3 Ways to Defeat Procrastination

Self employed = self motivated, and damn it, but some days it's a struggle. You oversleep once, and your whole body clock seems determined to throw your week off. Or you spend just that little bit too long mindlessly scrolling the social platforms and your day is off kilter. Don't get me started on how Youtube is the devil. 

So when your peaks are becoming rare and your troughs common, how do you break the cycle and punch procrastination in the face?


So maybe starting a procrastinating tip by telling you to exercise instead of doing the thing you're procrastinating seems a bit backwards, but this has been a lifesaver for me, personally.

I used to teach dance, horse ride and make time for a Sunday hike - but since starting Xandra Jane the excuses have flooded in thick and fast as to why I don't have the time anymore. Heads up - it's total bull shit. 

Long story short, I now go 3-5 times a week first thing in the morning before work. This not only benefits my health and stops me from sweating when I climb one measly flight of stairs, but energises me for the day ahead.

I've read somewhere it takes 21 days to make a habit and I couldn't encourage trying to break the barrier on this more.

I hit a bit of a rocky patch with my motivation in my journey and with a history of depression (fun fact about myself) things were starting to slip, however, in an ironic twist, thanks to my mental history I also realised it was down to me alone to get out of it. So I bit the bullet and joined a gym.

As I'm running on a treadmill to Fleetwood Mac my mind is also planning what I'm going to do the moment I leave, making a mental checklist of the tasks ahead and energising me with new found enthusiasm. 

Join a class, push yourself out of your comfort zone and just exercise! Personally, I need an environment to work out, I won't go on a spontaneous run in the great outdoors for love nor money, but when I'm making monthly payments - number one, I'm not wasting my hard earned money, and number two getting to that exercise environment really encourages me to do more than a mere 10 minute jog. 

                               Turn Off


Top Tip: I use this simple little app called Forest.
The idea is you set a certain window of time to switch off your phone and 'plant' a seed which in turn flourishes into a tree. If you pick up your phone within that allotted time, your tree dies (sob). You can set up to two hours of down time and work towards 'growing' a forest. Originally created as an answer to phone-addicts, I now use this to set windows of work.

Finalising that tech pack I've been putting off seems so simple when the mind has been focused on doing solely that.

My biggest piece of advice would be to set it to a mere 10 minutes and be amazed at how much you can achieve in such a short space of time. You'll usually find within that small window you've gotten involved with your work that you'll wish to continue, and procrastination can float right on by. 


I have written lists ever since I was little.

If list maker was a profession, I probably would have chosen it over fashion. However, when creating your tasks of to-do's, it is so easy to write something as broad as "Finish Digital Pattern Library (DPL) Post" - when in reality, that's a helluva lot of work to get through which expands into a daunting task I'd rather start tomorrow. So break this down, and more importantly, remember to reward yourself and be kind for your efforts.

Realistically that task would look more like:

1. Research & design garment
2. Pattern cut
3. Cut out paper pattern & calico pieces
4. Construct toile
5. Amend toile & pattern
6. Cut out final fabric
7. Construct garment
8. Edit photos
9. Write up tutorial instructions
10. Grade pattern
11. Digitise pattern
12. Write, schedule & promote blog post


Reducing the size of your tasks can kickstart bitesize productivity that suddenly becomes so much more manageable and time efficient. I can see this is more than one day's work and can then feed it into my schedule to become more effective and organised. I would encourage you to check out my personal action plan to visually manage your time and break it down into tasks that no longer overwhelm. 

These are the most simple and refined steps I could swear by to see instant results. You will always be your toughest critic and compare to others but start to compete with yourself and strive for personal bests when completing work.

Let me know what works best for you in the comments below.