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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

5 Things to Do If You Don’t Want to Get Back to Work

5 Things to Do If You Don’t Want to Get Back to Work

Some days, getting back to work is a real struggle. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by our endless to-do list or tempted by the social media or news just a tab away. And we can quickly find ourselves zoning out and procrastinating the work that needs to get done.

And let’s face facts—once we’re pulled away into distraction, it can feel nearly impossible to re-focus and motivate ourselves back to work.

So how do you shift gears and actually get back to work? Try these five proven strategies to get going again and finish what needs to get done:

1. Take a Time-Restrained Break

We all need natural breaks from work. While it might feel like we just need to plow forward and push ourselves to finish the work, research actually shows that short breaks can actually improve focus, replenish energy, and increase productivity.[1]

So, instead of pressuring yourself to “get back to work,” take an intentional break to refuel and enjoy the momentary pause that you’re actually needing.

But the key is for the break to be—a break. To keep yourself from getting lost in the break and never getting back to work, set a timer on the break. When your brain knows that the break is temporary, it’s more likely to maximize the restful benefits of the break and not try to get caught up in focused thinking about something new.

Whether you’re taking a 15-minute pause or a 30-minute lunch, a time-restrained break lets you rest and rejuvenate so that you can jump back into it when the timer goes off.

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2. Reward Yourself for Completing the Task

When we’re not feeling motivated, the most effective way to turn it around is to create motivation. Create some reward that you’ll give yourself if you complete the task at hand—it could be an afternoon walk, an ice cream sundae, or an hour of video games at the end of the workday. Whatever reward you choose, just make sure it’s one that actually excites you and that you’ll look forward to.

The anticipation of the reward will give you the motivation to finish the task because you begin to associate the task with the enjoyable reward you’ll get afterward. For example, if you’ve got to finish a report by the end of the day, you could decide to celebrate by picking up your favorite food for dinner. The entire day, the thought of that delicious meal can give you an added boost to get the job done.

But you don’t just have to wait until your work is finished to reward yourself. In fact, research shows that periodic rewards earlier actually improve productivity and focus the most.[2]

So, rather than wait until you finish the whole task to get the big reward, you could plan out smaller rewards in between, such as a coffee break after the first section or a walk around the neighborhood after the second. These small breaks are both time-restrained (as mentioned in the strategy above) and reward-based to give you the motivation to keep going.

And that extra motivation can help you get back to work and get the tasks done with a lot less resistance.

3. Make a Smart to-Do List

Getting back to work feels overwhelming when there’s a lot to do. And, these days, the endless tasks on our to-do lists make it hard to even begin to tackle them. When we’ve got a really long to-do list, our first instinct is actually to avoid doing anything rather than even look at that laundry list.

So, instead of focusing on all of the tasks, get smarter with your to-do list.

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Generic to-do lists don’t work for most people because they create overwhelm before the tasks are even started. But what does work is a manageable prioritization of what actually needs to get done.

To get started with a smart to-do list, make a list of everything you have to do, and then star the most pressing three need-to-do tasks and put the rest of the list aside.

When we’re forced to prioritize only three tasks, we shift our focus to what will make the greatest impact. And three tasks is a lot more manageable than the 50 we previously had on our list, so it’s easier to muster up the motivation to get back to work. We can all finish three simple things.

And then, if you complete those three tasks with time to spare, go ahead and choose another three., and then another three. By splitting the list up into sets of three by priority, you reduce overwhelm and increase the odds of getting more checked off the list.

Ironically, when you choose to cut your list down to just three tasks, you actually make it possible to do more tasks because you tackle the list in manageable bits that reduce overwhelm, increase productivity, and maintain the motivation necessary to get it all done.

4. Reach Out for Support

According to Newton’s Law of Inertia, an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Or, in other words, you’re unlikely to get yourself moving again without a little support.

It’s really hard to get started up again once you’ve stopped something. So odds of willing ourselves there without some outside force are pretty low. That means that you need something outside of yourself–like a friend or colleague–to re-motivate yourself.

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If you’re feeling stuck and unable to get back to work, reach out for support from someone who can give you a little motivation. You could bounce ideas off of a colleague to get yourself re-inspired; or work through your resistance with a quick phone call to a friend; or even get new ideas on how to tackle the project from a new angle.

In fact, research even shows that quick chats with colleagues and friends can actually boost the area of the brain that controls focus, planning, prioritization, and even organization.[3] That means that taking a moment to talk and ask for support can optimize your brain to be even more effective.

So, next time you’re stuck, reach out for support and chat your way back to motivation.

5. Just Start, And Start Small

The hardest part of getting back to work is always—getting back to work—or, actually starting up again.

But every big project is really just a compilation of small, simple steps. A proposal is started with just one word. A phone call is started with dialing one number. A new initiative is started with just one e-mail. Everything is started by just—starting.

It can feel overwhelming to get started when you don’t know how to complete the entire project or have clarity over what the end result will look like. So don’t.

Instead, just start. For example, let’s say you’ve got a massive writer’s block. You can simply start typing, “I don’t know what to write, but I’m determined to write today. So I’m going to keep typing until I have an idea.” And now you’re started. You’ve already overcome the biggest hurdle–writing words on a page.

