| How To Stop Procrastinating & Stay Focused |

flatlay, business, working from home, entrepreneur, how to stop procrastination, freelance

There are days when I am the absolute queen of procrastination. A task that should take 30 minutes can end up taking 1 hour 30 mins because I simply can’t focus on one thing at a time. We’ve all been there & when your mind is struggling to stay focused it can be so difficult to get yourself back in the zone. 

Having been self-employed for the past year & a half, I’ve come to learn a few tricks that I’m forced to pull out of the bag when I’m struggling to get even the smallest of tasks done. Here are my top tips to stop yourself from procrastinating & to actually get sh*t done:

Make yourself a to-do list with small manageable tasks
If I feel like I have too many things to do I find myself procrastinating more. Ironic right? I feel overwhelmed & frantic so I end up trying to do too many things at once which means things are left half-finished and nothing actually gets completed. This can leave you with even more tasks to do the next day & so the viscous circle begins.
To avoid this evil procrastination circle it’s important to keep a to-do list. Work always seems less intimidating when it’s written down on paper. I always create little check boxes beside each task so that I can tick it off as I go along, but of course you don’t have to do this. Also, if I have any big tasks to do e.g. creating a marketing strategy for one of my clients, I like to break this down into smaller, more manageable tasks. As humans we tend to avoid the big tasks like the plague, but when it’s broken down into smaller tasks it becomes less intimidating and is much easier to complete.

Put your phone away!
I referred to social media as being the devil in my Top Tips for Working From Home post because it is so distracting if you’re trying to get work done. If I’m procrastinating you’ll find that at least 70% of the time it’s because of my phone. There’s times when I have to be on my phone for work but the rest of the time it’s just completely unnecessary. If you too are distracted by social media or your phone then you need to get it away from you. If you’re at home simply leave it in another room. Just make sure that it’s on silent so that you can’t reach for it or hear any notifications coming through. If you’re out of the house & it isn’t possible to leave your phone somewhere else, then you’re just going to have to exercise your own self-control (which is easier than it sounds!) Look at it this way, the more time you waste on your phone, (yes, I do mean waste) the longer it’s going to take to get your work done and you know what that means? You’re eating into your own free time later, when you could be doing more enjoyable things!

Take a break or take regular breaks between tasks
If you are really struggling to get into your work groove & nothing seems to working, it’s okay to take a break for a while. Go and watch an episode of your favourite show, go to the gym or just do what makes you happy for an hour. But just make sure you take a break that lasts no more than one hour otherwise you’ll find yourself not wanting to get back to work.
The other thing that you can do is make use of something called the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique uses evolutionary biology that is based around the length of time that our brains can fully concentrate on a task. It involves the use of a timer to break down work into intervals (usually 25 minutes long) before taking a short break. These working intervals are called Pomodoro’s. You can use this method by following the 6 steps below:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes & set to work on your first task
  2. Stop working on your task when the timer goes off
  3. Take short break of 3-5 minutes
  4. Repeat step 1 another two times
  5. On your fourth pomodoro take a longer break of 15-30 minutes
  6. Once your break is over go back to step 1 & repeat


Listen to music

Now this method may not work for everyone because I know my partner can’t work with music in the background. However I find that when I have music in the background or playing through my headphones, that I am so much more motivated. I find myself getting so absorbed in my work that I don’t notice the time passing. If you can’t listen to music with lyrics then you can also try listening to instrumental music instead. You can find one of my favourite instrumental playlists here on Youtube.

Get in your most productive environment
There will be days when you can work anywhere because you’re feeling super productive & nothing will stop you from banging out your work. But on the days when you’re feeling less productive it’s up to you to put yourself in your most productive environment. Don’t sit in a room with a TV or any unnecessary technological distractions. Your most productive environment is personal to you. I am most productive when I’m working in my office (as long as the house is quiet) or in a coffee shop filled with other people working. Take time to discover the environment in which you’re most productive & work the hardest, then make sure that you’re there as often as possible.

Give yourself rewards
Give yourself something to look forward to & make it good. The catch is that you don’t get to reward yourself unless you get through everything on your to do list or until you reach your goals for that day. It’s tough I know, but if it’s really good reward then you’re going to work extra hard so that you can treat yourself later.

I hope that these tips help you out if you’re feeling a little (or a lot) unproductive. If you have any additional tips I’d love to hear them! 

| The Top Tips for Working From Home |

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For those of you who don’t know I’m an entrepreneur & have been for about a year & a half. I don’t talk much about what I do on my blog so I’ll give you a quick, little glimpse into my working life. Essentially I am a brand & marketing consultant which means that I work with small-medium sized companies to help create & build their brand across their website & their social media – I’m the chick behind their marketing strategies & campaigns. I absolutely love what I do & I’m so incredibly passionate about it! 

