Now that the festive season is over, the best way to reign in the new year is to refocus on your business. The festive bug may have slowed you down but it should not let you procrastinate any longer. Your passion and enthusiasm is still at its best, but if you are falling back to being comfortable, your productivity drops as well. Also, you can use this as an opportunity to rediscover yourself.
As a freelancer, working within the comfort of your own home is great. That means no more commuting, no supervision and you get to sleep in most mornings. This patterns will become a habit and you have to put a limit to it. If you don’t have a spare room, find a space or corner that brings in the sunlight. When working late into the night, be sure to have appropriate lighting too.
Always plan in advance. Set up your working space with a bottle of water, fruit or snacks to prevent yourself from taking one too many breaks or distractions during your most productive hour.
You will find yourself watching endless YouTube videos or scrolling through your social media feeds at inappropriate timings. You are less likely to realise that nothing has been done while you were staring at your computer screen. It is best to a work-related account and your browser are job-related tabs and bookmarks.
Use time-tracking apps to stay productive and receive a report to track your work. Time-tracking tools such as Tick and RescueTime can come in handy.
When majority of your projects have vague deadlines, you begin to do things at your own pace. You start putting it off till the next day. When tomorrow comes, it becomes a rush to finish multiple tasks within a day. Staying up late might not even guarentee good quality and you may not even have time to finish any of it completely.
Get a wall organizer, magnets or post its to attach important tasks and place it infront of you. Having a schedule or a proper timetable will make you take things more seriously. You get to fill empty slots by taking in more projects and keep your business float.
Motivation is key to stop yourself from procrastinating. Now that you have sorted out your priorities, you will lose a sense of excitement. You found that it worked well in the beginning but it became boring as it a repeated pattern and it becomes a chore instead.
Shift your focus of things that could benefit you instead of how much work you should put into a project. Start doing things that you like. Spend your time outside, as nature is part of the healing process. When you are feeling tensed and unfocused, fresh air can help clear your mind. Book a lunch meeting with your family or friends or simply go for a walk during your break. Rewarding yourself at the end is important and good for you.
Keep in mind that you can’t change your habits overnight but it requires a little bit of action from your part. You have to start the engine somewhere to get back on track. Make a feasible list on ways you can fight procrastination and tackle it from the easiest to the hardest thing that needs to be done. It will take time to adapt but it does not mean that it is not impossible.