We all have days when we don’t even want to get up out of bed, let alone go do something we really don’t feel like we have the energy or the desire to do. We’ve all experienced these moments and reality is that it’s a natural part of human psychology.
Procrastination is a sure path to failure
But here’s the thing, procrastinating doing the thing that needs to get done, is a sure way path to failing at the desired goal or of ending up with last minute stress when you realize that you must get this thing done. This may lead to mediocre work, feeling rushed, and even creating that panicky feeling that may even give some panic attacks, an actual physical condition that may put your health at severe risk.
So what do you do when confronted with one of these days. Let’s say, you have to get up and do some unpleasant task that you know must be done but you just don’t want to do it. You push it to the back of your mind and say to yourself, “yeah, I’ll get to this later”, or “I’m not going to do this now because I’m not in the right frame of mind to do it.” Well, guess what. If you’re putting something off because you lack the motivation to do it the very minute that the thought comes to mind, it’s probably because there is some hidden fear or insecurity in your mind.
Are you afraid that what you have to do will not be good enough? Are you not organized and prepared to make that call to your client whom you know will have questions you’re not prepared to answer?
Here are ten keys to get yourself motivated to do the thing you do not want to do:
1. Plan ahead. Know what is expected of the task and have all your ducks in a row.
2. Keep of a list of most to least important tasks. Categorizing your tasks in order of importance lets you know which ones you must tackle first.
3. Don’t go on to another task until the previous one has been completed. This is a sure way of not finishing anything and making yourself crazy. Having too many projects going on at once will not help you stay focused. On the contrary, you’ll fill stretched too thin and may end up giving up.
4. Avoid distractions. Don’t let anyone or anything distract you from what you’re supposed to do. Give yourself a time frame during the day which is your sacred alone time. This may be first thing in the morning, sometime in the afternoon, or late at night. This time is off-limits for your children, spouse, family, TV, social media, etc. This time is for you to do what you need to get done.
5. Stay organized. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Make sure you have all the materials, documents, tools, etc, you need to stay on task. There’s nothing worse than trying to work and having to stop to look for things which will only distract your productivity.
6. Rehearse it in your mind. If you need to do something unpleasant, or something that you’re fearful of, like calling a client, or even sitting down to go over your budget, rehearse it in your mind. See it in your mind’s eye and view it from a different perspective, as it is someone else who’s doing it. This way you can look at a situation in an objective manner and have more clarity and insight by taking the emotions out of it.
7. Write out what you’ll do. Writing down what you need to do and what your talking points will be can only serve to help you. Breaking up a large project into its components can make a huge task seem more doable. By deconstructing a large project into its parts and writing out what you must do for each small piece, you will feel less intimidated and more motivated to complete small tasks.
8. See yourself after the task has been completed. Visualize the feeling of satisfaction and gratification you’ll have after you have done whatever it is that you’ve put off. Remember that time passes by anyway and by completing the thing you want to put off, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
9. Now sit down and do what you’re supposed to do. There’s no way around this. Nike said it: Just DO IT! Just sit down and do what you have to do. No one can do it for you.
10. Reward yourself after the task has been done. It’s the little things in life that make up the big picture. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your accomplishment.
Remember what Mark Twain said about eating a frog first thing in the morning: Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day