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The struggle is real when you have so much to do, but you REALLY don’t feel like doing anything.
Taking a long nap or scrolling through social media sounds like a better idea.
However, this is going to cause stress later. You’ll get behind on what you need to do, and you’ll be angry that you didn’t just start when you said you would.
Procrastination can be caused by a number of things, which can differ from person to person.
The most common causes of procrastination are:
-Lack of motivation
-Fear (of failure or hard work)
-Not knowing where to start
And much more.
I do think it’s important to figure out why exactly you are procrastinating, because that is how you can fix the problem.
However, below are a few tips that should be very helpful in the mean time.
Sometimes we’re just tired and don’t feel like doing something, that’s ok. You can try the things below and get back on track in no time!
Remind yourself of your why
You could be procrastinating right now for a number of reasons. You may be lacking creativity or energy, you may feel fear to start or to fail, or you may be really distracted and unable to focus.
Are you familiar with the quote, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort” by Theodore Roosevelt?
Whatever it is you are putting off, it is likely very important to you. We typically don’t procrastinate on easy things. People procrastinate difficult and important things, otherwise everyone would be healthy, wealthy, and happy.
If you want to fight this procrastination and unmotivated feeling, that means you have a why.
Why do you want to go workout?
Why do you want to clean your house?
Why do you want to work on your business?
Why do you want to study?
There’s a bigger reason behind all that we do. You should know your why.
When you’re unmotivated to work, take the time to physically write down your why. Write down exactly what you want to achieve. Talk to yourself out loud about why this is so important to you.
Just because you don’t feel like doing something, that doesn’t mean it’s not important to you, you’re just tired or going through a phase.
For example, I love writing and creating content. However, some days I can’t even bring myself to write one word. Then I remind myself why I’m doing this.
I want to be a full-time blogger.
I want to increase my income from blogging because that gets me closer to becoming an entrepreneur and paying off my debt.
I want to write quality content that benefits my reader’s lives and helps them reach their full potential.
I want these things so I MUST start working.
I put this one first because this works for me almost every time I’m procrastinating and it may just work for you too.
There have been times when I was SO sleepy I just wanted to take a nap. Instead I would remind myself of my why, which would give me the energy to power through for hours.
It’s quite amazing.
Watch/Listen to something motivational
The next best thing is to look externally for motivation. There are a plethora of YouTube videos, podcasts, and blog posts to find inspiration to take action.
I’ll just do a quick search on YouTube for “motivation,” and the top videos will come up. These videos are usually a compilation of motivational speakers, influencers, athletes, and entrepreneurs. If you truly listen to what they have to say, you’ll be pumped to start.
These speeches will remind you that this is YOUR life. You have control and you can do whatever you set your mind to.
You can even find stories of people who have gone through so much adversity yet found their way or kept going.
These videos and stories remind me that I have no excuse not to give my all. I have no excuse to give up. I have no excuse to take advantage of these opportunities.
I have a body that can lift weights, jump, run, stretch, etc.
I have a brain that allows me to write, read, and learn.
I have the internet which gives me endless possibilities to learn and grow a business.
I have the resources to buy and cook healthy meals.
Not everyone has that, but most of my readers do.
Don’t take these chances for granted. Let that be your motivation to take action.
Take a power nap
Power naps are magical.
Trust me, the idea of a 20 minute nap sounds like torture, but they are SO effective. I utilize them all the time.
Sometimes I am just genuinely tired and I can’t even keep my eyes open. It’s usually too early for bed, and if I nap for an hour or more I won’t be able to sleep later…cue the power nap.
I set a 20 minute timer, LEAVE MY PHONE IN A DIFFERENT ROOM, and climb in bed. 20 minutes later the timer will go off and I have to walk to the other room to shut it off. This is key. DO NOT allow yourself to lay back down. Just give yourself a few minutes to wake up…drink some water, stretch, breathe, walk around, etc.
You’ll feel like a new person.
Waking up after 20 minutes is going to suck, but if you sleep any longer you’ll likely enter deep sleep. If you wake up during deep sleep you’ll feel groggy and disoriented, and the nap won’t be very beneficial.
Commit to 5 minutes
The hardest part of anything is usually getting started!
Commit a mere 5 minutes to whatever you’re procrastinating.
Tell yourself you must do at least 5 minutes of the task. After 5 minutes, if whatever you’re doing is completely horrible and undoable right now, then stop. You did your 5 minutes.
However, usually what happens is you’ll keep going.
Doing something may appear daunting or like a burden, but that’s probably not the case. Once you get started you’ll realize that it’s not so bad and you’ll want to keep going or even completely finish what you started.
This can lead to a state of flow.
I often enter the flow state when I utilize the Pomodoro productivity/time-management technique. A pomodoro is 25 minutes of time dedicated to a task. After 25 minutes you take a 5 minute break and then work through another 25 minutes.
