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081E – When You Don’t Feel Like It

Sometimes you just don't feel like doing what you need to do. You're too hot, too cold, too tired, having too much fun. You don't feel like it.

How important is this thing you “have to do”? If it's not important, no worries. But if it is, sometimes you just need to paste on a smile, choose to have a good attitude, and go do it.

Remember, there's a point at which we can reach decision fatigue each day. We've asked ourselves too many questions, or the same questions too many times, and our brain finally runs out of decision juice. 😉 So what can we do to get ourselves up and going?

When at all possible, planning ahead for the thing you need to do will help you get up and do it without thinking about it. For instance, I lay out my running clothes the night before mornings I'm going to run. I check the weather so I can wear the right clothes. I fill my water bottle, lay out my keys, make sure my iPod or phone is charged enough, and I try to remember to put my sunglasses in the pile (though that one thing I do tend to forget half the time).

When you can have a plan for this thing you're going to do later, you won't be as tempted to ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this?” You won't open yourself up to the temptation to put it off. The less you think about it, the more you can make “it” run on auto-pilot, the more likely you'll just do it at the appointed time. Planning for a morning writing session can be just as easy – and helpful! – as planning for my morning runs.

Keep in mind, sometimes you just need a break – especially in the middle of the day. So the best way to get something done later in the day might be to give yourself 10-20 minutes to do something relaxing like read. Set your alarm, if you need to, so you don't let 20 minutes become 2 hours. Then, again, just jump in and do it without allowing yourself to overthink it.

Hone this reflex the way that stoplights when we're driving have trained us to immediately hit the gas as soon as the light turns green. You can't just sit there until you feel like going, not if someone is honking behind you!

Next time you have to do something you don't feel like doing, take a few of these tips, and then do it!


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