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5 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Lazy

5 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Lazy

Picture this: you have a mile-long to-do list and three hundred goals you’re working towards achieving. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything. It’s hard to stay focused and you’re just so unmotivated. Sound familiar? If your answer is yes, just know that you’re not alone.

Honestly, everyone has days like this. I know I do. Sometimes we don’t feel good, sometimes we’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the work that’s in front of us, sometimes we’re in a bad mood, or sometimes we’re just feeling lazy. But no matter why you’re feeling so unmotivated, the bottom line is that it’s a struggle – and sadly, you’re on the losing side.

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The way I look at it, you have two options on these lazy days. You can either sit around and let your to-do list mock you and cause you even more stress, or you can find ways to be productive and motivate yourself. If you choose the second option, here are some tips that you can use to get stuff done even when you just don’t feel like it.

1. Break down your big tasks

Big tasks or goals can obviously seem daunting, especially if you’re in a ‘blah’ sort of mood. So you should try to break down the big tasks into smaller ones. This will be less intimidating and more motivating. For example, if you have to create a big presentation for work, you could break that down into each step that’s involved in that process and then start working towards them. This makes the steps smaller and you’ll probably feel more motivated to complete each one of them.

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2. Get your body moving.

Sometimes, you don’t feel like doing anything because you…well, haven’t done anything. Not getting enough exercise can definitely make you feel lazy and crummy. So do some jumping jacks, jog around the block, or just walk around your house. Anything will work as long as you’re getting your blood pumping. This is a sure-fire way to give yourself more energy to get things done.

3. Just focus on one thing.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed because you just have so many tasks to do, this alone can make you feel like you don’t want to do anything. It can just destroy all of your motivation because it’s stressing you out. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just pick one task to work on – preferably your most important one. Just put all of your focus on that one task and get it done. Once you’ve finished it, you’ll probably find that you have motivation to work on the rest of your list. Sometimes you just have to get started.

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4. Take a break to recharge.

One of my favorite ways to motivate myself is to take a break from whatever I’m feeling so unmotivated to do and spend time doing something that makes me feel energized instead. Take some time to focus on a hobby that puts you in a good mood. When you’re done, you’ll go back to your to-do list happy and refreshed. This could give you the motivation you need to work on your less fun, ickier tasks.

5. Give yourself a reward.

Research shows that people are more likely to do a task, if they are offered an incentive for completing it. So set a reward for yourself that you only get if you complete your to-do list – or complete each task if that’s more appealing to you. Treat yourself to something that you’ve been wanting or even something small like a relaxing bath or a glass of wine. Here’s a list of over 50 ways to reward yourself for reaching your goals, if you need some ideas.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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