Since we were kids, our mother and teachers told us what to do and when to do it, leaving us no choice about when we felt ready to complete a task. You grow, and then on your 8-hour job, you have a boss doing the same over and over again. It looks like growing up, is not much different as when you were a kid. That’s the point when you choose to be a freelancer because you can work when/where you want to at your own rhythm.
But without notice, you start your first day of freedom by checking your emails each time, to be updated, of course. Then you take a selfie because this is the day it will mark the difference in your life. You share it to all social media on the internet. Answer all comments. Celebrate eating your favorite food surrounded by good company, which you spent your evening chatting with about how awesome life is. At night, you sit in front of your PC to actually work, you feel the nocturnal light is not good enough but you still go on. Surprise, there is a Windows update and you must download it first. This will take a while, so you go to sleep and let duty for next day.
If this story sounds familiar to you, my friend, you are a procrastinator.
Procrastination is the finest art of letting the job for tomorrow. There is a voice inside of you whispering, it is better to postpone your tasks and you’ll find many reasons support that decision. For example, you may not want to deal with a troublesome client today, this a good one. But delaying these assignments increase the possibilities of ending up with a bigger problem.
As a result, you discover yourself performing better when you are pushed with the last-minute stress. After all, as a freelancer, you have so many projects to complete. That is not a behavior you want to get comfortable with. It not good when you start working against yourself by making bad choices, that could harm your career while you miss great opportunities.
You can be aware that you’re procrastinating if you find yourself:
- Working most of your time on low-level tasks that not represent an improvement for your business.
- Checking emails constantly.
- When you start your labor and you must immediately go to the bathroom or to find something to eat.
- Putting your business in second place. You start doing errands for others (family, friends, colleague) first rather than taking care of your own.
- When you complete important projects in long periods of time.
- Waiting for motivation, creativity, and inspiration.
- Overestimate the time to complete a task.
- Waiting for the right mood to accomplish an assignment.
- Reading social media anytime an alert pops up.
- Choosing each song you want to listen while you work.It is important to realize being a procrastinator does not make you a bad person. But if you want to perform to the maximum of your abilities, stress-free and healthy, you’ll need to change your daily habits. Lucky you! I have awesome tips that will help you stop procrastinating.
- Set goals. You must write all your goals and why it is important for you to accomplish them. What’s more, you can create a vision board with pictures of the self you want to become. Add as many details as possible. When you are done, put it in a place you always can look at. This method will tell your brain how important your projects are for your own benefit and your procrastinator voice will not whisper at you as often as it did before.
- Clear your workspace. Eliminate all the papers and objects that are not related to your project. This applies to your computer. Set up, two users. The personal and the freelance user. As a freelance, install only the software that will help you reach your goals. It is a “working only” space. On your personal user, configure the entertainment software such as games, social media, etc. You’ll avoid distractions while you are developing your assignment as you do not have the software to disturb you.
- Establish the right mindset. You must understand there isn’t the perfect mood or the right inspiration time. You are the one who decides that right now is the moment to achieve your goal, that’s it. You’ll be thankful that you finish your task today. No excuses. Build a strong relationship with yourself, where you are able to congratulate you every time a project is complete. Let your inner talk be positive and motivational.
- Learn from your own experience. Write the pros and cons of your project. What could be done better? Is there a tool that may help you be productive? How much time did it take you? Ask yourself as many questions you can to evaluate your experience and most importantly, apply the knowledge to your next mission.
- Set a schedule. Instead of checking your email several times a day, select three different times to read and answer it. It does not need to be more than half an hour to complete it. You can do the same with social media. Respect the hours you pick to complete your tasks. With time, you’ll get to know when you work at your maximum productivity and you’ll be able to schedule your project base on your natural rhythm.
It will take 60 days to break the procrastinating habit, but if you are consistent every day, by applying these tips, I am sure, you’ll deliver the best on any project you pursue. It is possible. You are the only one who decides whether to work on your behalf or not. Make the best decision by taking actions towards your dreams. You have the unique talent to be successful, but don’t let your procrastinating voice take it away. It is your call to be aware that you can turn your life around if you choose the right mindset.