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Have you ever tried to push a rock towards the edge of a cliff?  Before you begin, you might actually think that the task is impossible.  In fact, at times projects might seem so overwhelming that you might just not even try.

Often, I catch myself waking up and thinking that it would be nice to just roll over and get a bit more sleep.  I know, however, that once I am in a vertical position, I am ready to tackle the day.

Also, I find that when there is a job waiting for me that I would sooner avoid, the best thing to do is to just start somewhere.

Frequently, people tell me that they don’t feel like doing the things that they know need to be done.  They avoid starting and then find that procrastinating just makes the situation worse.  The unpaid bill grows with interest.  The messy kitchen, just gets messier.  And the relationship problems don’t resolve themselves.

Years ago, I made a calendar for a university course that had a thought for each day of the year.  One of them said “The hardest part of taking a class is opening the book”.  Yes, beginning can be a roadblock to success.

If you are having problems with lack of motivation perhaps some of these tips will help:

  1. Feelings can interfere with productivity. Don’t wait until you feel like doing something because you might never get started.
  2. Projects are more easily accomplished when broken down into smaller pieces. There is an old expression that states “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
  3. Plan your strategy in advance. Measuring, ordering supplies and recruiting help will make the work easier.
  4. Lay out a series of steps that will be done in order. For example, begin cleaning the garage by filling a large garbage bag with disposables before starting to organize what you want to keep.  The more you get rid of, the more motivated you will feel.
  5. Create achievable goals. A goal is a dream with a deadline.  Make sure that you set dates for completion of each step.
  6. Do something towards the goal as early in your day as possible. For several years, for example, I have completed twenty French questions first thing in the morning, before client appointments.  This habit always gives me an emotional boost and ensures that I won’t be too tired or forgetful later on.
  7. Congratulate yourself! Adopt an attitude of healthy pride for completed projects!

It is sad to think that people can invest more time and energy into thinking negatively about the things that they should have done than it would have taken to just do them.

There is one good way to deal with procrastination and guilty feelings – take action!

Name one project that you have been neglecting

Now review the seven tips above and make a commitment to begin tackling it today.  You will be glad you did and will find that you are on your way to developing a better way to navigate life.

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