We all go through days where the alarm goes off, and immediately it seems like the core of your being just moans “I don’t wanna”. You have a full list of to-dos for the day, and you went to bed feeling so productive, but then you wake up in the morning and all of that motivation is just gone. But your to-do list is still there, and hitting snooze just isn’t going to cut it! I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’m here to help. There are a few key things you can do to start working through the “I don’t wanna”:
Get up and get dressed
I know. It’s just so comfy to work in your pajamas. And doesn’t that take time away from doing the things on your list? But getting out from under the covers and getting ready for the day will help you to feel refreshed. Not to mention, it will give your brain that little hint that it’s time to get things done.
Give yourself a small treat before you begin
Brew a cup of your favorite coffee or tea. Maybe play a few songs from the playlist that you love. Just give yourself a little reward for the simple act of getting started. However, be mindful about what you choose. Your small treat should probably not be, for instance, watching an episode of a show on Netflix, or watching a YouTube video. In theory, it would be fine, but we all know that once you’re comfy on the couch, one video turns into three, and all of a sudden it’s already lunchtime and you’ve wasted half the day. Your treat should be something that makes you happy, but doesn’t pull you away from your to-do list.
Remove yourself from distractions
This is probably the most key step for me personally. I don’t have an office right now, so I do a lot of my work on the living room couch. I know that if I want to get any work done at all, the TV cannot even be on. The PS4 controller and the remote absolutely cannot be within my reach. If they are, I get one or two things done. Then I might decide to preemptively reward myself with a little relaxation. And then, of course, nothing else gets done that day. Whatever it takes for you, whether it’s making sure the TV is out of reach, or turning your phone off and sitting at your desk with the door closed, take the distractions away so your motivation remains uninterrupted.
Set up a larger reward for when you FINISH your to-do list
I emphasize that the reward should not come until you have finished everything that must get done for the day. Otherwise, you haven’t earned it! But a few examples could be ordering dinner from that fantastic Thai place you’ve been meaning to try. Or fixing some popcorn and sitting down to that movie that’s been in your queue for months. Even taking a luxurious bath and practicing some self-care could be enough to get you through the day. Knowing that you have a reward waiting for you when you finish will help to give you the motivation to finish your list.
Take breaks as needed (but don’t distract yourself!)
I’m all for the Pomodoro method, or some variation. I know that it’s completely necessary most of the time to take breaks, stretch, and clear your mind. But don’t use your breaks to check your phone, or scroll through social media! That completely defeats the purpose and doesn’t help to refresh your mind. Take the time to get up, stretch, and just walk around the house. I usually let my dogs out during this time. If you feel strange just wandering your house, I would even suggest doing a little light housework. Load the dishwasher, or tidy a single room. Anything that doesn’t require much brainpower and keeps you moving is okay. Just make sure that you go back to your tasks when your time is up!
If you follow these five steps, your to-do list should be done in no time! I am so often guilty of giving in to the feeling of “I don’t wanna”, but it’s important to power through it. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done! Whether it’s studying for class, or writing a paper, I promise it’s more important than bingeing on Netflix or scrolling through your Twitter. It’s just a matter of the proper motivation.
Did these steps help you? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!