book of procrastination

6 ways to stop procrastinating while working from home

Our personal and professional lives are colliding with each other in unusual ways, leading to procrastination.

I have to finish the presentation and prepare for the meeting, but let me sleep for another couple of hours. So many chores to do; I’ll do everything at once tomorrow.

The coronavirus lockdown is making people procrastinate more than ever. After all, life has become confined to the walls of our homes where we hold our meetings, do our assignments, unwind, and sleep, all under the same roof. No wonder our personal and professional lives are overlapping with each other in unusual ways. The result: procrastination.

It’s no mystery that humans procrastinate. But in times like these, procrastination can turn into a habit and soon into a conspicuous trait, if left unaddressed. The first step to overcome procrastination is to recognise it.

In this feature, Soulveda dives into the human mind to explore why we procrastinate and how we can rise above it.

Just start

Often it’s the first step that is the toughest to take. Spending time planning about all the steps, thinking about the failures that might come, or stress that will weigh you down—you do everything one can do, other than taking that first step.

To start your journey, visualise your destination. Imagine how you would feel once you have achieved your goal. Picture how you would celebrate your accomplishment with your loved ones. Such exercises can motivate you to take the first step and never look back.

Plan meticulously

Leaving a task in the middle to start doing something new is the oldest trick in the book of procrastination. You want to check your Instagram feed, pass a meme you received from a friend to another friend, or just stream a few scenes of a movie—distractions are endless in this digital age. And the more distracted you are the more procrastination you will do.

You don’t have to compromise with your pastimes to become more focused and productive. You just need a meticulous plan that can leave enough time at the end of the day for your interests. So make a timetable. Assign time to each task. Write down your lunch hours and plan your short breaks. Once a plan is ready, you just have to stick to it. In the end, you will have more work done and more leisure at hand.

Avoid Procrastination

You may avoid doing a chore because you feel it is too monotonous or boring.

Break the task into smaller steps

Most of the time, the reason behind procrastination is the fear to face a challenge. It could be your project, exams, or writing the first page of your book—sometimes we are just too scared to leap anywhere outside our comfort zone. If left unchecked and unaddressed, this fear turns into procrastination, and eventually into a habit of avoiding everything challenging in life.

How to escape from this web of procrastination weaved by fear? Instead of taking a leap, take a step. Break your goal or challenge into a smaller set of tasks. Focus on one task at a time. Set dedicated hours to work on it every day. Once you see your progress and how far you have come in pursuit of your goal, your fear will evaporate and confidence will take its place.

Breathe life into dull chores

You may avoid doing a chore because you feel it is too monotonous or boring. Doing laundry, ironing, washing dishes, vacuuming—some chores are dull but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Instead of pushing them back on your to-do list, why don’t you make them interesting? Plug in your earphones and let your favourite music take care of your mood. You can also keep an incentive for yourself at the end of your task—a scoop of ice cream or a large pizza to celebrate your achievement.

Focus on action

Leaving important things for later is the biggest red flag of procrastination. People make countless reasons to escape a situation that is either challenging or exhausting. I don’t have time, too busy, maybe tomorrow, it’s stressful are some of the excuses people use to feed procrastination. This habit of procrastination can be overcome by simply shifting the focus on taking action. Don’t focus on the outcome or on your discomfort. If it’s an important task, make an action plan to address it. Remember, action overpowers anxiety and stress.

Change your environment

Today, millions of movies are bundled in one app. The same goes for songs, games, live events—name anything, there will be an app for it. All these can act as distractions when you are working, leading to procrastination and lower productivity.

To steer clear from distraction, change your environment. Change means get rid of the old rules of working and set new ones. Refrain from checking messages during work hours; remove all the clutter from your desk; mute all notifications. It goes the other way around as well—when work is done, do something that brings you joy. The idea is to maintain a healthy balance between personal and work life and finding time for everything important.


What is the first step to overcome procrastination, according to the article?

The first step to overcome procrastination is to recognize it and then to just start taking action on the task at hand.

How can you avoid procrastination while working from home?

To avoid procrastination while working from home, you can plan meticulously, break tasks into smaller steps, breathe life into dull chores by making them interesting, focus on taking action rather than the outcome, and change your environment to minimize distractions.

What are some common reasons people give for procrastinating important tasks?

Some common reasons people give for procrastinating important tasks include not having enough time, feeling too busy, believing the task is too challenging or stressful, and using distractions like apps and entertainment to avoid work.

How can breaking tasks into smaller steps help overcome procrastination?

Breaking tasks into smaller steps allows you to focus on one manageable task at a time, making the overall goal seem less intimidating. As you make progress on each step, your confidence grows, and the fear that leads to procrastination diminishes.


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