(a.k.a. the source of procrastination)
One of the reasons we procrastinate and *don’t* get stuff done is because we don’t feel like it.
You can be a time-blocking ninja, but if you don’t *do* the things you’ve scheduled, you’re not going to get anything done.
So how do you motivate yourself to get it done?
First things first, figure out why…
Are you feeling tired? Are you feeling lazy? Are you sick? Would you rather be doing something else?
Knowing your objection to completing a task will help you overcome it. If you try to “plow through* your work without acknowledging your reason for procrastination, you’re likely to give up sooner.
If you’re tired, you may be working outside of your “flow”. It’s hard to work when you’re fatigued and you have “brain fog”.
Avoid scheduling things at times when you’re the most tired; instead schedule things at times when you generally have the most energy.
But since you’ve time blocked a task for a particular time, best thing to do is to just get started on it, and avoid scheduling during your “tired times” in the future.
Too many distractions
If it something like kids or neighbors being loud, yeah, you’re not going to produce quality work.
BUT that’s not a reason to *not* do something. Try to get the ball rolling for at least 30 minutes, and if it’s not happening, reschedule the task for a time when there are fewer distractions. Personally, I *love* working early mornings because it has the absolute least chance of distraction.
Are you *really* feeling sick or are you making excuses? If you’re making excuses, you probably have a different reason, so take a minute to figure that out.
If you’re truly feeling sick, how sick are you? Can you work for at least 30 minutes? If so, work on a task or project for at least 30 minutes to get the ball rolling. If you’re well enough, keep going. I wrote a post about how to work when you’re feeling sick. Inc.com also has some pointers.
If you’re feeling really bad, take care of yourself if you feel truly sick. Take a minute to reschedule what needs to get done (that way you don’t put it off again), then go take the rest of the day to recover.
Rather be doing something else?
What is that thing you would rather be doing? This is actually one of my favorite reasons for procrastinating and one of my favorite challenges to overcome.
If I’d rather be shopping/Netflix binging/going to the beach, I use that as *motivation* to complete the task at hand. As soon as I complete the task, my reward is to do the thing I want to do.
Just don’t want to…
If it’s something like “get on the phone with the insurance company”, I feel you. There’s no real incentive to want to do something that’s going to irritate you. Best way to combat this is to incentivize it by rewarding yourself after completing the task. (see above, “Rather be doing something else?”)
If it’s part of your business and something you do regularly, perhaps you need to really assess whether or not you should still be in your business. Your business should light you up and fill you with joy. Whether it’s a client call or working on your sales page, knowing the end game of what you’re trying to accomplish should motivate you to get work done.
However if it’s a constant problem, I suggest taking a step back and reevaluating whether or not the business model you have now is something you really want.
Set a “Prize” for Completion
I mentioned this earlier, but if you’re an article skimmer, I’ll repeat it here.
Give yourself a prize – whether it’s an hour of Netflix, a trip to the mall, a manicure, or even a nap – and reward yourself when you’ve completed the task. This will motivate you to work *faster* so that the sooner you accomplish a task, the sooner you can enjoy your “prize”.
Set a Timer, Get the Ball Rolling
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to get the ball rolling, simply by getting started. I use a productivity app called Forest, but you can use a regular timer on your phone. Set a time for at *least* 30 minutes. (If you’re in a really bad state, set it for 15 minutes.)
During that time, get as much as you can done in those 30 minutes – even if it’s subpar work. The idea is that you’ve *started* on the project. Generally that momentum creates more momentum, and you’ll be more motivated to finish the task – rather than leave after you’ve accomplished so much already.
Remember Your “Why”
Most business tasks lead up to something bigger. Is your “why” time freedom, more time with family, financial freedom? Take a moment to remember why you do what it is you do – and remember that everything you do today takes you one step closer.