Procrastination is something that I’m sure most of us struggle with. Usually, all the way up until the moment anxiety forces us to pull up and complete a task at the last minute, before crashing and burning into a sea of failure. And it usually has nothing to do with a task being too hard to complete or too scary to start, but it’s just this weird trigger in your brain where you don’t feel like starting, or you keep telling yourself you have time until you don’t.
At this moment in time, I find myself more swamped with work than ever before. I’m maintaining my office copywriting job from home during this quarantine, I’m keeping up with my meeting my article count here at Society 19, and every bit of time I have in between I’m squeezing in screenwriting and working on scripts. With that being said, I don’t think I would mind having a method that causes me to stop procrastination, but it also doesn’t affect me in a totally detrimental way.
When it comes to things, I truly care about like making a deadline for a screenplay festival, tweaking a script before shooting the next day, or finishing up an article on a topic I’m passionate about, procrastination doesn’t even come into play. In fact, in those moments, there is really nothing I would rather be doing than working on those things, and I’m actively pushing any distractions or disturbances out of the way in order to do that. But as a human, I make mistakes, and sometimes it’s not possible to stop procrastination, even with work you’re passionate about.
For example, I wake up on Saturday morning with a plan to write an article on “Movies That Depict Society During A Pandemic”, and I’m going to write about Children Of Men and 28 Days Later, two of my favorites. This shouldn’t take long at all, and I’m quite excited to start until I get a call from my friend to go out on his boat and have a nice swim. And having been locked away in my home for six days straight, going out and getting some fresh air seemed like a much-needed excursion. Then getting home in the mid-afternoon would still leave me with plenty of time to finish my article and work on editing some scripts… or so I thought.
Getting out on the boat took much longer than anticipated, I was picked up at 11 in the morning, and didn’t touch the water until 1 in the afternoon. It then took an hour to reach the swimming spot, but my morale was still high. And to make a long story short, I had a great day, drinks were consumed, and I didn’t return home until 8:30 at night.
I had no option to stop procrastination because it just happened. A poor and miscalculated decision caused my ideal window for working to fly by. Then I was forced under not ideal circumstances to finish work I had a deadline for and to also miss out on my passion projects due to being tired and needing to get to sleep.
When trying to stop procrastination, this is the form that’s much harder to combat. It’s that feeling of just not wanting to do something. And whether that’s because the task is too boring, or you have something else on your mind, or you just feel like being lazy, you will find a way to off your work.
Hopefully, none of my co-workers see this, but before being quarantined, I would sit in my cubicle and take every opportunity I could not to do work. I would zone out listening to podcasts, while my manager was away from her desk I would do my own writing or work on articles, and I would chug water so that I could take a walk to refill my bottle. The funny part is that I would get all my work done for the day, but I would still have time to “procrastinate”, I just had to do it on the sly.
Stop Procrastination At Home
Now with my job moving me to remote status, all negative forms of procrastination have nearly been eliminated. In my eyes, at least. As I said, I would get all my work done, and then some, but I would have time leftover and no activities to fill it. Working at home, I can just hammer out all my work at the beginning of the day and then use the rest of my time to focus on some other tasks without someone hawking over my shoulder, all while staying connected to my co-workers and making them happy.
And if it’s a busier day where I don’t have any time to spare really, I can at least have movies playing in the background. I can take a break and make some food, or play video games for a half-hour, all to break up the monotony.
Overall, the motivation and feeling I get from sitting in my own home and not having to deal with the discomfort of being around other people is much more conducive to a productive day. And I’m sure other people can relate to how working from home in itself is an excellent tool for helping you stop procrastination.
And if working from home is new to you, and you’re swamped, and you’re having issues with procrastination, try and set up a schedule for yourself that allows for some free time. With no longer having to commute to work, you can use that extra time to take a walk in the morning and get your wheels turning before sitting down and zeroing in on tasks. If one day you’re locked into your work, maybe you can work late, because what else is there to do during quarantine, and then you can use whatever time you’ve allotted for nonsense later in the week.
The real joy to working at home is just the laid back freedom of it, and for me, and I’m sure a few other people, it’s considered a privilege. With the newfound pleasure I have for work and the fear of not wanting it to go away from my lack of performance, I have plenty of reasons to only commit a limited amount of procrastination. And I feel like working from home has a pretty good system built-in for keeping that limit at a happy medium.