05 July 2022

How to combat procrastination as a remote developer?

Doesn’t seem like a simple problem of laziness anymore, does it?

Raluca Rusu
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Writing good code involves a specific mindset. Regardless of skill level, a programmer can write decent (in their opinion) code in only a few hours every day (maybe even less). If you believe you can write decent code all day, every day, you’ve probably outgrown your current job and it’s time to move on to more serious stuff (for example, learn how to automate it).

Moreover, a lack of communication has a far higher impact than appears. The main point here is the presence effect. Similarly, why do children study stuff more effectively and enthusiastically in the presence of a real teacher? Human psychology is the answer. It is much easier to concentrate on information when everyone else is doing so, and when it comes from a person (actual, physical) with authority.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the habit of delaying or postponing the work you need to get done, either by doing other, less important things or by distracting yourself with non-work activities, like checking social media or watching a tv show.

To begin working, a remote programmer must first put more effort and use his imagination to find a way to convince their brain of the existence of a “virtual problem,” then exert additional effort to reduce the time for entertainment, and the remaining energy should be sufficient to write error-free and high-quality code. And if it is not enough, it is best not to begin writing; otherwise, it would be in vain. Doesn’t seem like a simple problem of laziness anymore, does it?

But what can you do?

1. Connect work to goals

The most effective strategy to overcome procrastination is to truly understand how your job contributes to the team and corporate goals. Work becomes meaningful once you have this degree of clarity. Instead of working just to work, you’re contributing to a broader idea.

2. Clarify priorities

Deadlines will inevitably change. However, knowing what job is most essential allows you to actively manage your priorities. When deadlines and schedules vary, you’ll be able to provide the work that produces actual results.

Clarifying priorities is an effective anti-procrastination technique since it allows you to recognize which tasks are most essential. You know you’re not working on unnecessary tasks when you have clear priorities. Instead of feeling like you’re wasting time at work, you understand why your job is important.

3. Fight perfectionism

Focus on impact.

If you struggle with perfectionism, having a clear understanding of the impact of your work might be helpful. Instead of striving for perfection, try to focus on executing the work at hand in the best way possible to support corporate goals. You may reduce the pressure of perfectionism and get right to work by reorienting your priorities around the effect.

4. Break big tasks into smaller ones

Breaking down amounts of work into smaller parts is also beneficial because you are unlikely to be in charge of every component of a large project.

5. Capture every to-do

Even if you are not working on large projects, it is still beneficial to list each to-do item. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of all you have to accomplish if you don’t have a clear method to picture what’s on your plate. You are not alone. While crossing things off a list is satisfying, monitoring your work allows you to filter and prioritize tasks, add context to essential to-dos, and share those tasks with team members.

6. Set deadlines

When you don’t know when something is due, it’s easy to put it off. Clear deadlines let you fully understand exactly when a work has to be done. You may then prepare properly to ensure that everything is completed on schedule. After all, you can’t expect to do decent work if you don’t know when it’s due in the first place.

Final word

While you might try to force yourself out of procrastination by adopting a “just do it” mentality, these methods are only successful in the short term. In the long term, connecting your work to greater goals is the most effective approach to quit procrastinating.

If you need someone to help you with your tech product or business or if you want a piece of advice from tech professionals, please contact us directly and we are happy to jump on a FREE consulting call.

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Duty Team


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