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You may not have the clarity yet, but you’ve shifted yourself into the mode that will give you that clarity.

By beginning in the process of working again, your mind eventually switches gears back into work mode. You don’t have to be motivated to get back into it; you just have to start.

Final Thoughts

It’s really hard to get back to work when you’re out of the swing of it. It can feel completely overwhelming, like nothing can remotivate you. And all of the tasks are just hanging over your head, preventing you from even enjoying your procrastination.

The brain actually functions differently when it’s deep in “work mode” versus “non-work mode”, making it hard to switch from one to the other.

That’s why we need proven strategies that can help you get right back to work and finally cross what needs to get done off the list.

By giving yourself time-restrained breaks, creating rewards, making a smart to-do list, reaching out for support, and just starting, you’re setting yourself up for success in getting it all done.

And the sooner you get back to work, the sooner you can finish the tasks and enjoy your time off without anything else hanging over your head.

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Featured photo credit: NordWood Themes via unsplash.com

Reference

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Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele is a Purpose + Brand Strategist who figures out what makes you naturally successful. Then helps you do it on purpose.

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Published on May 4, 2021

50 Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

50 Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

Do you know how there are saying or words of encouragement that you remember and use all the time? Some came from a loved one, some bring you comfort, and others stick with you from your past and possibly hold you stuck.

These are the words of encouragement that come to mind when you need them most to remind you that:

  • You’ve got this.
  • You can overcome any obstacle.
  • Nothing will stop you.
  • No matter what you need, you will find the solutions.
  • What you really want in life, you can have it. Honestly, you can have it.

Look for the quotes that resonate with you, and write them somewhere prominent in your life. Look for simple solutions and strategies because they are the ones that have the biggest impact. There is a reason why some of the great ideas from the ancients are still the most used and adaptable to 21st-century living—because they work.

Quotes that inspire need to be easy to remember, connect with you on a personal level, and fire up your passion, enthusiasm, and goals in life.

50 Quotes and Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

Here are 50 quotes and words of encouragement to keep you inspired and motivated.

1.

    2.“For what reasons can it not be you?”

    3. Ditch the guilt. Guilt is one emotion that never leads to good things. Remove the guilt and you can move on.

    4. At this moment in time, you are everything you need to be everything you want to be.

    5. The day you realize how amazing you are is the day the world had better stand back.

    6. You need to know on a good day how to look after yourself and your success on a bad day. How will you ensure you take action on this advice?

    7. Your mind can be a power for your success or power for your failure. Choose wisely the quality of your thoughts. How will you monitor the quality of your thoughts and ensure they work for you?

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    8. Even the long-distance swimmer does not achieve success on their own—who is in your team toward success?

    9. How do you keep going? Look how far you have come. What helped you get this far? Who helped you get this far? How will they feature in the future to ensure you succeed and overcome?

    10. Life is easier with love—swap the word “life” for success, happiness, achieving your goals. Now ask yourself—where do you get your love from? The first place should be you.

    11.

      12. Learn the science of who you are. This is powerful knowledge that will empower you to move forward no matter what you face or want to achieve.

      13. Trying to copy the route to success that someone else took doesn’t guarantee you success. You have to honor your values, beliefs, and experiences.

      14. What you think is possible is absolutely correct. Challenge what you think.

      15. For one month, ask this question every day and score yourself out of 10 (10 being exceptional, 1 being lousy). Write the answer in your phone’s calendar: How successful do I feel? You can swap successful for happy, rich, loved, etc. Notice what affects your score.

      16. Remember that everything changes. The hibernating tree looks dead but will return in the spring rejuvenated. This is essential knowledge for good times and bad. In bad times, it reminds you to keep going, and in good times, it reminds you to be grateful and keep looking to learn and grow. (Just like that tree!)

      17. What’s stopping you? Is it a perception or a fact? Either way, you can do something about it, even if it is just to change the thoughts attached to the thing that is stopping you. Nothing can have power over you unless you let it.

      18. Steer clear of negative people, news, and views. It’s all too easy to get dragged into other people’s negativity. Understand how negative news, views, and people impact you. If you can’t find ways to keep that negativity away, then step away metaphorically and physically. Your success will appreciate it.

      19. The quality of your thoughts and feelings impacts your actions and results. Everything you can see started as a thought. So, when you need encouragement, ask yourself, “are my thoughts enabling me or disabling me?” Are my thoughts “moving me forward or holding me back?”

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      20.

        21. Sad isn’t bad. We get all the emotions, not just the good ones. So, when you feel sad, guilty, lonely, upset, frustrated, angry, mad, don’t push those emotions away. Take yourself through this process:

        1. For what reason am I feeling this?
        2. What does it tell me about my life right now?
        3. What does it tell me about my actions and results right now?
        4. What would I like to feel instead?
        5. What would this do for me?
        6. How will I get myself there?

        Take yourself through the process and own all emotions.

        23. The one thing you can control is what you think.

        24. On this planet, your job is not to fit in. Your job is to shine. Stand out. Speak up, and be the unique individual you are meant to be. It’s the quickest way to lasting success.

