In life and work, motivation can be our greatest friend or our biggest enemy. Procrastination is an easy trap to fall into when there’s so many distractions online just a tap or click away and a whole Netflix queue just waiting to be watched. Here’s how to stop procrastinating.
Sometimes we just feel sooooo unmotivated even when we know we need to get work done, and we have no idea why.
Is this why you’re procrastinating and feeling unmotivated in your life?
How to Stop Procrastinating and Being Unmotivated
After several years of paying close attention to my motivation and procrastination levels, I can say that it usually boils down to this…
There is something BIG in the way that is making you procrastinate.
This big thing could be many things, but is usually related to your mindset or mental energy.
Basically, you feel unmotivated because you’re spending so much effort and energy thinking about this one big thing and stressing out over it, you have no energy left for anything else, let alone any task that isn’t completely mandatory or on a time deadline.
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So, what is that big thing? It might be a big task that you’re putting off. You might be totally aware that you’re procrastinating on it, or you might have no idea while you’re feeling so stuck right now.
In Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy talks about tackling your biggest and worst task first so you free up your energy and stress to do more enjoyable things later.
If you eat a live frog in the morning, Mark Twain says, you’re guaranteed that that will be the worst thing you do all day. So anything afterward just feels so much easier because you did the hardest task first.
I like to think of this “big thing” as the bottleneck preventing your motivation from pouring through the faucet.
Get still for a moment and pay attention to your thoughts without trying to control them. Just let your thoughts float by and passively observe them. What do you find comes up the most? What seems to be the biggest worry or stressor on your mind right now?
Ask yourself this,
Is this moment, what do you feel is the biggest bottleneck getting in your way, whether mentally, emotionally, or practically?
Chances are, that’s your “big thing” getting in the way of your motivation and if you can finally check that annoying or overwhelming task off your list or break it into smaller, more manageable pieces (or deal with whatever other big thing is taking up all your mental energy right now – forgiveness work can be good for emotional blocks), your motivation will start flowing again.
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Music to Help You Stop Procrastinating Soundtracks for Concentration and Focus
Need to study or perhaps concentrate or focus on some important work? Here are some soundtracks for concentration and focus. Good background music for serious business. 🙂
- 8 Hour Study Music
2. Rain Has Gone Study Music
3. Best of Yiruma (“River Flows in You” is my favorite piano song of all time :))
4. Concentration Productivity Music
5. Coffee Shop Background Noise
When you don’t want to put on pants, but you want to pretend you’re working at Starbucks.
Sometimes Procrastination is Actually Your Intuition
We usually think that procrastination is a bad thing, but sometimes it might just be your intuition telling you to stop, slow down, and think about the direction you’re going.
Sometimes procrastination is a form of resistance. Maybe you’re working on something you care about so naturally you’re a little scared about creating your art. In that case, you just have to push through the resistance and do what you’re meant to do.
But other times, we procrastinate because we just don’t want to do what we’re supposed to be doing. And sure, there are things that you have to do in life, but a lot of times you actually have a choice of what you do with your life and how you spend your time.
Maybe you’ve been procrastinating on something for months because deep down, you don’t really want to do it. If you’re honest with yourself, you’d find that if you were really excited about something, you’d probably do it as soon as you can rather than putting it off until the last minute.
The times I’ve procrastinated for a long time on something are the times I just flat out didn’t want to do what I was supposed to be working on. 🙂 So if you’re at a job you hate or stuck in a major or classes you don’t like, you might think you have a problem with being unmotivated or lazy.
But the problem isn’t that you’re lazy or unmotivated because you’re procrastinating. The real problem is that you’re not living a life that’s aligned with what you really want.
What do you really want to be doing with your life? Your motivation will skyrocket when you’re doing what you love and are passionate about. It might be hard sometimes, and you might come up against resistance or feeling like you’re not good enough, but you will actually want to do what you’re doing.
And that’s the difference.
So the next time you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself,
“Do I really want to be doing this right now?”
And if the answer is no, can you get out of doing it? If not, then just keep trucking along, but if you do have a choice, you’re going to be a lot happier and inspired if you’re living the life you truly want to be living.
And procrastination will be a thing of the past.
How to Use Procrastination to Your Advantage
Procrastination feels like the enemy of progress and productivity, but it’s actually possible to still get things done when you feel like procrastinating. Here’s how to use procrastination to your advantage.
So, unfortunately if you have something to do that’s time-sensitive or absolutely mission-critical to complete, you’ll probably just have to buckle down and get it done.
But if you have a little more time to accomplish something, then I like to use the time when I feel like procrastinating on something to work on something else, so you can still feel productive.
It’s best to choose activities that don’t require too much thought and maybe can be done while listening to music, like cleaning or organizing your house.
For example, washing the dishes might normally be something you put off until later, but if you have to write some long report for work, it’s probably suddenly going to sound a lot more appealing to do anything but the task in front of you. Hence, the productive procrastination. ?
If you can stay somewhat productive while you’re “procrastinating” on other work, you also won’t feel as bad about putting it off as if you had just watched Netflix or scrolled through social media.
Or, if you usually procrastinate on something like cleaning, then switch off and “procrastinate” by doing something for work. It’s sneaky but it keeps you productive. ?
Here are some ideas for things you can productively procrastinate on:
– Read one of the books you purchased but never read (oops… I do this)
– Do random things from your to-do list
– Clean something
– Organize something
– Declutter your stuff
– Do the laundry
– Organize your sock drawer
– Run errands
– Go through your inbox and respond to emails
– Etc, etc
I’m sure you could come up with endless ways of procrastinating, but eventually, you will probably have to finish whatever it is that you’re procrastinating on. ? Until then, you can try to stay semi-productive and get some things done you’ve been meaning to do.