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csurry 16 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 11:08AM

What do you do when you just can not get motivated to do any of the multitude of tasks that you should be doing?

My normal solution is to make a list of the jobs that I should be doing and then to take some satisfaction from ticking them off one by one. That is not working.

I think it is because I don't have a time limit. Since I am not currently working there is no deadline by which I have to get the tasks finished, and therefore the impetus to start them is just missing.

I need a strategy - else I will be offered a new job and then still be in a mess because I have not completed these tasks. I know that I should be doing them, but...

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User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 11:16AM
I'm exactly the same, I Googled for help but just don't know which to read first. Think I'll have a bit read of the epz forums first then click on one of those links. Maybe after I've been on Facebook to find what my friends think of last night's TV / food / misc.


Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
28 Nov 2011 11:19AM
Hi Cheryl,

Write your list - and be realistic. Then strike off the ones that can be let go / or delegate them. Start with the ones you hate doing, the ones you like will be easy and enjoyable at the end.

Set yourself a deadline (maybe promise yourself a reward if you achieve your aims).

Also get yourself out, have a walk or something just to clear the head make yourself feel good.

If you achieve your goals you will feel better.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 11:20AM
I did once listen to a Tony Robbins talk on the subject. He says everything we do in life is to avoid pain and to seek pleasure. We only do painful things when to do not do them will be more painful, that's our motivation.

The example he gives is of tidying his apartment when he was younger. It was always easier (and less painful) to watch TV. Until the point where the place is that messy that you can't find anything and it's more painful to continue than the pain of tidying up.

Similarly avoiding homework til the day before it's due in, then painfully rushing it.

I never found out the solution because I cba to listen to the rest of his talks!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 11:27AM
I always used Nick's method (and indeed, used to use it in time management courses that I ran for my company)

If there is a financial benefit to be achieved (I'm assuming these are part of your pro work?) flag up those that give the biggest reward for your time and try to hit those first.

Another trick can be to schedule in time for something you want to do rather than have to do and use this to break up the bulk a bit
csurry 16 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 11:28AM
Your first post Chris sounds exactly like my day to day activity at the moment.

I think the problem is that a number of the tasks are conflicting.

I have a number of "irons in the fire" so to speak with regards to new roles.

A couple require me to read up on some new technology, etc. The thing is, if I don't get the role then I could have been doing one of the other tasks. And that's why I can't decide which to do first. Do I concentrate on the role I might like the best, or the one most likely to happen?

Aaarrrgggggghhhh! Would be easier if I could work out which role is more likely to happen and when.
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
28 Nov 2011 11:32AM
The one you like best - then it will become more likely to happen as you will be better informed. That is unless the one you want is a pipe dream, then concentrate on the one currently most likely to happen.

Why not split the day
1. 1 hour most likely project
2. 1 hour pet project
3. 1 hour "me" time

and repeat. Also look at common functions between the two which would benifit either position.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 11:51AM
Sounds like you may have a complex interweaving and interdependency of tasks. This often happens to me and I end up putting a load of stuff on the backburner.

A simplified fictional example of the sort of thing that might happen:

I need to paint the windowsill but have to clear the benches first and the dishwasher is full. I can't put the dishwasher on because I've ran out of dishwasher tablets. I can't go to the shop to buy any tablets because I'm in my scruffy painting clothes, as soon as I paint this windowsill I'll get changed.

I get into more complex versions of that which feature a myriad of people, emails, phone calls, meetings and it's hard to sort out and easier to procrastinate.
keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 11:55AM

Quote:I think the problem is that a number of the tasks are conflicting.

I have a number of "irons in the fire" so to speak with regards to new roles.

I get that all the time. So I come here instead. Smile

Make sure the list includes either

a) some things you know you want to do or absolutely have to do

b) some things you already have done

e.g. "ask for advice on ephotozine"

At the end of the day you can tick those off and at least your morale should improve.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:03PM
Thanks so far.

I have created a new list. Trying to prioritise the items is a bit of an issue.

In the meantime I am not just reading this thread I am actually rewriting my CV (again). Though this one is specifically for one of the potential roles. So at least I am focusing on something.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
28 Nov 2011 12:23PM
Get Brian Tracey's book " Eat that Frog "

I got the audio book and listen to it from time to time - all about working out what the biggest, scariest, most important task you have to do - doing that first, then everything else gets easier.

There's more to it, but that's the jist.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:30PM
I bought it on the Kindle for iPad but have not got around to reading it.

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
28 Nov 2011 12:31PM
lol - actually, the MP3 is great because you can do chores and learn at the same time. my satnav has an MP3 player and I put books on that when I've a long journey.
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 1:13PM
I used to procrastinate over everything. Now I just can't be bothered WinkWinkWink

Seriously, I believe sometimes when you don't feel motivated to do anything it's your bodies way of telling to take a break. However, ultimately, and at some point you have to start somewhere and any start usually leads to new ideas on how to progress.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 1:32PM
You could be right Adam, but that was the point of having October free to do whatever I wanted after a really busy period of work.

I suppose I expected to just be able to get back in to things without too much effort.

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