How To Get Started When You Don’t Feel Like Working

The following post is from Celestine of The Personal Excellence Blog:

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We’ve all been there before, times when we don’t feel like working at all. While we can slip into our beds and laze the day away, that’s not an option when deadlines are looming and important projects are at stake. Here are 5 simple tips to get started:

1. Clear the easy tasks first

A simple step that works for me is to work on the easy stuff. For example, checking emails, replying to messages and organizing my materials. Because these are small ticket items, it’s easy to get started. As I get each done, it builds a momentum to do more. While some people may recommend to get the most important things in place first, if you’re facing inertia to work, doing the easy things first is great to get you started.

2. Break the project into small steps

Every project starts off as a big goal. Trying to accomplish the goal itself may seem intimidating and somewhat confusing, especially if there’s no clear plan, so break it into small steps instead. For example, if your project is to launch a book, break it into different phases, like researching, deciding on the topic, creating the outline, writing the 1st draft for each chapter, and so on. Then get started on the 1st step. Suddenly, it seems so much easier and achievable!

3. Stop overcomplicating things

One of the biggest reasons we procrastinate is because we overcomplicate things. We think that this must be done this way, this must be finished by this time, and the like. While expectations are good, and hold us to a certain standard, it’s not exactly helpful if it’s preventing us from doing what we want. So, stop overcomplicating things, and just focus on getting started. No matter how little you do, or how badly the work is done, you will get more done compared to if you totally don’t do anything at all! After you get started, then you can build on your work and improve on it.

4. Work in a conducive environment

Your environment plays an important role in your motivation level. If you’re working at home, where your nice fluffy bed is right beside you, it might be harder to get to work compared to if you’re surrounded with work-related stimuli. If you’re an employee, you wouldn’t face this problem since you report to a central workplace. However, if you’re self-employed or a freelancer, you can counteract it by working in a public area or creating an inspiring work environment. My noticeboard is covered with my mission statement, inspirational quotes and my life goals, and these serve as constant reminders of what I’m working towards.

5. Remember why you’re doing this

If you don’t feel like working, then take a few minutes to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. There’s a reason why you’ve set the goals you have and why you’re staying in this job. Reconnecting with your intentions will bring back the spark to your work.

At the end of the day, if you don’t like your work at all, remember you can always quit your job whenever you want to; no one is forcing you to be here. If you’re staying on, that’s because you feel the benefits outweigh the costs. If so, take responsibility and do your best job in it! If you don’t enjoy your work, then think about what you want to do and develop a plan to achieve it. Don’t stay in this state because it’s disempowering. Take the first step and the rest will follow.

How can you apply the tips above to get started? Do you have your tips to share? Feel free to share in the comments area.

Celestine Chua writes at The Personal Excellence Blog on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her free ebook, 101 Things To Do Before You Die, now by signing up for her free newsletter. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua.
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