Overcoming Pandemic Procrastination in 7 ways

18 December, 2020

Overcoming

A man sits in front of the camera for 2 hours doing nothing and gets 1.7 million views (and counting) on YouTube. In simple words, he just made a video of himself procrastinating and 1.7 million people joined in. It is easy to be engulfed by a cloud of procrastination and even easier to stay in it, but it is not healthy. It only increases your pile of work and eventually your stress levels.
Why is this of utmost importance now? Humans have always been procrastinating, now with the new normal, it has escalated our levels of procrastination. As the world went into lockdown and we began working from home, suddenly everyone has this feeling that the workload has increased. The truth is our distractions increased, due to the lack of professional atmosphere. It is these distractions that drag us into a bubble that our mind refuses to come out of. The recent increase in stress and burnouts are an outcome of the increasing time we have been spending in this bubble.

Increasing Stress

The lockdown started on a vacation mode where everyone was enthusiastic to spend time at home. Then work from home happened and the lockdown prolonged without any expiry. The lockdown along with it bought a wave of uncertainty in the air & underlying stress (vaccine, illness, etc.). We started to stress about how the future will unfold?
Additionally, many people lost their jobs. Those who were lucky to keep their jobs didn’t have the job security and many faced a period of financial hardship. Those who were employed had increased work pressure and the ones who were unemployed were continuously searching for one. As our stress levels increased, so did the tendency of the mind to wander.

Buffer Period

Work from home has brought an end to our daily commute, but at the same time trapped us in the confines of our home even for work. This small change had a significant influence on our mental state. Travelling to different spaces gave our minds the time to prepare our bodies and mind for the activities ahead. The absence of this buffer period is like a trick played on the brain- moving from the breakfast table directly to the worktable is difficult for your mind to process. This hampers your work-life balance, which, in turn, affects motivation & productivity.
The absence of an office atmosphere makes it hard to focus and increases either procrastination or workload resulting in a burnout.

Shifting Responsibilities

These rough times have changed people’s responsibilities. While earning money, health, family, mental stability, and household chores were always important, but being at home has fragmented our workday. We now have to focus on all these things at the same time. The time people previously used to dedicate solely to office work is now compromised. The quality of work is mainly affected due to this shift in priorities.

Social Interaction

A lack of social interaction impacts our thought-processes and our productivity. Work-place social relationships impact feelings of belonging, identification, and satisfaction of work. Lack of feedback on work from colleagues or task results contributed to dissatisfaction and feeling unmotivated. Virtual meetings lack the emotional essence because of which they aren’t as fruitful as in-person meetings.

Burnouts

When you feel exhaustion, cynicism, and detachment know that you have a burnout. It diverts people from performing their best to doing the bare minimum and also affects our self-regulation. All the aforementioned factors contribute to the feeling of burnout, but there are ways to come out of it.

How to burst the bubble of distractions?

Going by experience, we at Team Codesign have a few suggestions on ways to overcome a bubble of distraction,

  • Fix your workspace. Don’t work everywhere and anywhere in the house. It will tune your mind to get into work-mode when you are in that place/ chair-table setting.
  • Create a buffer period. Plan a set of activities that you will do before after work. Eventually, this will tune your brain in understanding when it is time to enter work mode and visa-versa.
  • Try to create a work desk as similar as possible to the one you had in the office. You could get the same pen stand or plant or water bottle; it could be anything that reminds you of your work-space. Doing this will help you relate to your original work atmosphere, giving you a feel of working in your office and focus better.
  • Take breaks, in the same way as you did while in the office. You could use this time to watch some funny videos or make yourself a cup of tea or even catch up with colleagues.
  • Listen to music to boost your mood and stay motivated.
  • Connect with your teammates at least once in a week and talk about things that are not related to work. Similar to the way you used to stay updated with all the office gossip.
  • Keep alarms to maintain your schedule. Every time an alarm rings, it will bring you back to reality if you are lost in procrastinating.

Let's live more in the moment; encourage productivity at the workplace; inspire creativity; let's learn to procrastinate less.