By: Will Berkowitz
Sometimes it just feels damn near impossible to get the motivation to do things. This lack of motivation can be stressful because sometimes it often comes after a span of time of absolute productivity. In these moments, we seek inspiration, but sometimes it is arduous to find. Sometimes it just feels like it would be better to do nothing at all.
Instead of seeking out inspiration, you can create it. This might sound backward, since when you don’t have the motivation to do anything, how could you produce anything? However, this is just because of the way we have conditioned our minds to think. Rather than looking to take action after finding something inspiring and that gives you motivation, you could reverse the order of these steps.
This is called the “Do Something” Principle.
It might seem too challenging to get up and get everything that you need to get done all of a sudden… So don’t. Start slow. First things first, you can try to get the little things done that you may have been putting off for a while. You can start filtering through that stack of papers that have been on your desk all week, do a load of laundry, or even limit yourself to getting one assignment done for work or school.
While doing this, try your best to minimize distractions. I don’t mean put your phone in your pocket. Instead, put it in a less accessible area and be mindful of your urges to pick it up. The convenience of such always-accessible technology has given us a way to feed our brains with fast and cheap dopamine that provides us with nothing but instant gratification. When you make these distractions less accessible, you will naturally seek amusement from more productive tasks, even if they are as microscale as organizing papers.
As you continue to do things, you will subconsciously inspire yourself to do more. Even though you’re now on the road to being productive again, it’s imperative to take a break and reward yourself. It might seem counterproductive to sit down and relax after organizing your room, but you want to take things one step at a time. It’s still important to avoid distractions while you’re on this break. Otherwise, you’ll likely extend your break till the rest of the day and fall back into a rut.
Willpower fades away.
Because willpower doesn’t last forever, it’s essential to institute an achievable routine for yourself. Make this realistic. Some examples are: making your bed every day, doing daily stretches, eating a healthy breakfast, reading a chapter of a book, meditating, and writing down goals for the next day before going to sleep.
It’s time to inspire yourself, and that starts with knowing that you can. Start small and aim big. Once you pick yourself out of that rut, create healthy habits that will last in the long-term
— even on days when you feel unmotivated.