Not everything that glitters is gold. We have all heard bragging about working from home as an online freelancer being amazing, but this is not always the case. I will forever champion being an online entrepreneur, but I learned how to fight the procrastination bug as a freelancer to remain successful. It especially feels unappealing to work when we are resolving challenges, including the repetitive nature of the job. Thus, we all have to learn how to fight the procrastination bug as a freelancer. Below, I explore five of my best lessons on how to fight the procrastination bug as a freelancer.
Learn How To Prioritize Well
Running a business means that there will always be a long list of things to do. As entrepreneurs, we have to learn how to differentiate menial tasks from important and urgent ones. This requires mastering the art of prioritizing well. There are various ways that we can do this, let’s check out some ways that have worked for me.
The first rule for prioritizing tasks is to always start with the most urgent ones so that we don’t waste time doing menial tasks. Secondly, the to-do list can be so overwhelming, to limit the pressure and focus our energy on ensuring our days are productive we must firstly focus on the top three tasks. Thirdly, as much as we give priority to work, the same should be given to rest, break and leisure time. Remember that mounting stress, missing out on rest, or losing the joys of life can be great contributors to procrastination. When you follow my simple advice, the rewards of feeling successful after each completion or enjoying a leisure activity go a far way in fighting the procrastination bug.
Relying on Habit
Did you know that habit can keep us going when we don’t feel the motivation to work? It truly does! We have all felt the lacking desire to not work or delay until the very last minute, but as the boss, we cannot afford to do this. Therefore, fighting off the bug may require a solution as simple as having a workday morning routine or following an efficient workflow process. Whatever we do, we can still get the job done because the habit kicks in when our willpower fails us.
To develop good habits, we have to get into a routine or create an effective system. If you don’t have either of those, let your answer for the following questions guide you:
How do you start your days? Are you dragging from one task to another or do you prepare yourself as you did for your 9-5 job? Do you make time for things that motivate you, such as daily affirmations, an accomplishment tracker, or learning resources from other successful business people
How do you workflow system or do you just try to figure out each thing you should do to produce your client’s desired work output?
I have found that accountability is one of the hardest things for freelancers/entrepreneurs to do. This is especially true when procrastination kicks in. To overcome this, I have identified a few effective things that we can do to beat this bug:
Have an accountability partner. This should be a reliable person someone who is focused and business-minded, check-ins on a timely basis to ensure that you accomplish your goals and motivate you when you struggle with low willpower.
Set realistic goals. You can set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals but they must have a realistic timeframe. This is a great way to motivate you because you never forget what your working towards – your why-power.
Use a tracker. There are so many apps out there that can help to keep you organized and focused. Whether you use one that alerts you of the things you need to do, reminds you when you need to take a break, or warns you of the amount of time that you spend on social media you can find that one that helps you boot procrastination to the curb.
Establish the right Work Environment
Do you believe that our work environment can contribute to procrastination? Believe me, it can! Whether there are the constant disruptions from our kids, working in a space that is uncomfortable or surrounding ourselves with clutter. Thus, I challenge you to assess your workspace.
You may use your answers to the following questions as a guide:
Are you spending too much time browsing social media or YouTube?
Do you work better in a space that is quiet and separated from others?
Do you find that you focus better on background music, indoors or outside?
Are you fine with working in the same location, or do you need to switch it up after a while?
I have heard that the hardest thing to do can sometimes be to start. We have certainly felt this way when at some point in time when we tried something new, outside our comfort zones, or when doing a task we don’t feel like doing. Procrastination certainly fuels delaying our start. However, there are some simple ways to overcome this.
Have you ever started something and you felt amazed by how it was easier than you thought? I have had this happen to me many times. I have found that sometimes my procrastination comes from my fears, addressing and challenging these fears have helped me overcome the bad feelings that stop my productivity. Other times, doing a simpler task has aided in building up my confidence to just do the thing that I had avoided doing. Why don’t you give it a try?
We have explored various things that cause procrastination and how to overcome the procrastination bug as a freelancer. These are things that worked for me and I hope that at least one thing will work for you. Stop giving in to the feeling today! Keep fighting that bug, your business’ success depends on it.
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