How to stay motivated when the last thing you want to do is work

Getting down to work when everything in you is telling you ‘No, you have more time’ is incredibly tempting. Without constant nagging it’s easily to just tell yourself that you will do something when you’re feeling more up to the task. But there comes a time when we really need to get down to business and it’s no longer a choice of doing something to keep on top of things, it becomes more of a matter when something HAS to be done. The analogy I like to think of is quick sand, at first when you step in it, it’s only up to your ankles and you think to yourself “Okay, I do need to get out of this, but at the same time it’s not immediate”. Before you know it’s up to your waist, you’re still able to get out of it, but the desperation is greater. Once you start to slowly claw yourself out, before you know it your chest deep and you honestly feel like you’re never going to dig yourself out. The problem with getting work done is that is can be difficult to gauge when you’re only ankle deep and still able to easily get out.

How can this problem be solved? One beneficial way is to start a small piece of an assignment, say a week before its due. It doesn’t even have to be a lot, a paragraph of an essay? Maybe a page?

Try breaking it down to a paragraph a day, writing a half of a page of an essay a week; half is a lot more appealing than 6 pages the night before it’s due.

All these techniques sound easy enough, but in actuality, it can be difficult to sit down and get started.

My tip?

Mini-procrastination. It may sound absurd, but it really is simple; before you sit down to write a paragraph, get your mind prepared. Clean your room, put some laundry in the washer, clean off your desk and get all your tools laid out. Get your mind in ‘the zone’ and remind yourself it’s only one paragraph. Block distractions for 30 minutes and viola! A paragraph is complete. Once this becomes a habit, it becomes even easier. The key is to START the habit.

– Jenn