3 ways to get things done when you lack motivation

You know those days when you wake up in the morning, swear that you’re going to do everything on your to-do list and be productive and then you just…don’t? When suddenly it’s 6pm, the day has gone by and you’re still in your pyjamas, on your sofa, zoned out in front of the TV, binge watching this series or that?

I certainly know all about it, and a few of my friends can identify. I know that at the end of the day I’m going to feel terrible for having wasted a full day, but I still do it. I don’t bake those cookies I bought the ingredients for, I don’t exercise, and I don’t paint, because I can always do it tomorrow. But it’s always today, and there’s always tomorrow, so things basically never get done, unless there is no tomorrow.

Why is it though that we always postpone things until tomorrow? Why don’t we want to do it now? It’s always been a puzzle for me why people don’t have the motivation to do the things that they want to do. Because a lot of us do want to do some things, we just…don’t. In my case, it’s not like I hate baking or cooking, I actually love those things, but I’ll still feel demotivated, very often.

So how do we get motivation to get things done?

1

Think of how good you will feel after you’ve accomplished your (short-term) task.

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

A sense of accomplishment can be the biggest motivator. Sure, you feel reluctant now, but just think of how good it will feel after you’ve finished. For example, I hate cleaning, but there’s nothing that I love more than sitting in my clean home. Worst case scenario, you bake the cookies, you still feel demotivated, but at least now you have cookies.

2

Visualise your long-term success

If it’s a long-term goal, like getting in shape, writing a book, or even starting your own business, it takes a million small tasks to get there. I always have trouble with long-term goals, because although my inspiration spans are intense and make me feel that I can change the world, they are sudden and short-lived. When I don’t have them (which is most of the time), I try to ignore my brain going “c’mooooooon, not nooooow”, like a teenager who is asked to clean out their room. Instead, I try to think of what it will feel like when I actually accomplish my goal.

An effective technique for visualisation is to take a piece of paper and write down how you imagine yourself in your success. Write down every detail you can imagine: what you look like, what you are thinking about in that moment, where you are, who is around you, the smell of your surroundings, the weather, even what you are wearing. The more detail you put into this mental image the better. Write it all down, and read it every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep. This helps imprint the message and the goal in our minds, and gets our subconscious to work towards this goal.

Basically, you just brainwash yourself into making things happen. Trust me, it works. Demotivation was probably hardwired into your brain due to some underlying reason, such as fear of failure, because you repeated it to yourself one too many times – so many in fact, that you have convinced yourself you can’t sustain your own business, or you’ll never finish that book. Hence, if you never try, you never fail, and you are safe, right?

WRONG.

Failing feels terrible, but it teaches us a lot of things (more on that on a different post). And, in the same way that you programmed your brain to expect (and summon) failure, you can re-program your brain to expect (and summon!) success.

So, think of your success, feel your success, and brainwash yourself into believing in your success.

3

Just. Do it.

Don’t think, just do it. When method no. 1 and method no. 2 don’t work, just do it. Once your brain starts to say “maybe leave it for tomor…” don’t let it finish. Get up that very instant (or as soon as possible) and do it. No counting to three, no debating. Make no mistake, you will lose.
So Just,Do It.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Chasing our goals and dreams comes easier to some than others. The good news is, our brain is a tool, and we can reprogram it to work for our benefit instead of against it. Inspiration is ideal, but even if we’re having a bad day and the inspiration is just not there, there are ways to push ourselves towards our goals and keep us on the path to self-achievement.

The Creative Cactusundefined

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