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Six ways to knock procrastination on the head


When you’re in a work environment, your brain automatically sets to work mode. Bring your work home and it’s a different story. With more freedom and endless distractions, procrastinating can get in the way of work. Here are a few tips to keep your mind on the job and productivity levels high.

1. Get into a regular routine

With no need for the daily commute, your alarm clock becomes less important. But it’s still a good idea to get up at the same time every day, and be showered and ready for work at a set time. Whether that time is 8am or 2pm, working set hours will help you stay focused and get moving without procrastinating. Just make sure you let your colleagues know when you’re available.

2. Take regular breaks

Schedule a set lunchtime and coffee breaks, just like you would if you were in the office. Take this time to connect with family and pets, and catch up on social media. Or do a little exercise to give your brain a rest. Then you can get back to work feeling refreshed.

Man sitting at computer monitor looking bored

3. Find a space free of distractions

Setting up your laptop in front of the telly is a recipe for disaster. And while many of us don’t have the luxury of a home office, it’s important to find a quiet space without distractions. Whether it’s the kitchen table, a nook in a bedroom or even the back yard, choose a place where you can work for long periods without being interrupted.

4. Make your workspace comfortable

It’s important to create a comfortable work area that has everything you need within easy reach. This includes setting up a work station that supports your back and keeps your posture in check. The comfier your workspace, the more likely you are to stay put – and focused.

Young man sitting at desk playing with a desk toy

5. Plan your meals ahead

The most common form of procrastination is a visit (or ten) to the fridge. This not only interrupts your concentration, it can mean eating extra food your body doesn’t need and won’t burn. To help prevent fridge visits, plan your lunch ahead, either the night before or before you start work. And don’t forget healthy snacks. Carrot sticks, fruit and nuts are all good. For a special treat, a mini chocolate bar will stave off the 3 o’clock jitters. 

You could even consider a food service that delivers fresh pre-prepared meals. This not only saves you time, it helps to reduce supermarket visits.

6. Set yourself goals

When everyone’s in the office, we’re motivated by the busy churn of work and productivity of colleagues around us. But at home, you’re trusted to get on with it alone. To maintain a good pace and keep the procrastination bug at bay, try setting yourself achievable goals. Think of it as your Fitbit for work.

A few “I’ll do x by x time” tasks each day will make you more productive and give you a sense of achievement. More importantly, it will help you stand out to your superiors.

For more handy tips on working from home, read How to handle distractions when working from home, Time management tips: when to clock off and 5 tips for better online meetings.

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