Personally, I often start a Pomodoro, yet don’t want to stop after 25 minutes. I just needed that initial push to start, and then I am good to work for an hour or more.
I know you probably didn’t want to see this on here, but seriously push yourself to go exercise!
After I workout I feel a rush of energy and drive!
Have you ever heard of runner’s high?
Physical movement and exercise increases levels of endorphins in your body, aka the happy hormone. If you exert yourself just enough (not too little or too extreme) you may feel a sense of euphoria and less anxiety.
You’ll definitely feel more energized and eager to get more done.
On evenings where I decide not to workout, I feel a major difference. I usually end up eating more and slacking off. I also get more distracted.
However, after I workout (even if I was super tired before) I end up spending a couple of hours doing focused work.
It’s a win, win situation.
Do something productive that requires less mental strength
My procrastination tends to come from feeling sleepy. Therefore, writing or doing something that requires mental strength seems daunting.
The solution? I go do the dishes instead.
I do some laundry or tidy up my space. I just do something that requires a little less brain power.
If you replace one task with another productive task, you’re still completing something that needed to get done. Sometimes what will happen is you’ll get inspired from your new clean space or you’ll gain the energy to finish the other task.
Take a shower
Showers are a nice little escape from reality.
If you’re feeling sleepy, take a shower and use it as a time to rinse away those feelings.
Imagine you’re rinsing away your sleepiness or lack of motivation. It’s a fresh start for what you need to get done.
When you get out maybe you could put on a citrus or peppermint lotion to awaken your senses. Or add some cinnamon or rosemary into your essential oil diffuser to increase your focus.
If you’re feeling especially audacious, take a cold shower. Cold showers are a whole different level and you should definitely feel energized after!
A shower will give you some quiet “me time” which you can also use to reflect on what you want to get done and the goals you want to accomplish.
Take a quick walk or simply move your work outside.
Getting out in nature may be just what you need. Even if you don’t live near woods or a walking trail, just walking or standing outside can help.
I live in the city, so I don’t have easy access to tons of nature. However, when I go sit on my balcony I get a new burst of inspiration for some reason. I like the warmth (or cool air) on my skin. I like to hear the sounds around me. I love looking at the sky.
I don’t suggest spending hours directly in the sun though. Too much sunlight can drain your energy.
Either spend about 15 minutes in the sunlight to soak in some vitamin D and boost serotonin levels, which will improve your mood, or sit outside in a shaded area (or at night).
Reaping the benefits of sunlight can be difficult in the winter months or in places where it rains often, so I suggest a light therapy box!
Light box therapy mimics natural sunlight and stimulates the brain to produce serotonin. It’s a great option to increase your mood and productivity.
Drink some Lion’s Mane
Of course you can make a cup of coffee or reach for an energy drink, but have you ever given Lion’s Mane a try??
Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom that has many health benefits. In addition to it’s health benefits, it helps you to feel focused and energized.
Coffee doesn’t always work and often leads to a crash.
If you’re interested in trying them out you can save 10% on your purchase with my code, LIVINGLIKELEILA!
In addition to drinking something that will give you energy, it’s also important to hydrate with water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue. So be sure to drink plenty of regular water too!
If you need to get work done on your laptop (for your business, for studying, etc.) then take your things with you and head to your local coffee shop!
Or the library, a book store, or lounge area.
Whenever I work in a different location I get so much done.
It’s a change in environment and for some reason it’s motivating. It just feels right to be productive.
The other thing is that people are probably around. This may also help you stay on task to avoid the judgement of getting distracted.
When you relocate to get work done, you tend to then identify with that. If you go somewhere to study, you’ll take on the identity of a studious student who is taking notes and learning.
When you go to work on your online business, you identify with an entrepreneur who is planning projects, writing articles, or promoting content.
It makes things more fun and changes up your routine.
This may feel uncomfortable at first, but the vibe you get in a coffee shop or library is completely different from what you’ll get at home or in your office.
If you decide to relocate for a couple of hours you’ll probably get way more done than you anticipated. The time flies by and work just flows.
Besides, who doesn’t love the smell, sounds, and aura of those places?
Take it easy
If you’re really struggling to be productive or if you feel too exhausted, just take a break.
Try your best for TODAY. Your best is going to look different every day.
The following is from the book The Four Agreements…”Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”
Sometimes it’s not worth it to force yourself to do something you really can’t bring yourself to do right now.
This may result in burn out, overwhelm, or low-quality work.
If you’re a workaholic like me, be sure you’re taking the proper time to recover and rest.
If you’re really trying to get things done but can’t bring yourself to follow through, take the time to relax.
Make a cup of tea or hot cocoa and watch YouTube videos. Take a bath and read a book. Fill your soul with whatever makes you happy.
Whatever needs to get done, will get done if you learn to trust yourself. So take it easy on yourself, because you’re probably doing better than you think.