Let’s set the scene. You’re supposed to write a blog post/make some jewelry/update your LinkedIn profile/write another chapter of your novel, and You Just Don’t Wanna. The brain’s not workin’, the juju ain’t flowin’, and it’s all a big effort that leaves you whiny/exhausted/stressed/frustrated. Thanks to all your suggestions, here are some options to make it happen (or give yourself the guilt-free space to walk away!):
- Set a timer. I like that Natasha sets it based on her I Don’t Wanna level. If it’s a low case of I Don’t Wannas, she sets it for 45 minutes and knows she’ll be done then, powering through until the ringer goes off. If she has an extreme case of the I Don’t Wannas, she sets the timer for “just” 10 minutes. That amount of time might allow her to shake it off and turn the I Don’t Wanna into an I Wanna, but if not…hey, at least she’s gotten 10 minutes of work done!
- Ask yourself, “Why don’t I wanna?” In the post I wrote yesterday, a lot of it had to do with my environment – so I left and tried again somewhere else. It also had to do with being tired and sluggish – so when I got home, I closed my eyes for 15 minutes because I knew it would help most with recharging my batteries. Do your best to hone in on what’s not working, and then tweak it. You can do this by journaling, by sitting in a quiet spot, and/or by continuing to ask yourself “Why?” after each response until something pings inside ya.
- Ask yourself, “What do I wanna do?” While it might not be feasible to be on a beach sipping a Pina Colada in that moment, can you recreate it for a while? Maybe making a smoothie and watching/listening to some ocean sounds would be a good substitute. Or maybe you wanna do something else that’s “productive”, but not what you’re supposed to be doing in that moment. Would it matter if ya switch, or give into it for a while?
- Remind yourself of the end goal. Why are you supposed to be doing this thing, anyway? Why is it important? As they say in ActingLand: what’s your motivation? Feel free to write it down and post it where you need to do that work, or have a visual representation of it.
- Bribe yourself. If you do it/get through it/start it/finish it/work on it for X minutes, then you get to take a bath/enjoy some chai tea/read your fave blogs/call your bestie. Set the reward first, though, and make it specific so you know what you’re working for.
- Reframe your perspective. Old: “I can’t believe I hafta do This Thing now! Blech” New: “Wow, I get to do This Thing now! Cool!” Old: “I don’t wanna write a new blog post today. I have nothing exciting to say.” New: “I can’t wait to share X with my blog friends today! They’re gonna love it.” You might not actually believe it, but humor me and say it regardless. With some pep. You might just trick yourself into taking it as the truth.
- “Just put on your sneakers.” I hear this all the time in regards to working out, and I think it so rings true. If the thought of actually going to the gym or doing the running leaves you unable to get out of bed, tell yourself that you’re “just gonna put on my sneakers.” 9 times out of 10 you’ll find that’s the worst part, and once you have your sneakers on, you’re able to walk out that door and start your workout. Replace the workout analogy for whatever you need to do, and take that step before the first step. But if you get your sneaks on and still don’t wanna – go back to bed without beating yourself up.
- Recognize that taking a break/making time for self-care/recharging your batteries is productive. Because if you realize you’re not doin’ it because you physically can’t, then how are you gonna be of any use to anyone (yes, I like thinking of My Business as an “anyone”)? You’re not. Period. Take a break so you can start fresh, be alert, and do some major damage (with ease!) in an hour or a day.
- Give yourself a choice. What else can ya do in that moment that would still count towards your goal, or something else you need to do that day? Andi explains that, “feeling like I have a choice tricks my brain into moving forward.” You still might not be jazzed about any of it, but picking what seems easiest might ease ya back into a case of the I Wannas.
- Let it go. If you can’t replace the “supposed to” with “must” and have it ring true, then walk away from it, guilt-free. Or recognize that the bad/angry/cranky/sluggish/tired mood you’re in won’t allow ya to do what you’re supposed to, so don’t force it. Take your space, your nap, your walk around the block, and let it go. You can come back to it another time.
Regardless, many of you talked about the guilt that comes if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, so no matter what – be nice to yourself. None of us seem to take walking away from our work lightly, and if you use any of the steps above I think you might be able to see how important it is to give in to the I Don’t Wannas when there are real, truthful, honest non-excuses attached – and that it’s productive in it’s own way. Not only is it allowed – it’s necessary. Word. To your Mom.