The Stressful Life of a “Work-From-Home” Procrastinator

Do you work from home and suffer from procrastination? See if this description of a typical day describes you:

You get up in the morning with positive thoughts that today will be the day everything on your plate will get  done. Your intent is strong and you are committed.

All is good for the first 15 minutes of your working day as you sit at your desk.  You feel in control…

Then real life kicks in as you start reading your emails thinking (hoping) it will only take a few minutes.

Well, let’s be honest – with today’s deluge of information you’re subscribed to there’s an overabundance of sites to manage all the information coming at you. You didn’t even get to finish your coffee as you’re answering emails and answering phone calls at the same time.

Then other interruptions come up – unexpected fires that you need to put out or get involved in without volunteering. It’s an hour into work and you’re starting to feel the drain as procrastination sets in causing the first wave of hesitation about how your day will go.

Where’s your list of tasks that need to be done?

Yes, its buried on your desk. So you start another list feeling the drain like you did yesterday … and the day before.

You make the list again but it seems larger than the previous one. You’re thinking about what you need to start/finish but it’s in your head because you can’t follow the numerous lists you’ve made and lost.

Of course you didn’t assign priorities or deadline dates to your tasks as you’re feeling the overwhelm. Yes you’re feeling like you suffer from a disease called “procrastination”!

Procrastination stops you dead in your tracks and makes you feel you are captive behind your desk because you know you have so much to do but you can’t remember what.

Hmmm, should have had some breakfast for fuel but you procrastinated thinking you’ll eat … later.  How about some water to hydrate your body and brain to function as it needs to … later. By the way, coffee does not count as it’s not a food group and you never get to finish a cup anyway.  And no, the large breakfast you’ll have on the weekend because you procrastinated about eating healthy during the week will not make up for it.

Procrastination impacts your health and well-being.

It’s 11:00 am and time to start your tasks even though you’ve been at your desk for a couple of hours. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner working from home, you’ll side step it to the shower as you procrastinated about it when you got up.

Now you sit down at your desk after grabbing another cup of coffee and a yogurt or granola bar and you start all over again answering emails, checking social media, returning phone calls …

Now what was that all-important project you put off several times already? Can’t find it because its buried on your desk along with your previously made to-do notes?

Here comes that mental and emotional drain again! 

Regroup – dig through just the top layer of those piles on your desk. Feeling like what you need is there “somewhere”?  Will you procrastinate looking for it as it’s just “easier” to deal with what’s coming at you in the moment?

It’s 11:45 am and you ask yourself what you can accomplish before lunch so you do small, menial tasks that are not “A” priorities – “A”= MUST get done today.  You dilly-dally with the easy stuff.  Yes those must get done anyway so they are justified in your head and gives you some sense of completion even though it didn’t add to your daily income or help you develop those projects that will get you new clients and earn you $.

That keeps you busy till 12:30 pm so you fit in some more smaller, easy tasks before you take lunch as the clock ticks and it’s 1:00 pm. You are hungry as you didn’t have a decent breakfast so you take that lunch break but the symptoms of procrastination (meaning you didn’t get the important tasks done) are tying that knot tighter in your stomach.

During lunch (gulp!) you think about what would make you feel good about completing today, you plan in your head what you will start when lunch is over. It’s 1:30 pm-ish+++ and sitting at your desk feels better than when you left before lunch, so where do you begin – oh yeah its time to tackle that big project … but what are the starting steps? Did you write down an outline of prioritized tasks to follow to completion to achieve that goal?  Oh right – it’s on that (those) buried to-do lists covered up by sticky notes or vice versa! (gulp again!)

You do get bits and pieces of the project done during the afternoon, but was it in an order that made sense? Did you zigzag through the steps without a “map” to follow aka action item to-do list with priority codes and deadline dates?

4:30 pm approaches, time to read and answer more emails, try making some phone calls ….  Its 5:30 pm and you’re still in your office but the knot in your stomach returns as it was another unsuccessful and unproductive day because you have that “procrastination disease”.

If you work from home, you take that dinner break but not with a feeling of accomplishment.  So it’s back to your desk about 9:00 pm after the family and pets have been tended to for another shot at those emails and social media posts.

You answer what you can or do more of those C, D priority items but you’re too tired to tackle the A or B tasks.  But it’s OK – there’s always tomorrow … and you dream of crossing things off your list again.

The lack of systems at your desk has you drowning in computer files and paper piles.  And let’s forget about the personal responsibilities you try to fit in with children and spouses, house tasks, bill paying, exercise …

Hmm, could this be why you don’t feel your best as those knots that keep tying themselves tighter are affecting your health, peace of mind, mental stability?  Yep you’re in the big procrastinators club that most of the population is in.

How do I know all this?  Am I a mind reader?  Procrastination is a common daily feeling for everyone as it’s triggered by lack of systems, lack of direction and hierarchy of priorities, interruptions, delays, clutter …

If this is what your day sounds like, or every day for that matter, we need to talk!  Let’s do a virtual coffee break = free 20 min. chit chat about what’s not working and how I can help eliminate procrastination. Disorganization is at an all-time high with productivity at its lowest point ever.

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