Loss of attention from a project whilst working as a freelancer is normal, commonly known as procrastination. There are so many distractions surrounding you – just waiting for your attention to slightly drop and before you know it – you’ve rearranged your entire kitchen, much to the dismay of your husband.
So how do you avoid procrastination?
- First you need to conjure an understanding of what causes one to procrastinate. Psychologically, your brain is hardwired to stray from tasks it understands to be either physically or psychologically demanding.
- Therefore it is easy to find yourself doing a million other tasks instead of the one which is imperative to complete. Or, you might not even be productively procrastinating and are just sitting there, idly playing with a pen – like an amused kitten.
Create a sense of urgency
- A sense of urgency always helps one to actually do work. Nothing quite adds to your sense of urgency as knowing a piece of work is urgently required. Without a constant push towards a deadline, you will become relaxed and melt into a false sense of security.
- To prevent yourself from falling into this mind frame, simply don’t give yourself the chance. Take small steps in completing the work. Try constructing a mental checklist of what you have to complete and by when. In doing this you will cut down a big project into lots of smaller tasks with their own individual deadlines. This will prevent you from feeling uncomfortable and daunted by the large task that you inevitably have to complete, resulting in – well you must’ve guessed by now.
- Another way to prevent yourself by becoming overwhelmed with procrastination is to remember why you’re writing this piece. This could go one of two ways as a freelancer. Either a) you feel really passionate about the project and as a result completing it will give you a great sense of achievement. Or more commonly b) you need to pay your bills. Whenever starting a project, it is vital you remember this, otherwise you will be lacking the incentive to carry on and never complete the task in time.
- Keep to a schedule with regular, short breaks. Ensure you discipline yourself in keeping to timetables and form this into a daily habit, to prevent from distraction. However, you must make sure to take regular breaks to prevent fatigue in your work. Take a walk, have a bite to eat – do anything to momentarily detach from work. Aim not to take too long on your vacation from work, else you may easily fall into the dreaded trap of – you guessed it! – procrastination.
- If you found yourself putting off work, your deadline is nye and you are beginning to feel just a bit beaten down, change your outlook on the whole situation. Feeling overcome with emotions of anger or guilt because of your prior procrastination, will achieve exactly squat. Guilt and regret are sentiments that will mentally drain you. If you did procrastinate and now see the deadline of your task ever nearing, don’t waste time beating yourself up, just get it done and done well. Allowing emotions to cloud your vision means you won’t be able to write at your best, possibly ruining your reputation.
As a whole it is very easy to fall into a momentary lapse of distraction. However by following these steps, procrastination will become a thing of the past. You will have no issues in producing great copy to make your clients very happy.
If all else fails…
If you’re still overwhelmed with the need to do something other than writing the project you’ve been set, ensure you still do something of use. Send out emails, work on your website, market yourself; just ensure your procrastination becomes productive!