Love those Monday mornings when I’ve made my to-do list and get cranking. I wish! Scattered, unfocused, unmotivated and distracted are more like it. How to get back on track? It’s simple - make a list. Just by making a list, you’ve accomplished something. Now run with that dopamine hit!
When you just don’t want to do it, be kind to yourself. Start small and work your way up when that’s how your day is going. With each accomplishment, you’ll be able to focus better.
My “just don’t want to do it” from this morning is writing this blog. I’ve put it off since 7am and it’s already 1:40pm. What have I accomplished in that time? A lot, actually. I’ve written and answered emails, paid bills, fielded phone calls, made a quiche, and bonded with my son. (He just found the super secret hiding spot for special occasion soda that I stashed at the beginning of the year. That’s actually a win for mom, as it was only a matter of time and it took him ten months.) But, I haven’t published a blog which was my priority for the morning. So I’m doing it now. I’m just going to do it. Here’s how:
No social media, news update, emails. Stay off of anything with a feed.
Break down the task into steps.
Establish a time and stick to it with each step. I’m opting for forty minutes each today.
Do one step at a time.
Cross off the finished step.
Get up and move around between steps. Walk, dance, shake, stretch. For bonus points, do it outside.
If you’re stuck, find a distraction that will clear your head. Like emptying the dishwasher. Throwing in a load of laundry. Or my favorite, doing a crossword puzzle.
Go back to your work area. I know, that’s obvious, but needs to be stated.
Start the next step.
Repeat until finished.
Once you get going, it will get easier. I’m practically on a roll. I took a break at 2:30pm and raked the leaves in the front yard for fifteen minutes. I’m feeling good. Now I have to post the blog and share it on social media. I’m in the home stretch. I should be done by 3:00pm.
When you’ve accomplished your task, make note of the completion and find a way to celebrate. For example, if you have a thirteen year old like I do, you can offer to share a soda while you tell him the news. His googly-eyed expression and look of concern will double your joy.
Lisa Dubino is a content creator and online problem finder and solver. Secretly would rather be offline playing outside.