Sometimes a lack of motivation turns into motivated avoidance...How good are you at avoiding doing what you need to do?
Well, I am amazing at it…I can avoid doing stuff that I don’t want to do by being furiously busy doing lots of anything else, and, I can make excuses that are pretty solid with no room for argument – I can say that my avoidance strategy is honed to perfection.
Does any of this sound familiar?
But why do we sometimes lack motivation and actively avoid doing some things?
Sometimes it’s because the task is just too big – it can be overwhelming to the point where we just can’t see how to finish it – so we don’t start.
Sometimes it’s because we are scared that it will go wrong. That perfectionist in us can’t accept anything less than 100% - so we don’t start.
Sometimes we have committed to do something without realising that we neither have the time nor the skill to do it – so it is possible to hide and hope that we don’t have to start or work ourselves into the ground to get it done.
In fact – avoidance is a very human condition, and our busy 21st Century lives give us lots of opportunities to avoid doing the things that, well, we want to avoid and are not motivated to do.
So how can you get motivated into a ‘get it done’ strategy instead of avoiding it? Here are a bunch of practical tips to get you going.
#1 - Nothing happens without action – It’s the only thing that makes sense so even the smallest bit of action can be managed in even the busiest day. And if you are filling your day with nothing – just do one thing…go on…dare you!
#2 – Job too big? How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time and share it with friends. Break that mammoth task down into 15-minute chunks and get someone to share the task with you, planning more 15-minute chunks over a period of time. It’s incredible how quickly a big task can be achieved using the 15-minute chunk method.
#3 – Perfectionist? Adopt the 80/20 rule. If something is 80% right – it’s right enough. Okay, not great for health and safety but works for everything else. Remember, you can only be disappointed by your own expectations so be kind to yourself and expect a little less – you would be forgiving of others, wouldn’t you?
#4 – Say no by saying yes – when you are asked to do something that you know you can’t fit into your busy day just tell the person what it will actually take for you to get it done e.g., long hours that will cost overtime or it means leave something else not done so what is the priority etc. They will either change the timescale to something that fits with you or realise that it is not right for you to do it and ask someone else. By being up front about the true time cost to you it will help others make the right decisions with you.
Avoidance can be avoided!! Go on - do something different and go for action instead – but only in short bursts, you don’t want to overdo it!
Don’t delay – get motivated!
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