Stop Whining & Get To Work
I love the work I do every day. Heck, I don’t think I could work 16 hours a day if I didn’t love what I do.
But as with everything in life, there are times that I would rather be doing something else, especially on the weekends. Most weekends I can take off, but then there are weekends like this past one, where I had nine mockups to code, three sites with revisions, a jQuery slider to troubleshoot, an article to write and a premium freelance package to review.
Weekends like that mean it’s impossible to take off and while *I* know this, I’ll still stamp my feet, pout and whine about it for a good while, instead of just getting to work right away and finishing it.
What is it about unpleasant work that can make a grown adult visit their toddler days? It seems to be psychological that we do to ourselves: by dreading the upcoming work, we make the work unpleasant, which makes us dread it again in the future, which makes it unpleasant work again; and there the cycle continues.
It’s tough to get work started, especially when you’re faced with a seemingly impossible amount of work due in a short period of time. What I’ve found though, is that we also tend to exaggerate the time we think it will take to complete when we don’t want to do it, which makes it even harder to start.
Start With A Plan
It’s easier to get started if you have a schedule and a to-do list planned out. Turn your large projects into smaller steps and it suddenly becomes easier to check them off.
I like to use iCal to schedule out my work versus using a project management app. Project management apps, while good for teams of workers, can be overkill for a single freelancer, and make it seem like there’s more work than it really is.
Take Lots of Breaks
Instead of working the whole day for eight or more hours straight, take a lot more breaks than you’d normally would if it was a regular working day.
For example, finish coding one mockup and then go relax and watch an episode of your favorite TV show. Not only does this reward you for getting to work, it also makes you more likely to want to come back and finish – as you don’t feel like you’ve had to give up the whole day for work. Plus, you’ll often find yourself thinking about the work and wanting to return to it during your break.
Do The Fun Stuff First
If you have something fun planned for that weekend, go ahead and do it first. If you try to work first, you’ll end up being distracted and slowed down, due to thinking about all the fun stuff you have planned to do.
That being said, don’t use the fun stuff as an excuse to put off work either. If you go out in the morning, realize you’ll need to be back in the office by mid-afternoon to get your work finished. It’s ok to do the fun stuff first as long as your don’t procrastinate on the important stuff.
Just Get Started
The hardest part of doing an unpleasant project is getting started. Once you get started it becomes easier to move on the the next task, and the next, and then all of a sudden, you’ve realized you’re finished.
What are some ways you make yourself get to work when you don’t want to?