How to Get Sh*t Done when you Don’t Feel Motivated

Alright alright alriiiiiiiight – it’s HUMP DAY! Today’s post is straight from the good ol’ 2019 Reader Survey request box. I lovelovelove it because last week, we talked all about how to stay focused when you’re overwhelmed. Today, we’re talkin’ how to get sh*t done when you don’t feel motivated.

#BeenThereDoneThat, right? We find ourselves just not having it, unless “it” involves a box of Girl Scout cookies, Netflix, and the couch, or a good book + glass of wine. We’ve got our list and checked it twice, and it’s full of every to-do under the sun…but we “just can’t today.” 

We feel lazy. We feel uninspired. We just feel BLAH.

But here’s the thing.

Motivation doesn’t come from feeling – it comes from doing.

There really aren’t many instances when we just feel like writing a book or running a marathon or doing five loads of laundry. But if it’s on our to-do list, it’s gotta get done regardless of the feels in the moment.

Leopard sweater (only $29!)

 

  • Make success a habit. Successful people aren’t lucky (always) – they’re habitual. They’re intentional. They create systems, and they create habits. And those habits are what gets them from Point A to Point B when the last thing they “feel” is motivated. How many powerhouses morning routines do you see that start with “wake up at 5 am“? A lot. And do you think there’s just a #blessed segment of society that feels like getting up before the friggin’ sun???? Absolutely not. But when it’s a habit, it’s hard to break. GOOD habits can be just as hard to change as BAD habits. Remember that.
  • Clear your headspace. If you feel generally stuck + totally unmotivated, chances are, it might be because of some deeper underlying issue. AKA, your head is too full of #AllTheThings to move onto something new! Brain dump it out, pray, meditate, run around the block – whatever your thing is clear up a bit mentally.
  • Do easy stuff first. I’ve shared my backwards method before, but I swear it’s what truly helps me be MORE productive in the end! Most folks say that doing the biggest thing first is the key to getting more done. But I disagree! I start with the smallest tasks on my list and work my way up. Start small and build momentum. How my brain is wired: If I see a jam-packed list, it’s near impossible for me to focus on one bigger task for a huge chunk of time as hours tick by, with that list still looking packed. But if I can power through a few smaller things first, I’m more amped to keep going, and I can better focus on the bigger kahuna knowing that I’ve already accomplished quite a bit that day, and the finish line is closer in sight.
  • Set a timer. IDK about you, but if there’s a timer going, I am Superwoman. Maybe it’s the competitive AF side of me coming out to play? HA. But if I can beat the block, you can bet your bottom dollar I WILL. This cube timer sits on my desk + keeps me focused.
  • Brain dump EVERYTHING that needs to get done, regardless of its category – from cranking through 20 work emails, to emptying the dishwasher, to running to the grocery store. Then, prioritze that list if applicable (if you’ve got a working deadline, obvi that’s priority over something like re-organizing your bathroom – ha!). If everything is equal weight, do whatever from that list feels most interesting to you in that moment, so you’re still being productive – just on your terms!
  • Dance around to a power song. I can’t listen to a single song on this playlist and not instantly be uplifted + recharged to do something.
  • Isolate yourself with the biggest must-do. This works when you’re trying to avoid overwhelm, too. But oftentimes, when we’re unmotivated to work on something important, we procrastinate through distraction. We turn to Netflix or YouTube or Amazon.com to fill a mental void, when we’re feeling less than inspired. Since motivation comes from doing, we have to *beat* any bad feeling. And I like to beat the bad feeling by giving myself no choice but to get ‘er done. I’ll literally shut myself in a room with the task I’m needing to complete, and intentionally put any/all distractions (phone, laptop, a good book, etc) in another room. You’re only allowed to get up/switch rooms when the task is DONEZO.
  • Bribery. When all else fails… 😉 I mean, gotta do what ya gotta do. I’ve been known to incentivize myself with Gucci bags. Whatever works, girlfriend. Whatever works. Set a reward at the finish line for a job well done.
  • Reward BEFORE the fact. This one comes from my assistant, Katie, who is just the bee’s knees. She told me she’ll actually reward herself BEFORE doing whatever it is she’s supposed to be doing, that way she’s essentially obligating herself to get the thing done right after. I mean, you’ve already gotten the reward – so you can’t let yourself down, girlfriend!
  • Just do the damn thing. Like I said, motivation doesn’t come from feeling – it comes from doing. Run one lap, it suddenly feels easier to run two.

 

How do you get sh*t done when you don’t feel motivated?

Do you have something that works for you that I didn’t already mention here? I WANNA KNOW.

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