Tips for overcoming “I don’t feel like doing anything”.
December 13, 2018
Do you ever wake up feeling like: „Aahhh sh*t, I just don’t feel like doing anything today. I would so much rather watch tv-shows the whole day, order food in and stay in bed“ and when you do take this day off, then in the evening you feel exchausted, not because you’ve been working so hard, but you’re simply mad at yourself cause you haven’t done anything really meaningful that day. You know the things you should have done…but you just didn’t do them.
We all lack motivation sometimes. Not because we are necessarily lazy. It’s just that sometimes you feel like you deserve the day or an hour off, especially after working hard the previous day. But how do you get into the productive mindset, find the motivation, define the right things to do, in order to keep constantly growing?
I woke up this morning, and totally felt like I didn’t want to do anything today…although there’s a pitch deck that needs improvement, Excel table with traction to work on, KPIs to meet, emails to write and a blog post I really should finish. So….after dwelling a bit in my sorrow and considering taking it easy today, I reminded myself that this self-loathing is bullshit and I actually know what I need to do in order to get my productivity up and running. Over time and quite a few lost days, I have managed to develop and polish a system of steps I need to take in the morning. A system to hack myself into working.
The core point is to learn what triggers your productivity. Give yourself more of that, especially in the morning since this time of the day really sets the mood for the rest of the day. Think of your morning like standing on the crossroad where you have to choose between two streets. One leads toward a productive and successful day, the other one towards a lazy one full of instant gratifications that leave you dissapointed in the end of the day. That’s why it’s so important to make the right choice early in the morning. So, without further due….here’s what works well for me.
1. Reading in the morning.
Read books, articles, blog posts, that resonate with your long term goals, qualities that you want to improve in yourself. I want to become a better team-leader, salesperson, entrepreneur, build valuable relationships and improve my communication skills. Therefore I read books that help me in that. Just 15 min of reading takes my thinking to a completely different level. It’s amazing how your mind starts working in new ways and you are able to see aspects of problems that you didn’t even know existed before. And what’s most important…after 15 min of reading you already feel like you really want to get on with that pitch deck. It’s similar with articles and blog posts, but in my experience, nothing works as good as the good old paperback copy of a book..
2. Working out while listening to podcasts for entrepreneurs.
This is my latest “power-combo” that brings together best aspects of your body and mind. I put on my headphones..hit the gym, or running track…and just let my mind take in all the knowledge that the successful entrepreneurs out there are sharing for free. My current favorite is the Mixergy show by Andrew Warner…he really digs deep into very successful entrepreneurs’ minds and brings the pearls to his listeners. Getting down to work after a workout like that is supereasy…you get to start applying the new knowledge you’ve learned right away. As an added bonus, your body and mind is fresh and pumped up to get some sh*t done!
3. Having a daily routine and habits.
Sticking to this one is the hardest. Having a daily routine/schedule and sticking to it as much as possible with all the crazy things that are going on when you’re building a startup or working on a very dynamic project in your job, is extremely important! I don’t mean that you should have your day completely planned out to the minute without leaving any room for creativity, but there should be some parts of your day that are reserved for certain activities. They should be aligned with the way your brain and body is behaving. Test different ways and figure out what works best for you. I usually leave the most creative, “hard-core thinking” tasks like creating new strategic plans for the morning between 7am-12am because that’s when your brain is most active. After lunch it’s time for simpler tasks that just need to be done — emails, team communication, powerpoints, excels etc.. up until 7–8pm. The evening tends to vary a lot, could be anything from spreadsheets to working on the most crucial task at hand, to talking with team-mates, friends or reading books.
4. Talking to my mentors.
This one is important. Don’t know where I would be without awesome mentors I have in my life in various industries and professions. They are the ones who have been through most of the things that I am going through right now and can give me advice on my current problems. Sometimes, when you don’t feel like doing anything…just call one of them up or go for a lunch with them. See, how they are doing, talk about what’s going on with you…and the next thing you know, you put down the phone or come from the meeting, and get down to doing the things that need to be done. You also have a much better understanding WHY you are doing this, WHAT needs to be done and HOW.
5. Writing down 1–3 core tasks I want to achieve today.
This is too easy, yet most people don’t do that. In the morning when you wake up…write down 1–3 key things that you want to achieve today. Even better, write them down the previous evening before heading to the dreamland. This way you’ll have your daily tasks in front of your eyes when you wake up.