“You want a hot body? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch!” Miss Spears puts it best, but why does working sometimes feel like such a bitch! Monday morning rolls around and I wake up to the annoying gong of my alarm clock. It was strategically set for 8:30AM. I planned this the night before thinking I would wake up, eat breakfast and be productive with my workday. I wanted to take on the day like Beyoncé takes on a Super Bowl performance. I planned to kick ass and take names, but that fell through, just like when I tell myself I’m going to start working out 5 times a week. Maybe it’s due to the fact I am not a morning person, or that everything annoys me until I have at least two cups of coffee. As I often say, “don’t come for me unless you are brining me a venti coffee with one cream.”
So here I am sitting at my dining room table on a Monday afternoon with the current time being 4:00PM. Instead of going through emails, and working on all my freelance projects, I instead stare into the kitchen and notice all the filthy dishes. Wishing I were Snow White so I could sing out my window and have all the forest animals scrub away the mess, I was lost in a daydream. Being my OCD–having self after noticing the dishes, I then look down and notice dog hair on the floor, so what do I do? I vacuum the entire house, of course! People often tell me, “You are so lucky to work from home!” But little do they know the struggle is real. Procrastination is my middle name, and OCD is my game. Here are a few tips people have shared with me on how to get your rear in working gear and stop being so easily distracted when trying to get work done.
Solution 1#As odd as it sounds, pretend you are working from a friend’s house. This way you can trick your mind into thinking that you don’t need to vacuum, or do a load of laundry, or spontaneously re-arrange the furniture in the living room, because in theory, it is not your house. Well it is, but in your mind it isn’t, and once you get a majority of your work accomplished you can go back to owning your home. I tried this very odd method a few times and it actually seemed to help increase my productivity. The small endless tasks that need to be done in one’s home no longer bugged me and I was able to put chores on the back burner.
Solution #2If the first suggestion was too odd and role-play just isn’t your thing, dedicate a room in your home to an office or creative space. Be sure to have a working door! With no door, your vision can see out and down the hallway where distraction awaits you. If you don’t happen to live in a magnificent palace where you can dedicate an entire room to work, opposed to rent money (like myself), there are other options. Try going to a local coffee shop or a place like Tech Town in Detroit where you can rent office space to work from, which puts you in a more work related environment. A stimulating surrounding is key to enhancing productivity.
Solution #3When your brain goes into overdrive and procrastination is at an all time high, you need to hit the brakes, play dumb, and stop overthinking. Simplify your thoughts, and even try meditating for 10 minutes. When you overthink a thought you end up doing just that, thinking and not executing. You become mentally exhausted and tapped out. For example, when you consistently think about having to be up early, you end up getting little sleep because you are putting too much thought into such a simple task, like sleeping. A good way to stop the thought process is by going for a walk. This way you can become more present and hit the mental refresh button.
With the current advances in today’s technology, people are starting to trade in their cubicles for an at-home office. Good as it sounds with working from home, you are always accessible at just an arms reach, kind of like your Grindr profile. That being said, procrastination can easily get in the way of our regular 9 to 5 workflow. As my Dad once told me, “time is money.” So take your valuable time to focus and get down to business. Britney Spears once again puts it best – “You better work bitch!” And…stop procrastinating.