I'm not sure what is harder in a PhD: the actual work or finding the motivation to actually do the work. Sounda ridiculous, right? But after talking to some mates - both in and out of academia - it's a common problem! A person can't always be 100% motivated, so how can we get shit done when we don't feel motivated? Here are some tips...
Want success? Make it a habit. Successful people aren’t just lucky – they're intentional with what they do. They have routines and schedules that create habits. Even when they are unmotivated, they can fall back on these systems to get them from Point A to Point B when the last thing they “feel” is motivated.
Do easy stuff first. Some say that doing the "biggest" or "hardest" thing first is the best thing, but I often start with the smallest tasks on my to-do list. My brain doesn't like looking at a huge list, so if I can cross a few off and get some momentum, then the big ticket item doesn't seem to daunting.
Set a timer. Sometimes the best way to get you motivated is to set a timer for a specific task! Doesn't work for everyone - it depends the task, for me - but give it a try.
Clear your headspace. If you feel generally stuck or motivated, brain dump it out! By opening up some mental space by writing down everything that needs to get done you can then prioritize your list and schedule your day accordingly. This has helped me crank through emails, do a 10-minute tidy, go to Woolies for a quick shop, throw a load of laundry in, etc.
Dance around. It sounds a little silly, but it helps to break up the monotony of the day! I have a whole "MOTIVATION" playlist (let me know if I should share it) that I crank all the way up and dance to. Once a song or two has gone by, I get back to tackling things off my to-do list.
Bribery. We're human and we like rewards. I sometimes set up little rewards for myself when I check something off my to-do list (e.g. I am buying myself an expensive perfume after my five-month long work trip). You gotta do what ya gotta do!
Or reward yourself BEFORE. For some people, bribery before the task works better because you are essentially obligating yourself to get the thing done right after.
Just do it! Sometimes you just have to push the unmotivated feeling aside and do the damn thing.
How do you get sh*t done when you don’t feel motivated?
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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