I'm sure most home-workers, freelancers working from home or home-based consultants will agree that one of the most difficult challenges (apart from actually getting work) is discipline. It's very easy, when you work most days in your little office in your spare bedroom or from the shed in the bottom of your garden, to let things slip. I've heard of home-workers who find it's lunchtime and they are still in their PJs. Not that that's happened to me (!) and I've also never found myself sitting endlessly at the computer only to suddenly realise that it's midafternoon and I've forgotten to take a lunch break. Not me! No!
Working alone and at home means the word 'distraction' takes on a whole new meaning. If you're not careful, that little piece of internet research you planned this morning can turn into a half day of web surfing while the jobs you had planned - the ones you've written on your whiteboard, or pinned to your cork noticeboard - are left undone. There's always the 'have another cup of tea' distraction and knowing that the TV is in the room next door, or downstairs, is also a temptation. If you're not careful 'I'll just catch the news while I have this cup of coffee' becomes several hours of mind-numbingly tedious Daytime TV - all, of course, in the name of 'research'.
However, not all 'distractions' turn out to be unworthy. Yesterday I tuned into the BBC 1 TV quiz show 'Pointless' - it's on at 5.15pm so I don't feel quite so bad if I catch it as theoretically the working day IS nearly over (!) for most normal human beings.
If you don't know the show... the blurb says it's a 'Quiz in which contestants try to score as few points as possible by plumbing the depths of their general knowledge to come up with the answers no-one else can think of...' Basically the winner is the duo who gets the LEAST amount of points ... fantastic!
Back to yesterday - and one category in the quiz ...."name words which end in '...ower'...."
I leave you to draw up your list. One guy (a cool vicar) came up with 'overpower' and that was 'pointless'. At the end of the round, co-host Richard Osman (the main host is comedian Alexander Armstrong) then gave examples of other 'pointless' answers the guests COULD have given.
And one was .....
I'd never heard of it, but it is in the dictionary. I checked - Mariam Webster!
'Tomorrower' means 'putting off to tomorrow things that you should do today'. It's another word for 'Procrastinator' - which means 'to put off intentionally and habitually' and 'to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done'.
Note the important words in the definition - 'intentionally' and 'habitually'. To be a 'tomorrower' it appears you have to KNOW that you're procrastinating and do it often.
So ... no excuses.... if you're juggling several contracts and jobs, and are inclined to flitter and flutter between different tasks and subjects on any particular day, and as a result are not getting anything completed, it might not be because you have a low boredom threshold. You might be a Tomorrower.
So the question is - Am I a 'tomorrower?' Well, I hope not. But it is easy as a home-worker, especially if you're not working to any deadlines or timelines and you haven't set yourself specific targets, to become something resembling a 'tomorrower'. It's certainly worth reminding yourself from time to time, to ensure you DON'T get off track. I've stuck a little note on my cork noticeboard (which sits alongside my whiteboard work planner). I look up and the bright orange notelet asks me the question 'Are YOU a Tomorrower'?
However, if I am - if you are - then we're in good company. In my research into the word this morning I noted, from the Oxford English Dictionary, that the word 'tomorrower' comes up in letter from the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to his wife. In 1810 he wrote:
Now where's that cup of tea?