But being an entrepreneur or working from home isn’t as easy as some may think. You’re one person & you’re in charge of everything! This means that it’s you who has to plan & structure yourself, it’s you who has to set your own goals & it is your responsibility to keep yourself on track & motivated while being a team of people all in one & while doing a million things at once.

With this in mind, I asked over on my Twitter if you beautiful people would like to hear my tips for working at home & 100% of you said yes! So your wish is my command & here is my tips for working from home!

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Tip 1: Buy a diary & plan every single day
This tip is so incredibly important & I just can’t stress it enough. When I started off as an entrepreneur I made the mistake of not using a diary or making lists of what I had to do for the week. Since I’ve stuck to doing this I can’t tell you just how much easier my life has become. I bought a pretty diary (because a gal needs pretty things) & every Sunday I plan for the things that I know I need to do during the week & then every evening I also write down what needs done for the next day. Being able to do this stops you waking up every morning not knowing what to do that day so instead you can enjoy your morning coffee while knowing exactly what you’ll be doing once it’s finished. Also, ticking off your to-do list gives you such a satisfying feeling because you know that you’re being productive & getting things done.

Tip 2: Change up your environment 
Your home is where you eat, sleep, relax & it’s the place where your ‘stuff’ is, so sometimes it can be difficult to get into your rhythm & it’s easy to get distracted by cleaning or playing with your pets or your favourite series on TV. If you’re spending too many days of the week working from home, you can also start going a little stir-crazy & begin to feel uninspired. That’s why it is so important to get out of the house & work somewhere else every now & again, even if it’s just once a week. This can be a coffee shop, a library or a park – it is entirely your choice! I personally love going to coffee shops to work as there are other normally people working or having meetings there so it’s a more motivating environment (and you never know who you’ll bump into that can help to grow you business.) Just get out of the house!

Tip 3: Get dressed 
When you work from home it’s far too easy just to stay in your pyjamas all day but it really helps if you make the effort to get out of them. When you get up, get showered & dressed it makes you feel like you’re getting ready for your work day & can be surprisingly motivating. I normally always put on gym clothes because I go to the gym on most days (and not to mention they’re incredibly comfortable) but you can put on whatever you want. Even sweats! You’ll feel like less of a slob & surprisingly more motivated just by getting out of what you slept in the night before!

Tip 4: Social media is the devil
For most people being on your phone or social media during work hours is a no-no but when you are self-employed you don’t have a big ol’ scary boss looking over your shoulder to tell you off. It’s up to you & you alone to control your time on social media. When you get a Whatsapp message or a notification or you hit a brain-block, it’s very easy to pick up your phone & get absorbed into the world of social media. This wastes time, is counter-productive & quite frankly won’t pay the bills (unless like me you have to spend some time on social media for work.) Limiting your time on social media is so important during work hours so either set up time limits on your internet browser (yes you can do that), block them all together (yes you can do that too) or use good old fashioned willpower. And do not, I repeat, do not download Candy Crush!

Tip 5: Know when to stop
The problem with working from home is that it can be too easy to just keep working & working. We don’t leave the office at 5pm every evening so when you’re absorbed in your work time can pass so easily & before you know it, it’s 9pm & you haven’t moved for 12 hours (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean.) Setting yourself a deadline to get things done is very important & as long as it’s not urgent, it can wait until the next day if it gets too late. Work life balance is incredibly important for your health & well being so working all day & night isn’t going to help matters – it will leave you exhausted, unable to concentrate & can seriously affect the quality of work you produce. Give yourself a lunch break & switch off at a reasonable time to recharge your batteries – your loved ones need some time with you too!

Tip 6: Start your day off well
When you start your day off in a tizzy, stressed or worried it affects the rest of your day & how productive you are. I love to start the day by going to the gym, listening to a motivating podcast or even just having a quiet moment to myself with a cup of coffee. Whatever the best way to start your day is, try to do this as often as you can. It puts you in a good mood for the rest of the day & will make a massive difference to your productivity.

Tip 7: Keep reminding yourself how lucky you are
My last tip is simply this; we are the lucky ones who get to work from home. It can be easy to get bogged down with the list of things you have to do that is as long as your arm. Sometimes you’ll wish that you had a team of people around you even just to talk to. But we need to remember that there are many people out there who would love to have this opportunity but can’t for whatever reason. As entrepreneurs we design our own life – we design our own working patterns & we decide how our day looks from the moment we wake up. Let that empower you & get you pumped because working from home is SUCH a pleasure that we shouldn’t take for granted!

I really hope that these tips helped those of you who, like me, are business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers or work for a company who allow them to work from home. If you have any other great tips, please feel free to share – after all, sharing is caring!