Never Put Off To Tomorrow

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Late in 2009 I took a sales job with the remit of working from home. Having worked mainly in offices up to that point, I knew that this would pose somewhat of a challenge, primarily missing out on the office banter and of course the all-important gossip.

However it also meant no daily crawl along the A316 or having to remember that Winnie has sugar in her tea, sweetener in her coffee, so on this basis I was prepared to give it a crack.

Virtually everyone I told became some kind of work-at-home Nostradamus, despite most of those I spoke to having no previous experience in this area: “You will have to be disciplined” and “it will be much  harder than you think” were two of the more regular nuggets of advice that would crop up.

However unlike Nostradamus, my friends were actually right, and although I quickly figured out how I would need to stay disciplined, man was it difficult.

There are just so many distractions. Radio, TV, the kettle, Facebook, breakfast, lunch, dinner, even putting out the bins, it was a constant battle to stay focused and motivated.

Which is what leads me to the subject of procrastination.

It’s just too easy to put things off that you would rather not be doing. But when these things are paying your mortgage, keeping your son in nappies (ie a second mortgage the way my son goes through them), then it has to be combated – and fast.

I have learned subsequently from my good friend QJ that a lot of this is to do with your mindset, and he has some great techniques on how to deal with this.  There are three things I use to help me.

Firstly, I make lists of what I need to do. Sometimes two or three lists per day, but I work through them and tick things off when they are done. This feels GOOD. Looking back at your lists with everything crossed off at the end of the day is a great feeling, and also guarantees that you’re getting everything done to boot.

I also can’t remember where I heard this, but there is a phrase that sticks in my mind – “The Best WayTo Get Something Done Is To Begin”. So I always try and do ‘one more thing’ before making that cup of tea, checking my Facebook etc – it’s effective as it’s one more thing ticked off the list.

And the third is direct from QJ, and sounds insane but is actually brilliant. When I’m really struggling to get to grips with starting something, I stand up, smile, and say the word ‘Coconuts’ as loud as I’m able to (don’t try this on the tube, or around the elderly). Please don’t ask me why this works – but trust me, it does, for me anyway but I would urge you to give it a try.

In the meantime, why not put whatever you were about to do on hold and give this a watch :-)

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