Since we are all self-employed and independent professionals, we all deal with procrastination. It is always challenging to have self-discipline when working. The million-dollar question is how to stop procrastinating and get the business done?
What is the definition of procrastinating?
Procrastination definition is to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done. It is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline.
Scientists define procrastination as a "form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences." According to FastCo, “Eighty-eight percent of people said they procrastinated at least an hour, and nearly 9% wasted at least half of the workday.”
What does procrastinating mean for freelancers?
If you are working remotely as an independent professional, you are probably asking yourself frequently, “why do I procrastinate?”
When you’re working from home, it’s always easier to stretch out your working hours. It's easy for freelancers to be distracted by their house-work. Maybe you realize you look around and decide to do laundry instead of work. Or you’ll choose to watch one more episode of your favorite comedy show. There are many creative ways to procrastinate.
The causes of procrastination might be psychological. If you are interested in reading about this, we recommend reading Paul Graham’s article.
Is the opposite of procrastination equal productivity?
Opposite of procrastination is not productivity, but we might say that procrastination is one of the reasons that decreases your productivity. To increase productivity, you should think proactively and minimize your costs while maximizing the value of your work.
Also, there is another side of the topic, and that is productive procrastination. What is productive procrastination? Giving yourself free time to improve your focus on your work is an excellent example of productive procrastination.
7 practical tips to stop procrastinating
Here are some procrastination tips that will help you to get work done. To stop procrastinating, follow these simple steps.
1- Plan Your Work Step by Step
When you think about a task in your to-do list consciously or subconsciously, it over overwhelms you. It is easier to procrastinate. That's why breaking down your work into smaller parts and focusing those smaller tasks one by one makes you feel more comfortable about your work. Your job will look more simple to you, and you will complete those tasks efficiently.
2- Change Your Working Space
Working in different environments will have other impacts on your productivity. When working from home, changing locations can be a little more challenging, but you can still go out to a cafe or sign up for a co-working space for a change. It is good to note that sitting in the same place might affect your creativity and productivity.
3- Create a Work Schedule
When you have this one big deadline for your big presentation, it would be possible that you feel pressure on your shoulders, and this leads to procrastination. That's why one of the best ways to stop procrastination is to set several deadlines for your work.
For example, suppose you have to finish a presentation on Friday. In that case, you can set yourself another deadline on Wednesday to complete the presentation's content, and this way, you would have time to polish your presentation and take care of the design.
4- Eliminate Your Procrastination Reasons
One of the biggest reasons for procrastinating is letting distractions in your life. Do you catch yourself scrolling down on your Instagram for no reason or allow your friends to send you funny memes you during your working hours? To stop procrastination, you should be more conscious of our actions. You can allow distractions if you want to enjoy your free time.
5- Take a break
It's important to take small breaks from work now and then. For example, work hard for an hour and give yourself a 10–30 minute break.
During these breaks, avoid doing something related to your work. You should prefer listening to your favorite playlists, taking walks with your dog, or doing meditation.
Pick up your ears for 4 lovely playlists by Rimuut to help you stop procrastinating.
6- Surround Yourself With Inspiring People
This famous saying states that "we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with." If you spend just time spending time with inspiring and hard-working people, you will be influenced by them. You should be able to realize the friends or colleagues who inspire the most to complete your job and start spending more time with them. If you hang out with a friend who procrastinates, you will be like to act like him or her.
7- Be a Doer
In the end, it is all about taking action. You can apply every tip in this list to your life, but if you don't start taking action, nothing is going to happen. Stop overthinking about procrastinating and start working now.