My mind is lazy today.
I am sure you know what I am talking about. It is one of those days, where you just can’t pick yourself up to be productive. Nothing seems tempting or interesting enough and you are fighting inner battles with yourself.
Procrastination is your best friend on these days. Resistance your second best. And maybe they are one and the same in different outfits.
Let me share with you the 3 tools I use to motivate myself.
Tool #1: Visualization exercise to conquer resistance
I believe procrastination and resistance are due to subconscious blocks and by removing them we can get back into the creative flow of life. Therefore one idea is to meditate on it to figure out what I am resisting right now and then do some reprograming of my mind to get it over with.
Sounds easy enough, right? I like tools and I like solutions.
Here is a nice visualization exercise I found in the book “100 ways to motivate yourself and change your life forever” by Steve Chandler. This exercise will help shine some light on your subconscious emotions and the level of procrastination concerning your project:
Start your meditation. Now envision the project to be a long white board. You have all the physical, mental and emotional capabilities to walk across it. You can dance, jump or walk slowly across it to reach the other end (your goal). Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking over it.
What feelings come up?
Are you scared or feel blocked in any way?
Now, do the same thing again, imagining the board 100 feet high between two buildings.
What do you feel?
What are you saying to yourself?
What thoughts come up?
Does it differ from the visualization before now that the consequences of falling are higher?
You could also do a similar exercise imagining a wall in front of you. I have gone through this exercise with a group and was really surprised by the results.
What does the wall look like? What is it made of? How does it feel? What color is it? Imagine it in every detail.
See what comes up for you …
In the next step tear the wall down and break through the blocks. Your mind will actually guide you in this exercise; you will be surprised ;-). Trust it.
Tool #2: Embrace your laziness
I bet, you didn’t see that one coming ;-). Dive fully in, embrace procrastination, allow yourself to be lazy and do nothing. Allow yourself a break. Let procrastination be your friend! How does it feel? Relieved? The trick is to allow yourself to be lazy, stop feeling bad about it. Give yourself a timeframe. I noticed that motivation comes back even sooner when I do this.
Tool #3: Strengthen your willpower
Your willpower is the fuel, your big WHY is the vehicle. Go back to the root. On some days it is really helpful to reflect on everything that motivates you in the first place. To strengthen your willpower you need a clear Intention, Purpose and Action.
Focus is everything. So where is your focus right now? It’s hard to stay motivated when you are confused, so make sure to get clear on your project, on your goals, on your life mission or on anything that could have the power to pick you up when you are feeling down or confused. Get focused!
(Have you set a goal that can be actually measured? Have you written down a mission statement for your project?)
Your purpose is your big happy, smiling WHY. I am serious: your purpose is your anti-depressant. People who strive for something are generally happier, scientifically proven. What’s your purpose in life or for this project?
(Have you written a bucket list? Have you answered the 3 most important questions of your life?)
Motivation arises from doing the action. Scientific tests have actually shown that emotions and actions happen simultaneously, meaning if you act motivated, motivation will kick right in. Try it out, act happy or motivated right now for 10 minutes and see what happens. Feelings follow behavior. (and I can prove it, writing this blog post now helped me get out of the laziness).
One last thing to get you off the couch – the most empowering question:
Right now, what needs to be done? Regardless of how you feel.
Do you have that much willpower and self-control?
Get the job done anyway.
I have this “habit” 😉 … I feel drawn to books and sometimes I would just pick one up and open up a random page to see what it tells me. I started doing this because most of the time I would read something that actually does help in that minute, resonates with me, makes me smile or gives me some other thoughts. Why am I telling you this?
There is this amazing book called “The motivation manifesto“ by Brendon Bruchard and when I feel procrastination, this is the one I would pick up and read a random page. It works every time. He has written 9 declarations to claim your personal power in such a motivational way, that there is actually no way, I could sit still and do nothing after reading it. This book has the power to light up my fire any time. I am sure, you’ll love it, too.
“100 ways to motivate yourself and change your life forever”, Steve Chandler.
Another really cool book is “The war of art” by Steven Pressfield. A must read for creative people!
Share below what works for you when trying to beat procrastination.