If they gave out gold medals for procrastination, I’d have a display case full of them.
Freelancers who work from home know the agony of trying to get work done when there are so many distractions and so many wonderful ways to avoid work: folding laundry, sharpening pencils, brushing cat hair off furniture... oh wait, that's just me?
The good news is, distractions can be defeated! Here are my ten simple strategies that I encourage you to try (with a link to my longer article on this topic at the end):
- Identify your distractions.
- Start early.
- Make sure you're rested.
- Aim for privacy and silence.
- Sign off all social media.
- Simplify the assignment.
- Take breaks.
- Keep your workspace organized.
- Reward yourself.
- Keep a running distractions page. (You'll want to click on the link below to find out what this one's about!)
If you try all these techniques and still find yourself distracted and restless, stop and ask why. Are you tired? Sick? Afraid of failure? Lacking passion for your project? Take time to deal with what’s bothering you, pray, and ask someone else for help if necessary. Go for a walk, or work on a hobby to regroup and refocus. The time you spend recalibrating is less wasteful than sitting in front of your computer feeling uninspired and writing nothing.
We can’t eliminate all distractions, but having a game plan and sticking to it can mitigate their effect.
The long version of this article is found here on the Christian Freelance Writers Network blog.