office tub chair, that you can keep in your workspace.

Schedules and timetables

So many people have a romantic notion about working from home. You can get up when you want, waft through the house, work when you feel like… or can you?

The likelihood is you WILL work just as hard at home with the same time pressures and challenges as you would at a desk in an office.

Deadlines still need to be met and clients communicated with and kept happy. You do have more freedom o work when it suits you but a too-lax attitude about work hours can lead you down a garden path of no work being done when you really should be working.

The solution is simpler than you think, and it comes in the shape of a schedule for the day;

  • Work out an outline schedule of your day, making a prioritised list of tasks
  • Cut down your day into bite-sized chunks
  • Start with the important or more complex tasks first when your concentration levels are at their peak
  • Not looking forward to a task? Get that out of the way first so you have a sense of accomplishment

Get up, get dressed, get ready for the day

Again, it is a romantic view of working from home – when you do finally arise from your bed, you can waft around in your dressing gown and comfy slippers…

But again, this ‘relaxed’ approach may be fine every now and then but on a long-term basis, it contributes to procrastination.

You wouldn’t bowl up to work in the office in your PJs so why undermine the value of your work at home by doing the same thing?

Getting up and dressed, eating breakfast just as you would before going to the office and any other first thing in the morning routines you may have, sets you up for the day.

Build in breaks

You shouldn’t work for hours and hours on end without a break because this simply depletes productivity.

Building in breaks, whether that is to read a few chapters of a book or to have lunch, make a cup of tea or whip round the living room with the vacuum, building in timed breaks is great for preventing procrastination.

Get OUT of the house!

Again, the romantic notion of working from home is that you will love the confines of your own palace. And so you will BUT, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are constantly looking at the same walls, day, day out and when you are not working too.

So get out of the house every day whether that is a lunchtime walk around the local park, nipping to the shop for a loaf of bread or work-related activities such as networking.

Do you have some tips on how to work from home without procrastinating?

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