With so much going on all the time, there’s always a desire to say “I’ll do that later” or “I’ll get to it”, but when you do have the time and the means, you lack the motivation to do the thing. In fact, I am sitting here, in a hair salon in Houston, writing this as I wait for a friend to get out of a hair appointment. I completely don’t want to be writing this blog post, I would love to be getting pampered and having my hair done instead, or going to a local coffee shop here that I love. There are so many times where I’m sitting in my apartment, and I simply don’t want to do anything – there are a million and one things on my to do list, don’t get me wrong – I know exactly what I should be doing – I just don’t have the motivation to get the things done. In order to get through school, get through writing, get to places where I enjoy what I’m doing, I have to force myself to work. It’s annoying, and while I could write a list of a trillion things I’d rather do, my lack of motivation isn’t going to get things done.
I see motivational posts and quotes and while I even buy into some of them and am motivated for a short amount of time, it’s not what keeps me going and what keeps me on top of schoolwork or articles – what gets stuff done is dedication and discipline. Sure, I may not be majoring in History and so I may not see the point of getting the work for that class done, so I lack the motivation, but I have to apply myself to get that grade because whether I want to take the class or not: I’m in it, and the grade affects my GPA, and it’s a required class. I have to sit down, schedule some time in my day, grab a study buddy, and do the work.
While that’s easier said than done by far, I have a few helpful hints to being disciplined and dedicated:
Know why you’re doing this.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Is it because you enjoy it? Is it because it will help you get to a place where you enjoy what you’re doing? Is it to achieve some goal, get some grade, etc.? Find your why, and stick to it. Stick to that reason, and keep it in the back of your mind so that the next time you just want to put your head down, you can remind yourself that there is a reason you’re doing what you are, and it is worth it.
Disconnect from distractions.
Stop letting yourself get on your phone while you work to just “check one thing” when you know you’ll end up scrolling for days. Keep your phone on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb, set a timer, and work for the allotted time. Then, set another timer (5-10 mins), and take a break. Repeat, and prosper. Or, if you’re not a fan of the timer method, just make sure you aren’t pulling up netflix or youtube or social media to have ‘in the background’, that way you’re not tempting yourself from the start.
Get an accountability buddy.
I like study buddies when I want to get work done, and the same concept can apply to everything. If I want to get an assignment done, I’ll go to the library with a friend, or sit on the couch with someone and make sure we are both doing the work we are there to do, to keep each other on track. If I need to clean my apartment and I’ve been procrastinating and the dishes and clothes are just piling up, I’ll make plans with someone to have them over for dinner. This will make me realize that it’s suddenly 5, I’m meant to have guests over at 6:30pm, and I need to clean. My apartment has never looked cleaner than when I do this method, because I am feeling like I’m being held accountable by that person coming and seeing my apartment. I don’t want people to see my failures, so I wouldn’t want someone watching me get off track while I’m supposed to do my work, or want someone seeing my apartment look an absolute mess when I have invited them to enjoy a meal together. Whether it be an online buddy, texting each other what you need to do and when you get it done, or a real life buddy, make sure you have someone.
Reap the rewards.
Enjoy your hard work! You cleaned your apartment, now sit down and relax for a while. You got an A on an exam, celebrate with your favorite food! You completed a full language tree on Duolingo, do a fun activity with a friend! Even if that particular task isn’t providing a reward, make sure you feel the positive effects of getting your work done.
With that being said, implement these strategies, or even your own strategies as long as this blog post could be a gentle reminder to get whatever you have to get done done.
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