Working from home is not something new. With the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of businesses have resorted to the work-from-home option to help slow the spread of the virus. However, being at home has numerous distractions that can make it easy for you to procrastinate and not get your work done.
Whether you’re new to working from home or are a long-time remote worker who struggles to focus on tasks most days, here are strategies that can help you reduce procrastination and keep you productive.
Tackle task uncertainty. It’s common for most people to struggle starting or finishing a task when they are unsure of what needs to be done. When you’re working at home, it can be difficult to get quick answers to reduce this uncertainty. People tend to procrastinate on tasks they know little about because they are not sure about what they are supposed to do.
This is because such tasks can create feelings of uncertainty that are unpleasant, and that can spark the feeling of self-doubt. Before you tackle a new task, make sure that you have a clear guide on what needs to be done. Having a list of key people you can contact for quick support can also help in times when you question yourself.
Set up a clear work schedule. When you work from home, there are neither any timed breaks nor clear start and finish times. By creating a schedule that’s tailored to the work you want to get done, you’re adding that missing structure thus reducing procrastination.
Create clear and realistic goals that you can expect to achieve within a given time frame. Organizing your larger tasks into several smaller ones also provides opportunities to experience small successes, which can accumulate and help keep you motivated and productive.
Plan for interruptions. Even the best plans to set aside time to get your work done can fall apart when unexpected interruptions arise. If you’re not prepared, these interruptions can tempt you to procrastinate and throw your work schedule off track.
One effective approach is to make specific if-then plans for dealing with interruptions. This involves thinking about the possible interruptions you might encounter, and then rehearsing how you will respond.
See the meaning of work. Naturally, when you’re home you’re surrounded by things that have meaning to you. In comparison, being at work can seem less meaningful. This distinction might make it difficult to stay focused and productive. Reminding yourself why your work is important can help you increase positive feelings towards your work and reduce procrastination while working from home.