The 3 Steps to Avoiding Procrastination

Procrastination has many disguises. In my freelancing world, it is very easy to be complacent. Working from home, I often fell into the trap of false accomplishments. Crafting an assignment takes a lot of mental energy. A couple of times in my workday, I’d take five minutes to unwind. Looking around my house, I would see the dirty dishes or the pile of dirty clothes. Sure enough, the plates are shining and the laundry is complete. Lo and behold, five minutes turned into 3 hours and my writing assignment is still in limbo. I had an aura of accomplishment, however, it wasn’t toward the intended target. No bueno!

After experiencing one too days in this situation. I decided to do something about it. I’ve been following these three rules of thumb in my hustling journey, and they worked for me. Hopefully, they will for you too:

1. Write It Down
You hear it in every self-help/motivational program, but it SO TRUE! You have to write down your goals! It’s imperative. For me, it’s the first step in “seeing” as in “seeing it, then being it.” Make your own strategy. It can be a weekly, monthly timeframe. It can be daily, or even hourly if you’re THAT busy. It can be short-term, long-term or both. However you want to track your assignment, you should have your targeted plan in sight.
I have my daily list that I write down after my workday is officially done. The list goes as long as there are things to do for the next day. Afterward, I place that list in a place where I KNOW I’ll see it; on top of my laptop; my bathroom mirror, etc. There’s nothing worse than having a list and forgetting where you put it. It puts a damper on the day before it even starts. Which brings me to my next step…

2. Set The Tone
I’m a true believer of having a good routine. When I wake up, I brush my teeth then get in my workout clothes. I’m either outside running or going head-first into a Beachbody workout. When I’m done, I’m in the zone before I even start my day. It wasn’t always easy to establish that routine. My procrastination would set in as I labored in my mind whether to run or do Insanity30, or maybe P90X, or 21-Day Fix. Before I knew it, it was 8 or 9 a.m., and it was time to get to work. Throughout those days, I’m running to stand still. No bueno!
Nonetheless, your routine is yours. I workout. Maybe you have your coffee, and you’re good to go. Whatever gets you there is the important takeaway. A good start leads to a good finish!

3. Plan Your Distractions
Yes, it’s sounds confusing. Let me explain: For most, there are eight hours in the workday. And let’s be honest, there’s a “windup” time when you get to work, the half-hour/hour for lunch, and a “wind-down” time before you leave the office.  For me and the others I have worked with over my career, that’s the usual game plan. If you are a “get to work” right at the starting bell until the final whistle: God Bless You! For the rest of us, let’s continue.
If you can establish that aforementioned timeframe, then you’re winning. First, you know the root of your weakness, and knowing is half the battle. Second, you can choose to eliminate that distraction altogether (which would be nice), or make plans for it! Yes, you know it’s coming, so welcome it. You welcome that lunch hour, and you respect it. You’re back in your desk within that time. Why don’t you do that for the windup and wind-down time? Give yourself 3-5 minutes of “hey, how was your weekend/day?” moments around the water cooler or wherever you congregate. They tend to add up during the day.
Working by myself, my planned distraction is a call to my wife or friend before or after lunch. For me, it’s a great way to decompress during the workday and places things in proper perspective. Thankfully, I have enough to keep me occupied during the day. If I’m too busy, a text usually does the trick.

These processes have been years in the making for me, and they work like a charm. How do you curb your procrastination? I would love to learn more on how to squash it once and for all. Tweet @ me: @MichaelVFreeze or visit my IG: @mikefreeze

Thanks for listening,