Ever have one of those days where you’re just not motivated? You can’t really focus. You don’t want to do anything. You’re in a funk? So what do you do? You take the day off, right?
But what if something has to get done. You have to be at work and the proposal is due today. Or you have people coming over and you have to prepare your special meal. Or like me, you have to get a blog post done. Then what do you do?
Here’s my advice:
1) Recognize that you’re probably burnt out. Note it and make a tentative plan to take a few days off. Sometimes just knowing you have a break coming up will help. But even if it doesn’t help now, what it will do is prevent you from being in the same situation again. Rest is necessary to recharge our motivation.
2) Ask yourself, how can I make this EASIER for me? Since you are already in a state of low motivation - simply trying to inspire yourself will likely not work. But reducing your workload will help you get it done when the normal task is too much. Can you recruit someone to help you? Maybe you could brainstorm together and come up with the big idea. Do you really need to write three pages? Maybe a shorter version will suffice. Plan B is still getting the job done.
3) Get traction by breaking it up into small ‘bite-sized’ pieces and start with what’s easy. Whatever big project you have to do - divide it up into 3-5 tasks. For my blog post, my tasks were: brainstorming about topics, writing a first draft, revising the draft, researching an image, creating a final version. Once you have your tasks laid out, pick the easiest one and start with that. Pick the one that requires the least amount of thinking. The key is getting you in action. Just the act of starting to do something will provide you with success momentum. You will recognize that doing the initial act wasn’t in fact that difficult and you are now ready to handle what’s next. You will have overcome the hardest part in no time - starting.
4) Give yourself a time limit to get it done. In my post ‘Got 30 minutes?’, I outline, how giving yourself just 30 minutes can get you a long way in the direction of achieving your outcome. When you put a time limit around the task (and a short one at that!), it suddenly becomes more doable...not such a pain...and not one that requires a lot of motivation.
5) Let go of creating perfection. Whether it’s a project proposal, your favorite recipe or a blog post - accept that this is not the day for you. You may not do your best work. And that’s okay. There are ebbs and flows to life and somedays ‘okay’ is the best you can do.
Got a cool strategy for getting you out of a funk? Share it in the comments below!