I can’t focus today.
It’s a problem for those of us that work from home. Sometimes, you get a couple hours… a day… a whole week, even… where you just can’t get your brain to run on the track that you’ve laid out for it.
Why? Couldn’t tell you. But it’s one that many of us struggle with, and I especially do.
When I tell people I work from home, they all say: “I could NEVER do that! I’d just watch TV all day – I can’t focus that much!”
Truth is, I’m just barely focused enough to pull it off some days. At times, I get distracted by anything and everything that is around me.
I’m kinda tired – I should just take a quick nap! That blog post was good – maybe I’ll spend the next two hours reading posts from this site and then the sites that they link to! Boy, this lunch is tasty, and this TV show is great – I can take a long lunch today, can’t I? Oh, those dishes need to get done as soon as possible – I’ll just do that and then clean the rest of the kitchen while I’m at it.
Procrastination is synonymous with breathing for many of us home-workers. It’s probably synonymous for many of you, too. It’s just that the consequences are a little more grave for the self-employed.
One of my favorite parts about my job is that my actions directly affect the end outcome. If I work in an office and I work really stinking hard, I’m still getting paid as much as the girl next to me who spent her entire shift doing her nails, checking her makeup, checking her email, and talking with the guy sitting across the aisle.
But as I work from home, the harder I work, the more money I make. The more focused I am, the better off my paychecks can be. But on the flip side of that: the more I procrastinate, the less money I make. If I do nothing, I make nothing.
That’s a problem.
So what am I going to do?
I’ll try out a variety of different approached to kill my procrastination and get back in the swing of things. I’ve done these over and over to pretty good success:
- Change my scenery. I’ll go out to Starbucks or something. Even moving into a different room for a little bit can get me out of a creative and productive funk.
- Get some little victories. If I find that my brain won’t charge forward on some bigger projects, I’ll line up a bunch of piddly little accomplishments to get myself back into the routine of crossing things off. This works quite often.
- Let it go. Not much I can do about the past. In fact, there’s nothing I can do about the past. So I can’t spend the entire afternoon beating myself up over not getting things done this morning. Instead, I need to just move forward and make my afternoon productive.
- Plan for tomorrow. Get a solid schedule in place for tomorrow, and then be sure I attack it. Knowing that some of the stuff I put off is on a hard schedule for tomorrow can help me relax and forgive myself.
Procrastination is a real pain in the ol’ keester. So that’s what I do about it. What do you do? Do you suffer from it, too?