        25. Words can only have power if you let them. Good words, bad words. Happy words. Successful words. Which words are you giving the most power to?

        26. If you want to achieve more, you’ve got to assume you are worth it. Are you worth it? (The answer is “Yes, with bells on are you worth it!”) And if you don’t believe this, then what will you do to rocket your confidence?

        27. While many fear failure, it is a gift in disguise. It tells you what not to repeat, it tells you what didn’t work, and it moves you forward to what you want to achieve. Don’t berate and hate your failures. They are driving you forward to your success.

        28. It’s hard to achieve great things if you don’t have a plan. It’s like wanting to go on holiday and just rocking up at the airport on the off chance you can get on a plane going to your dream destination. Plan what you want and create a plan of action to help get you there. It’s easier and faster.

        29. Everyone needs someone in their corner—someone to cheerlead, support, nurture, and wipe your grazed knees and remind you that you can. Who is in your corner? You can add me to that list.

        30. Social media is supposed to be good for you. It’s supposed to connect you to like-minded people, inspire you, motivate you, and make you laugh, feel connected, and loved like you are part of something truly special. If it doesn’t, start snoozing the haters, step away from the negative groups, and look for the things that inspire you—yes you can include cute funny cat videos!

        31. Action! The key to success is knowing when to take action and when to stop.

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        32. When someone tells you that one book changed their life, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. If it doesn’t work for you, you did not fail, the book failed. The book was the wrong book for you. Don’t stop reading. Just look for the right fit for you.

        33. Just as all people are different with different beliefs and aspirations, so is the journey to success and progress different for all. Expecting to move forward and get what you want by copying others is not the same as looking up to the right role models.

        34. Your success, happiness, and progress in life are not dependent on luck. It is dependent on self-belief. Check your levels.

        35. It is not beneficial to apologize for what you need in life. It takes away its value to you. If you need it, own it!

        35. It’s a good idea to know the difference between enjoying the breeze and being pushed around by life.

        36. Motivation. If you are needing some, don’t look for it on a bad day. Look for it on a good day. Music, aromas, people, environments, photos, even fairy lights, and dancing can be the key to kick you back into action and results.

        37. Black and white. Nothing in life is black and white and yet people want things to be like this—to be “yes” or “no.” Final. Getting what you want in life rarely is so finite. You need to be able to accept a bit of grey area in life to get more of what you want. Being someone reliant on absolutes makes it so much harder.

        38. The racing driver does not concentrate on the brick wall at the side of the road as they race at 100+ miles per hour. They concentrate on the bend, the next bend, the finish line, and success. If you don’t want to hit the wall, concentrate on the track.

        39.

          40. Choosing to stop thinking about something because it upsets you, infuriates you, or angers you doesn’t mean your brain is not trying to process how you feel. You need to make space to process those negatives so that you are back in the flow and doing what you excel at.

          41. Being reactive instead of proactive stops you from moving forward. What needs to change?

          42. Is your fundamental desire for what you want rooted in love? If it is not, question how powerful your motivation is.

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          43. When you really need motivation and encouragement and want to reach out to others, did you know that helping others also helps you? Altruism is a fast way to feeling good and doing good and it, in turn, helps you to feel motivated, too.

          44. Think back to a time that you overcome adversity, achieved something big, or kept going when you really didn’t want to. What skills do you notice? What were you telling yourself? What did you learn about who you are? How will you use that knowledge moving forward?

          45. “Don’t,” “Won’t,” and “Can’t” all have power. One holds power over you, one is neutral, and one takes ownership. Which one are you using? Can you tell the difference?

          46. Whoever said words had no power had never met a powerful coach! Words can be the building blocks to overcoming anything and getting what you want in life. So, what words are you allowing in your head? How do you word your goals and ambitions?

          47. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Is that a good idea with a starving tiger in the same room? Will you stick around and have a chat about how you wish to overcome the fear of the tiger or will you take action? Move so far away from your fear that it doesn’t exist? And get an expert to help you deal with the tiger? Analogies like this help you see how fear is allowed to stick around and how to get rid of it permanently.

          48. Believing that “it is what it is” is a great way to stay stuck. If you choose to believe there is a better way, you will find it.

          49. Being honest about what you face is not moaning, it’s reaching out. If people see this as moaning, they are the wrong people to be turning to. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your network of friends, colleagues, and people you can trust.

          50. Look in the mirror, who do you see? Someone you love or someone you loathe? Both will impact your success.

          So, What Now?

          Now that you’ve read 50 quotes and words of encouragement, which ones got you thinking and which ones can’t you remember reading? Some will really resonate with you and make you question how you think and how you act. Take just three minutes to decide which words of encouragement are going to be your mantra for the coming week.

          Take the time at the end of the week to review and reflect. Did you see any improvement? Did you really remember to hold on to this quote with the power to encourage you forward to great things?

          If not, stop in your tracks and consider how much you believe in yourself. The most powerful words in the world can’t work on the person who already believes that they are good enough, capable, or have failed.

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          Featured photo credit: Prateek Katyal via unsplash.com

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