WORK & BUSINESS>
How is procrastination defined?
Is it merely just about being lazy, or is it a bit more complex than that?
These are some of the thoughts that run through my head on a regular basis.
I am defined as a procrastinator by my own standards. But, on the other hand, I seem to be very organized. My husband has been very confused about this for quite some time. Apparently, this way of being is frowned upon. You can either be the one or the other, not both.
My problem is myself. I sometimes feel to be my own worst enemy. In certain areas I ace perfectionism and perform like a machine. On the other hand, I feel like a teenager in a matric exam. I can come up with a zillion excuse as to why I am not able to complete a specific task at a specific time.
For a while, I have realised my ability to be the odd one out, or the disorganised duckling. I just preferred to keep quiet about it. Let’s be honest, it is really not a trademark you wish to flaunt around.
Working as a freelancer is one of the best and one of the hardest challenges I have come across after entering the industry during 2019. There is no safety net of a set salary at the end of each month. And, if you get sick, you lose your pay check for the day. Needless to say, you tend to work twenty times harder than when you had a stable income.
The flexibility and freedom of this way of working is wonderful. I am able to enjoy more time with my daughter and partake more often in her extra-curricular activities. But the responsibility of such a lifestyle is also ten-fold. (Okay, I know I sound like Spiderman, but the moral of the story is the same).
Freelancing has tested my organisation and scheduling skills to the max. At times I feel overwhelmed and as if everything is getting a bit too much. If you work freelance, family and friends tend to think you have an open schedule. You can ‘tools down’ at a moment’s notice and run errands as and when tasked to.
I have learnt to cope though. Every weekend I sit with my husband and we arrange our family-, school- and my work schedule for the week. This has worked wonders. I also put the schedule up for all to see. Now, no one can be of the opinion that I idle away my time at home.
Make no mistake; it is still a daily struggle. At times I do still feel as if my body and my mind are at a disconnect with each other. My mind wants to work but my body is dragging along.
If you are fighting this same monster, do keep heart. Some of our learned colleagues have put in great effort to try and guide us on how to deal with this issue.
Don’t be overwhelmed. Survive one day at a time, and, before you know it, running your freelance business will become the norm.
TOP TIPS TO HELP OVERCOME THE HABIT OF PROCRASTINATION
Follow The Elephant Routine
The saying, ‘Rome was not built in a day’ is very true. Looking at the bigger picture of the task at hand might send you running to the hills. Try breaking your projects into smaller tasks. It is much easier and quicker to do 30 min worth of filing once a week than trying to sort the huge pile of paperwork that have accumulated on your desk since the beginning of time.
Don’t Create Over-Eager Task Lists
I am a master list maker. I can list everything and anything down – from feeding the dogs to bathroom breaks. Sticking to the list is a different story.
My problem is, I over complicate my lists. I try to fit in a zillion tasks on one day – making it impossible to stick to my own list.
Don’t be like me, be smart. And realistic. You are human and you can only do so much in a day. ‘The learned few’ advise that its best to select a few important tasks compared to a host of ‘unnecessary ones.’ Also remember to leave room for life. It has a sneaky habit of finding you and deciding to pounce when you really don’t have the time or the energy to handle a crisis.
Create Baby Dreams
All the big gurus always advise us to ‘dream big.’ It is lovely to dream big and build beautiful castles in the sky. The implementation thereof is sometimes not very realistic though.
Chunk your dreams down. Create smaller goals that will eventually lead you to your big dream.
It is really motivating to achieve something small than having failed the impossible.
The Proverbial ‘Pat On The Back’
Rewards are not just for kids. Treat yourself to something nice whenever you reach a goal. It can be anything from ticking a task of your list to achieving a tiny goal. This will get the juices going to work even harder to achieve the next one. But don’t get greedy – slow and steady also wins the race.
Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Enjoy today. Survive today. And do great things – today.