One of the challenges of working from a home office is overcoming procrastination periods or lack of motivation. This challenge often arises upon returning to the office after attending an off-site networking event. Faced without immediate demands for your time by people or departments such as in external office environments, it can be it can be hard to retrack.
Furthermore, an external office has fewer non-work distractions, and being surrounded by people who are in work mode or rely on you to help them do their job, makes retracking much easier.
This truth led me to consider external office work environment situations when re-tracking can also be a challenge. For instance, returning to work after a long vacation to face a large, unpleasant or complex project. Add to that, the tendency to want perfection on any project invites procrastination, and if not checked, it can lead to a debilitating pace.
So how does one get back on track to the vital work, ignore the urgent (and unimportant) and forgo distractions of emails, personal phone calls, and the luring effects of procrastination?
How to Get Back on Track in 4 Steps
Determine the wildly important. Then eliminate distractions.
First, determine which activity has the greatest leverage for achieving your highest priorities. Take steps to eliminate other distractions, such as turn off your email and social media notifications, close all other applications and turn off your phone.
Find a starting point.
If the top priority is a significant and intimidating project, break it down. Decide to complete one small step first and allow a reasonable time frame, such as one to two hours, after which you will take a break to refresh yourself.
Create an incentive
Create an incentive for doing the work, once the work is done. Make it a personal pleasure such as reading break, a phone call to a friend, a cup of java, whatever appeals to you. Pledge to stay within your time parameters and use a timer to keep you on track.
Commend yourself on your incremental progress!
There are good reasons for this, such as:
You have passed the test of discipline, which leads to self-mastery and
Progress begets more progress because
it gives you more confidence and
before you know it, your project gets done. And
self-discipline becomes a new habit.
You accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
Being disciplined and maintaining focus is not as hard as we think.
Just remember progress begets progress, and success begets success. And find a way to begin.