We all like to think that we are the Energizer Bunny, right? It’s not just me?
But then we all have days when laying on the couch and eating Oreos actually sounds like too much work, right? It’s not just me?
Organizing takes motivation, and some days you just don’t have it. But what if you could fake yourself out? What tricks can you use to work that mojo (that you aren’t actually feeling just now)?
Set a timer and cut yourself some slack. Sometimes you really do need a break, but don’t let it take all day. Set a timer (on your iPhone, microwave, egg timer, whatever it takes) and give yourself an allotted time to goof off, stuff your face with Oreos or poison of your choice, or simply lay with your eyes closed. When the timer sounds, it’s off to the races.
Make a list. Yes, you should be working on a MEEELION things at once, but that just isn’t possible. So, download all of that chaos into a task list before you get started on anything. By doing this, your brain puts a little check mark by those to-do items. Even though they aren’t done, they are off your plate, and safely tucked away, for enough time for you to get started on something you really need to do.
Start on something completely and undeniably easy. Yes, conventional wisdom says you should eat the biggest and uggliest frog first thing (thereby rendering all smaller frogs more appetizing), but some days, it just isn’t in you. Fine. Do something. Anything. Start with the easy stuff and work your way up to harder stuff. But promise yourself that at some point, maybe right after lunch, you’ll tackle at least one big, ugly frog.
Step away from your desk. Your body may really be trying to tell you something. If you’ve checked your vitals and you aren’t sick, and last night didn’t cause a hangover, then you may literally need a kick in the pants. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Turn on some jams and dance it out. Get moving. When you are reminded how wonderful it is to be alive and capable of doing any of those things, work starts to look like a privilege instead of a chore. (Caution: Dancing it out in your cube may cause rubbernecking.)
Pump up the positive. Use this one sparingly, but honestly, if you are addicted to social media, we can work with that. Spend 10 minutes pinning positive mantras to your “Awesome Hand Lettered Signs” board. Find 10 of your really, really nice Twitter followers and make their day with over-the-top retweets and praise. (Steer clear of LOL funny but snarky for this exercise.) I’d definitely use a timer again for this, and give yourself between 15 and 30 minutes max. But switching on the HAPPY part of your brain is definitely something you can choose to do. Use your power for good.
Choose your fuel. Yes, you could go for a quick boost of java or sweet, seductive chocolate, but you know you’ll be back, lower and begging for more before the hour is out. Instead, reach for fresh fruit. Go for broke with a homemade fruit smoothie. Make a batch of irresistible roasted veggies that will satisfy your sweet tooth and boost your antioxidants at the same time. Throw some protein in the mix (chopped chicken, yogurt, cheese) and your executive functioning (the part of your brain that conks out first when fuel isn’t happening) will benefit for longer.
Phone a friend. Humans are social. We are not meant to wallow, alone, in our own cubes or home offices. Give yourself permission to check in with a close friend. Yes, I mean to say that you should actually pick up the phone and call them. Chances are, what they have to share will either a) make you realize how lucky you are b) get your creative juices flowing or c) inspire you to plan a day off, which might be what you’ve been needing all along.
Clean off your desk. It’s hard to focus when you are literally covered in paper. Again, set a timer, and then work from one side of your desk to the other. File, put away, and toss whatever you can. Neatly stack the remaining projects, or add them to the to-do list. With a clear surface, you are likely to have room to spread out the really important project you actually meant to tackle. Plus, the instant gratification of a clean desk can propel you towards another accomplishment yet today.
What else have you used as motivation mojo?