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How to Motivate Yourself to Do Things You Don't Want to Do

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https://hbr.org/2018/12/how-to-motivate-yourself-to-do-things-you-dont-want-to-do

hbr.org

How to Motivate Yourself to Do Things You Don't Want to Do
Executive Summary No matter how generally motivated you are, all of us have some tasks that we don't want to do. Maybe we find them boring, pointless, draining, time consuming, annoying, or anxiety producing. So how do you get motivated in these types of situations?

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You can decide to do something without ever getting excited about it

You could choose to do something because it will:

  • Lower your anxiety.
  • Benefit someone who you care about.
  • Lead to financial gain.
  • Avoid a negative conseque...

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When you have a low drive to move forward:

  • Put a low-frequency activity ahead of a high-frequency activity.
  • Give yourself a standard time and honor it: Block time for important activities.
  • Lim...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as s...

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

Avoiding action

The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

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Our brains are programmed to procrastinate

It’s easier for our brains to process concrete and immediate outcomes rather than abstract and future things. So the short-term effort easily dominates the long-term upside in our minds— b...

To make the benefits of action feel bigger and more real:

  • Visualize how great it will be to get it done.
  • Pre-commit, publicly.
  • Confront the downside of inaction.

Considering the downside of putting a task off will help move forward with it

While we might weigh the pros and cons of doing something new, we far less often consider the pros and cons of not doing that thing. This often leads us to ignore some obvious benefits of getting stuff done.

How to Get Motivated

How to Get Motivated

Develop a Routine. Create a series of events that you always perform before doing a specific task.

  • Step 1: Start by doing something so easy that you can't say no to it.