Have you ever been in a phase where you just “don’t wanna”? You don’t wanna get out of bed early. You don’t wanna make breakfast. You don’t wanna go to work. You don’t wanna write that paper. You don’t wanna take up that book to study. You don’t wanna go to the gym or have that workout session. You don’t wanna parent/adult today. You just don’t wanna! It’s ok if you feel that way sometimes but if this is all the time then “Houston, we have a problem”. Please seek professional preferably medical/psychological evaluation and help.
This “don’t wanna” feeling can be concerning to you because a lot of those things you “have to” do in order to be happy or at the very least content. You have to get out of bed and get ready for work because you need to work to get paid. Someone has to pay for the warmth and that bed you don’t wanna get out of. You have to study or complete that paper because you need to finish school to get qualified to be able to take on the profession you’ve dreamt of and worked so hard towards. You have to work out to keep up with your fitness goals to achieve the physique you told yourself would make you feel happy.
Catch twenty-two, right? Well, what are you gonna do? I’m not you but I have definitely had my “off days” where I just “don’t wanna”. Let me give you some tips that helped me overcome those feelings and be productive.
1. Get a pen and paper (or electronic device you can’t write/type on). Write down 5 activities or tasks you “don’t wanna” but “have to” do. Then add one activity that you don’t “have to” but want to do! Be very specific eg. read chapter x for 20mins, do YouTube Pilates for 10mins, edit that CV for 10mins, choose my outfit for today in 8mins, make that phone call I’ve been avoiding and go to the cafe and try the new drink. There you go! The game plan! Now you have a list of the bare minimum you need to get done for the day.
2. Pump yourself up. Jump out of bed! Get off the couch! Just get up quickly before your mind can convince you otherwise. If you can’t find it within you to do that. Turn to someone else for encouragement. YouTube videos, podcasts, an encouraging book, devotional, a friend . Whatever motivates you, consume 3-5mins of that. I wouldn’t go beyond 10mins of this as it may back fire and turn into a binge watching/reading session(I have indeed watched people working out on YouTube while eating chips). Get up!
3. Do the damn things. Just do them. There is absolutely nothing holding you back from doing what you “have to” except you. Blame your emotions, your body, others, the universe, whoever you want. It’s on you. All up to you. The only way to get things done is to do them. There is no way around it. I won’t sugar-coat it. The product won’t order itself. The book won’t write itself. The squats won’t squat themselves. The meals won’t prep themselves. Only you can do that so go do it!
4. Psychoanalyze! If you find that you have just been refusing to do what you “have to” for a very long time, it’s time to really find out why. Write down that thing you “have to” do and then write down why you haven’t done it. What are the roadblocks. Is it your mindset? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it lack of resources/money? Is it fear? Is it that deep down you don’t believe that the action you need to take is worth it to you or aligns with your purpose? Look at your answers. Those right there are just simpler problems awaiting simple solutions. Problem solve, find the simple solutions. Break it down into tiny pieces like we did with creating the game plan. Get stuff done. Do something everyday to move the needle forward.
5. Change your mindset. I know we’ve been talking about what you “have to” do. However that phrase in and of itself can induce negative feelings. Switch it up! Instead of “have to” try “get to” “blessed to” “lucky to” “able to”. Sounds silly and simple but trust me on this one. It is a tried and true method of productivity. Say. “I get to work at this company and learn from their mistakes and successes so that I can be a better manager when I get that position”. If you want to kick it up a notch. Instead of thinking that you “have to” do these things, proclaim that you have already done them! You did it! You showed up at the gym today! You wrote a paragraph today! You did some practice questions! You replied to the email! You made dinner at home instead of succumbing to the aromas of that fast food place on the way home! Yes, honey you did that!
6. Get help! Yes I thought of that in the voice of Thor from Thor Ragnarok, in the scene where he and Loki tricked the guards of Sakaar as they were about to steal their ship to escape. However, this tip is no joke and no trick. Get help if you need it. Get help with motivation. As I said earlier, find it in a friend, in a book, in a video. If you are sad and believe you may be suffering from clinical depression or other mental health issues, seek help from professional health care and wellness providers. If you need help getting money and resources, seek out trustworthy sources. If a task is too overwhelming for you, ask for help. It may have been that this whole time the burden of the task was just to much to bear so you chose to avoid it. This can lead to haunting feelings everyday which translates into “I just don’t wanna”. Get help my friend. Get help!
7. Finally, lucky number 7! Congratulate yourself for previous wins! Doesn’t matter how small they are! Remind yourself you are a badass! Say yes! Remember that time last month when I did not want to reply to that email but I did and it resulted in me making an awesome professional link!? Remember when I did a 10mins Pilates session every day for a week even though I totally did not wanna do that but then started feeling and seeing results with my core!? Ooooh-ooooh, remember when I got off the couch, put something semi nice on and went to the cafe down the street and ended up reading 3 chapters of the book I had been putting off for weeks?! Go off honey! You did that!
Don’t be fooled by social media or what other people say! It’s not always sunshines and rainbows in life. Some days are just “don’t wanna” days! However, you can do a 180 on those days and do the things you want!