I’m coming to the end of my office lease and I’m considering my options about staying or finding a new office. When I even think about starting to look for a new office I want to well…do something else. Anything else. Run a marathon. Skydive. Make a cup of tea. Look at the yoga class timetable online. Check my Instagram feed. Sing live on TV naked.
You know, anything else.
So my desire to move is clouded by my motivation to look for a new office. Like anyone I can be highly motivated to do the stuff I like, but golly gosh, when it comes to the stuff I dislike, my motivation evaporates.
So how do we motivate ourselves to do the stuff we don’t want to do?
I just don’t feel like doing it
You can’t wait until you feel like doing something. Sometimes we never feel like doing a task, but you just have to show up. When I was writing my book or when I had my solo exhibition, I created a routine and just showed up. Sometimes what I produced was crap, but other times it was gold.
When I’m teaching fibre art workshops and I hear a million excuses about why they can’t dedicate time to their art practice, I get them to write down every reason so they see it in black and white. Then I ask them to spend time questioning it. Is it an excuse or a legitimate reason? How would it make you feel if you had more art in your life? Usually it just boils down to one thing. Just start. Even if it’s for one minute a day. Just start.
Willpower sucks sometimes, so trick yourself
I’ve spent a career on deadline. In PR and running a business I walk into the office and know I have multiple deadlines that day. So when I’m faced with a task I don’t want to do I attempt to trick myself by placing a deadline on it. (Attempt is a key word, as sometimes it doesn’t work as well as I’d like). So plan it out – decide what you’re going to do, and when and where you’re going to do it so there is no umming and ahing.
Ebbs and flow
There are times when it’s OK that you’re not motivated to get to the gym or to get stuff done. I’m not saying create a bunch of excuses to opt out. But there are ebbs and flows in our lives and we should listen and be aware of them.
So I’m going to trick myself into a deadline for looking at offices – even though I have a real deadline! What are you going to do today?
Tweetable: How we can get motivated to do the things we don’t want to do @CatrionaPollard bit.ly/2ioyIFU