For today’s FYI Friday, I’m going to give you break from my ramblings and I’ve asked the very lovely Emily Mumford, from InkPot and Press Media Services, to have a chat to you about a subject close to her heart; Procrastination.
Emily kindly agreed to write for me in return for an interview I did for her blog, which you can read here.
InkPot & Press offer bespoke copywriting, PR, marketing & media services to artisan, rural and countryside businesses. Emily works from home and juggles work-life, being a mum, owning two horses, a dog and more than one business, so she’s a busy lady and doesn’t have time for excessive procrastination.
And here’s how she combats it…
noun: procrastination; plural noun: procrastinations
1 the action of delaying or postponing something.
When I left my full time office (sometimes in a random field) job I don’t think I’d quite grasped just how hard it would be to “work from home.”
The temptation to do ANYTHING other than the work that needed doing was, and still is, immense. The washing, hoovering, drinking tea, eating biscuits, painting a wall, mopping the floor ANYTHING else can look mega appealing when your brain won’t engage properly.
I am a closet perfectionist (closet because things I do are very rarely perfect) and the tendency to need everything I produce to be ‘just-so’ can be exhausting. I think perfectionism is probably the root of a lot of my procrastination and definitely leads me to bury my head and hope that the task I’m worrying about will go away.
I’m not sure I am in any position to give anyone tips on how to combat procrastination, because I haven’t found a way of beating it myself 100% of the time, but here are a couple of coping mechanisms that I use (and they actually do work – I promise…)
The only way I have found to up productivity levels is to just get on and do it…
Once you’ve ticked off one or two things on your list, you tend to find yourself on a bit of a roll and before you know it the list has got smaller and your mind has become much less messy!
Checking emails and social accounts can literally eat up your entire day if you let it and I have been known to spend up to 2 hours purely on social media, justifying it because I work in PR – madness.
My very first tip would be to allocate time each day (every 2 hours or at the end of every task I complete works well for me) to check emails and social accounts. It gives your brain a chance to breathe and keep you up to date with the outside world.
When it comes to lists and planning, I personally have two separate notebooks – one I keep very neat with my daily to do lists and one with scribbles, doodles and all sorts of messy hurried information relevant to the tasks. Keeping things separate like this really helps my need for a clean/clear mind (not that you’d think it looking at the state of my house!)
In my tidy notebook, I make a list, in pencil so I can rub things out and keep it neat), at the beginning of each week of EVERYTHING I have to do both personally and professionally.
I then divide those tasks onto the list for each individual day of the week making my daily to do lists much more manageable visually. It is a really really simple method but it genuinely works. I had tried Bullet Journals, using an actual diary, having hundreds of separate lists all over the house and nothing had worked until I simplified the whole system.
Time management wise (because a lack of time can encourage procrastination oddly enough) I make sure I allocate chunks of time throughout the week to specific tasks and clients. I then stick to it as much as possible which isn’t aways easy with a five year old little boy, two horses, a Labrador and two businesses to run but if I can do it SO CAN YOU!
For me having a neat and concise list and a clear working space leads to a tidy and productive mind and much less chance of procrastination creeping in!
“I don’t procrastinate, I delegate tasks to my future self…”