The last few months have been hard and upsetting for most and so has been for me. There are days when I am on top of everything, I get to polish off the work before it hits the deadline, eat a salad lunch, go for quick biking around and gently ask Alexa to play the soothing sounds of nature as I hit the bed for a night of good night sleep. And there are days when I get up in the morning all groggy, stay irritable all through the day, and try dodging the 4 pm alarm begging me to go out for a brisk walk or a run. Those are the ‘meh’ days for me! Do you have these days too? When you feel absolutely unmotivated to do anything at all?
Well, a part of it is due to the Covid situation, that’s understandable, who had fathomed such a disruption. But, own it up now, part of it is due to the lazy bone, procrastinating selves. I, at times, just can’t pull myself out of the recliner to put on sneakers and go out or make a decent meal or get work turned in. A few days are okay, but if this is happening a bit too frequently, then it’s about time that we together chart out a few healthy habits that you and I can strive for when we are feeling unmotivated.
Without further ado, here are a few things that we may think about setting in as a plan whenever that ‘thick-as-winter-fog slumber’ starts setting in.
Unlike many think, forcing yourself to do something does not sustain itself in the long run.
Trying to stick to a plan over a long period of time and emphasizing more on the intrinsic and emotional rather than the momentary and tangible gain is one way to keep myself motivated during those lull days. It’s important for me to feel accomplished after a quick run and the feeling of being fit rather than thinking of the cheat meal that I can earn after a good burn! That keeps me going. And on low-lying days don’t push yourself to the ‘must-do-run’, in place of that why not just try taking a stroll and feel the fresh air against your cheeks, that’s uplifting actually!
I have seen forcing myself to eat a salad instead of spaghetti and convincing that the former is better for me makes me go haywire at the drop of a hat. What I do is keep a meal plan and phase out the salad nights, the pasta dinner, and fried stuff. This way I’m not overdoing anything and not coaxing myself into anything, if I have salad today, I know I’ll have noodles tomorrow, helps so much on a dull day! Also brings discipline in my life, even on those unmotivated days!!
Have a big everyday to-do list? Instead, a doable list of things sounds like a better idea.
Yes, one step at a time and dividing a big task into bite-sized pieces is what works on days like these. Another, the overly sire-like person in me says, ‘do not look at it as an insurmountable task, it’ll look even more daunting’, sounds true though! If you look at getting the work across the table to your manager or client as a ‘big task that needs to be completed today’, it’s plausible that you’ll feel even more unmotivated or want to run from it. Instead how about dividing the work to be done early working hours, by mid-afternoon and finally ready by evening? Look at the small individual pieces that you need to do and eventually it will lead to the whole big project getting done.
Remember, that a set to-do list doesn’t work on all days, and expecting to get everything done every day is just setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. On a bad hair day, just focus on the top -five absolute priorities instead, life will be a bit less taxing that way!!
How about a tracker and documenting what you’re doing or just relying on someone to hold you accountable?
You know tons of trackers can help you to keep a tab on what you’re doing now and what still needs to be done. The tracker will keep reminding you what is left for the day. And if you’re not a tracker kind of a person then have someone hold you accountable. Can be your sibling, friend, parent, boy or girlfriend, anyone, who knows that you may be slipping into slack and need a gentle nudge on your backside to get you out of that slouchy state. These people will pull you out of the house and make you run laps and make sure you get the daily milestone done. Sometimes we just need a strong hand in our lives!
I have heard a lot about Mindfulness, have you tried blending it in your daily life?
Honestly, when I read about this, it seems a bit overwhelming but as I go on, it seems relatable. Mindfulness asks us to shun procrastination and overthinking and encourages us to live in the moment, concentrating on what we are doing right now rather than thinking about 100 tasks at the same time. Does that make you think that it can take some stress off your head and make you do the present work better? You’re so right! Want to know about Mindfulness in detail, read it up on Develop Good Habits.
At the end, remind yourself that it’s okay to take a break.
Absolutely. Because it’s impractical that you’ll feel motivated every day. At the start of this pandemic, when I suddenly got stuck inside, I used to feel lethargic most days. We all need a day off from every stressful thing. Or every day you can set a timer, when it goes off, you can say to yourself, it’s a wrap and then probably fall into that comfortable Papasan chair with Mindy Kaling on Kindle! This ‘me-time’ will in fact help you with increased productivity and a fresh mind. If you feel you’re needing to push yourself too hard, it’s time for a small break, get the lazy bum out, inhale the crisp winter air or just curl up and read a book or watch a comedy show! To each his own for unwinding.
I don’t push myself too hard. The case may be that I’m really fatigued and my system needs to shut off for some time. If I’m feeling unmotivated I just don’t shove the feeling under the carpet rather try and do a root cause analysis type of thing. And one more thing, I try and gracefully accept the fact that a few days will be more difficult than the rest. And on those days I need to keep reminding myself that the small bite-sized goals are achievable and that it’s gonna be ok at the end. Sounds like what you do too?
Remember, on the days when you feel lost, downtrodden or just not up there, one step at a time!!