It isn’t about waiting for motivation, it’s about putting yourself in the position of having no choice. Let’s have a look to find the answer to your graduate problems.
As someone interested in self-improvement, personal development, and all that fluff that keeps me from doing what I should be doing, I’ve read a fair few articles on improving motivation.
The bizarre thing is that the advice is great; planning your day ahead of time, setting yourself goals, adding rewards and trying not to beat yourself up for not getting enough done are all great pieces of advice for students and graduates. But here’s the thing: for me, reading all this stuff and absorbing all this information only made me feel like there are more things on my checklist that I can’t tick off. Every time I’ve searched for this kind of advice, I’ve been searching for distractions. If ‘freeze’ has been added as a third response to stress in additional to ‘fight’ or ‘flight’, then I think this is exactly what we’re talking about.
Anxiously scrolling, heart still pounding from that third coffee, seeking a miracle cure for the mysterious affliction of having stuff to do. The items on this list are habits, and conditioning yourself to adhere to them takes time and a whole lot of patience with yourself.
What I’ve discovered is that motivation isn’t a necessary precursor to getting stuff done, it’s the result. Feeling a fleeting burst of motivation is cool, but it’s also totally fine to just not be feeling it today. And feeling as though you’ve failed because you aren’t adhering to habit a, b and c isn’t going to help. ‘That’s Great… But What Now?’
Make sure you recognise that motivation can be fleeting, and having an off day doesn’t mean you aren’t still doing a great job. Take the pressure off. Accept that you may not get as much done today, aim lower, and give yourself a pat on the back for whatever you achieve. So many of my own issues with productivity have revolved around perfectionism, so cut yourself some slack.
And if getting less done isn’t an option, feed on that sweet nectar. If you don’t have a choice, you have to start. No time for cute habits (#lastminutecrew where you at?!)
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