Working from home - the dangers of productive procrastination
Working from home has been exactly like I imagined it would be - a lot of sweatpants, messy buns, long lunch breaks, and full flexibility in my schedule. But when the novelty of this wore off (it took awhile for me) I realized that I was allowing my homelife to interfere with my productivity at work. I was still busy busy all the time, but I wasn’t giving enough of my energy to my business in the way that it deserved.
Fooling yourself with productivity
What is productive procrastination? For me, it’s cleaning the kitchen for an hour before I start work in the morning, or it’s taking extra time to cook a healthy meal for lunch. These things are good for me overall, and I feel better when I have a clean kitchen and a healthy meal for lunch. But in reality they are stealing time away from my business and are getting away with it because they are productive or positive for my life - but not for my business.
Separation of work and home
The first step I took to being more productive for my business is to give myself a working schedule. For example, my home office hours are 10am to 6pm, with a 30 - 45 minute lunch break. If I am talking to my sister on the phone in the morning, at 9:50am I will let her know that I have to go and get ready to start work. At 10am I am sitting at my desk and have started my day regardless of if I am feeling motivated or not. Some days I work past 6pm of course, but I find that I can take back my evenings from work if I put an honest day in starting in the morning.
When food is eating away at your time
Another step I needed to take was to plan my lunches in advance. I love cooking and so sometimes I would get carried away in the kitchen for 45 minutes before I would even sit down to eat (and then take my lunch break starting from when I sat down, oh what a luxurious life.) Similar to packing a lunch every, I am learning to stock my cupboards with quick and easy ideas that I wouldn’t need to spend time making. It was a subconscious procrastination of work that I felt no guilt from because it was a form of taking care of my body and my needs, but in a very time wasting way.
If productivity is still a big thorn in your side and multitasking all your projects has your head spinning, I recommend trying to batch your work and creating a designated working environment. It’s important to have a specific space for work in your home to create an “office” that inspires you to want to work (as opposed to working from the couch where I feel inspired to watch Netflix.)