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Category: procrastination

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Working from home, especially when you have an important task to get done can be really tough. Here are some tips from my experience to help! Please do share any others that you know of.

Start the day bright and early.

Clear off your desk and leave only your computer and a pad and pencil ready. You notice that your desk is very grubby so you take the opportunity to polish it thoroughly and wipe down your laptop so that it’s all nice and clean.

Put all the papers to one side that you have cleared off the desk and notice that they are sitting in a pile of cat fluff. Decide to take the opportunity to run the hoover around so that you have a pleasant clean working environment with no distractions.

Hoover the stairs and under the bed while you are at it.

Make a healthy breakfast to aid concentration. Catch up on twitter while you have eat it. Read 20 links and say hello to everyone you know. It’s important to be connected and to network. Share a picture of your breakfast.

Time’s getting on, so hop in the shower so you start the work day refreshed. As it’s a big day and you want to feel really good while you work, put a conditioning mask in your hair and exfoliate your body thoroughly. Doesn’t that feel good?

Notice that your toenail polish is very chipped. You’re going to be in all day so you might as well quickly sort that out. Put on lots of moisturiser and re-paint your toe nails. (If you’re a man you can skip this step if you want to).

Get dressed with care. Remember you’re at work! Try on 6 outfits. This take so long you remember that it’s good to have a de-cluttered bedroom. Take an hour to sort out the surfaces and put things neatly away.

Wonderful, you have a clean, tidy bedroom. Go back to your desk.

Sit down.

Notice the time. It’s now lunch time and you know you can’t concentrate when you’re hungry so get a nice sandwich. Something nice and healthy. Take a picture and share it on Facebook. Tell everyone you are working hard at home today and it’s all going really well.

Nip out to the shop to get more chocolate biscuits.

Sit down to really appreciate your cup of tea and relax and be present for a few minutes before you settle down to work.

Wake up with a cricked neck.

Make a fresh cup of tea and quickly check twitter and your email. 3 people have retweeted a picture of your lunch so take care to thank them for the RT. This is very good manners so be sure not to forget.

Also there’s an important email inviting you to barbecue, it’s so bad to be late with responses to invitations so you must quickly reply. It  does mean that you need to double check your calendar and make sure all the episodes of the mentalist and the latest Doctor Who are scheduled. Also book in another day like today so that you can continue with your important task.

You realise that it’s now 3 o’clock and you only have 2 hours left (you really want to stick to a strict work day) so you quickly sit down and open up the document you are working on. Now that everything is clear, you can really concentrate.

When you look at the document you decide to quickly check the To Do list and find you need to send an email. Best to be on top of things, so you check with 3 people the details of the conference and then reply. Organise your email folders so that you have a new one for the conference details.  This is wonderful. You’re making real progress today.

Get back to the document. Almost immediately you realise that there are some facts that need to be checked so you dive right in and get on with your research.

Half an hour later the alarm goes off (you really want to be punctual today) and its five o’clock!

Well done you’ve done it! An excellent and productive day.

Check in to Twitter and Facebook to share your good news.

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How Not to do Your Taxes

I’m procrastinating again. This happens when there’s too much to do or think about and at least one of the things is scary (taxes) or needs concentration, like a website or a blog.  Usually when I do this I just put off what it is that has to be done, but today I can hear the argument between the different voices in my head. Sound familiar?
“I know I’ve got to do my taxes but I really don’t want to
I haven’t rung Mary back! And I’ve got to be ready for work in the morning, and there’s all that cooking to do for tomorrow night and when will I bake the pies?!!
I could watch TV. Surely it won’t matter for an hour, and a nice cheerful film will help; and I can always work tonight
Is it really so urgent?
Surely it makes more sense to finish off a website? That’s been wanting to be done for the last month? They must think I’m mad or hopeless not to get back to them yet! And I really should get that website done, though I’m not sure what to put on it.
The house is a mess; I’ll concentrate better if I clean it.
Anyway the bed’s not made, what if someone came in?
The tax bill will be big; I don’t want to think about it, I’d rather eat some chocolate. My hair need doing, I look like a skunk
Why don’t I pack ready for the morning, that’s productive isn’t it?”
And then the other voice, that I can sometimes find, is the voice of a sensible friend or two, one of whom lives in Malta. Whenever I’ve spoken to them in the past in this state this is the lovely calm advice I get.
“Just get on with doing them, make a cup of tea and just sit down and do it. You’ll feel so much better for it and then your mind will concentrate better on things like the website.
Yes the websites important but the taxes are far more so, they’ve got to be done now.
Just think about that huge sigh of relief when you close the folder and it’s all finished.
Don’t worry about the house today. You’ve got to clean properly tomorrow for the party so leave it ‘til then. No point doing it twice.
It takes you 30 minutes maximum to prepare for work. You can do that tonight.
You’ve got all afternoon tomorrow to bake pies and they don’t take long at all.
Forget about your hair and ask a friend to do it for you next week. You’ll enjoy it a lot more when your work is done and it will feel like a treat. And you will be able to relax a bit because this wont be hanging over you!
Go on, get on with it. Call me in an hour when it’s well on its way. Just think by tonight it could be done!!”
Its time to do the taxes.
By tonight it will be done,  and I will really enjoy that great big sigh of relief.