Thursday, 25 September 2008

Crafty Ways to Source Motivation From Desolation

Image thanks to twob

Today I can't be bothered to post. I just can't. 'Oh, screw it' I'm thinking, 'what's the point?'

But, wait a sec, here I am. By Jove, I am posting!

What I have ingeniously done (she says modestly) is turn my negatives on their heads - I've used them to my advantage, and man, oh man, is it ever satisfying!

I've chosen to post on what it is precisely that's making me not want to post: not being bothered. I, like many a student, sometimes have simply no inclination to get my arse into gear and do what needs doing, but here I am, doing it. I'm living, breathing testimony to the fact that we can source motivation from desolation, we just need to be crafty. And, hey, we're the 'Pinky and The Brain' generation, we know all about being crafty.

Firstly, pin-point what it is that's making you not want to do the task at hand, because it's likely to run deeper than just laziness. Do you feel like you can't do it? Like you've no chance of succeeding in it so why bother? Shut this voice up quick smart! You can do it. I believe you can do anything, so you should too. Give it a good honest go because:

“100% of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.”
Wayne Gretzky

Turn excuses not to do it into excuses to absolutely do it. 'My tutor won't like it, he's never happy with anything I do' turns into 'My tutor won't understand it, but balls to him, I know I'm set for bigger and better things.' You see? Or 'I'd rather go out and get smashed' could turn into 'Everyone else will go out and get smashed, then have to suffer the stress of scribbling their essays out at the last minute with a massive hangover to boot, whilst I look smugly on with a winner of an essay in my hands.' It's that simple.

Tempt your inner child. Promise yourself a treat for good work. 'I'll do an hour of good hard slogging at (insert task here) then I'll go get a bowl of ice-cream.' Though, do be careful you don't bend the rules on this one, be honest to yourself and reward your hard work accordingly.

Use your handicaps as tools in the trade. If you have an essay due in that makes you want to crawl under your duvet and never come out - work with it. Snuggle into bed with your laptop, and channel your bad feelings right on into it. Start with a rant on why you don't want to do it, write about all the individual bits you just can't do, skip on ahead to the conclusion that's so glaringly obvious, it's impossible to write a thousand words on; just start writing anything. You may soon find the outline of an OK essay forming...

Ignite a little enthusiasm for the subject. I've spoken about it before in terms of acing a job interview, but I'll mention it again because it's bloody brilliant advice. I didn't feel at all like blogging today, I really didn't, but I thought about all the reasons I started blogging in the first place and realised that every day is a challenge, but a challenge I've always been willing to except, with a prospectively amazing outcome - and that got me going again.

If your desolate state seems to be unyielding, could it be down to genuine fatigue? If you feel tired, cranky, achy, depressed etc. all the time, don't be afraid to go and have a chat with your doctor, there could be a medical reason for it that you should really know about.


tamsin Hayes said...

Try promising yourself just 10-15 minutes working
on the dreaded task. Your brain likes completion and you may even begin to enjoy it if not you have a get out clause! ...tamsin...

Shanna said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration to finally start that paper I've been neglecting. My attention span is so limited but this article is helping more than I could have imagined!

I love the blog!

Voila Megan said...

Thanks Shanna, it means so much to me to know that my writing is genuinely useful to readers.

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