Procrastination: The Freelancer’s Greatest Enemy

I once heard the quote, “Tomorrow never comes.” Procrastination counts on tomorrow, and this is why it is the freelancer’s greatest enemy.

In all honesty, I believe every single human has some moments of procrastinating, but there are some people who live in a procrastination jungle at all times.

Do You Suffer From Procrastination?

I do at times…especially when I am doing work that is monotonous or I just do not enjoy.

So how do I overcome these bouts?

The first thing I have to understand is: I do shoddy work if I try to do it fast. I perform much better if I get my work done well ahead of deadlines. This gives me time to reread and edit the material. It also allows me to feel a sense of peace and satisfaction.

I decided to look at some experts on the subject and have come up with these methods to defeat our enemy…procrastination.

Do keep in mind that waiting or stalling on a job may not always be a case of procrastination. In some circumstances, our priorities require that we do so. Maybe our mind is at a blank. It is when we start finding excuses to not do the work when procrastinating may be coming into the picture.

1: Recognize you are procrastinating

Just like any step-based program like alcoholics anonymous, you have to admit you have a problem. You have to see that it is a problem and that is the only way you will be able to take steps to defeat it. Some of the signs that you might be procrastinating are:

  • Going to emails or social media instead of working on priority tasks

  • Skipping a high priority task to do a task with low priority

  • Starting a high priority task and jumping up to do simple household stuff

2: Discover why you are procrastinating

You need to know why you are procrastinating on certain jobs so you can take the proper steps to solve the problem. Maybe the answer is disorganization; possibly, the answer may be a disliking of the particular freelance job; or, maybe you have feelings of being overwhelmed and are wondering if you will be able to do the job to the client’s satisfaction.

3: Use strategies

Sometimes, just giving yourself a motivation “kick” can be the answer to defeating procrastination. Just try giving yourself some type of reward every time you complete a high priority task like a candy bar or something of that sort.

You may want to have a mentor do periodic checks on you.

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Write down what will happen if you do not complete the task.

Schedule your tasks. Follow the to-do list and this will help you stay organized.

Only do one task at a time. Multitasking can actually be harmful for procrastinators.

Break your task into small tasks. An example may be: you have a 2,500 word paper to write. Write 500 words, take a break, and then 500 more. Before you know it, you will have it completed.

Final Thoughts

Another strong point I want to make is: the sooner you get it finished, you can get your client’s response and have ample time to perform revisions.

Don’t allow procrastination…your greatest enemy, the room to defeat you. You can defeat it.

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