You are working on your goals, your passion project, maybe you are creating your own business to make a living doing what you love. You have planned your day, maybe even your week. You know what you want to do, but then, it happens: you are not doing it.
You are just sitting in front of your computer, feeling like: “Meh! I am not in the mood today, I will just watch some YouTube videos instead. I don’t care if I am late a day, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have a boss, I manage my own time. Today I will just play with a computer game instead. Tomorrow I will feel better and do the work!“
Does this sound familiar to you?
Feels bad right?
Do you know what feels even worse than this? When tomorrow comes and you realise you have two days worth of tasks to do in one day and you still don’t have any motivation to start working on your goals and taking the next steps.
This can quickly turn into a bad week by not doing anything in the first few days, then being angry of doing nothing worthy of your time, feeling bad because of being unproductive. And sadly, you can not go back in time, so you feel yourself even worse.
What can you do to unstuck yourself and to actually do your work?
First of all ask yourself what do you need in order to start working? I have experienced that many times I am just avoiding thinking about the task I planned to do because it feels too much to do, even though it is not!
Break down the work into smaller sizes that you can handle.
It is way better if you do one part of the work today than not doing anything at all. Waiting for that day when you will feel like you can do it in one sitting might never arrive. The time will never be right nor perfect. You make it right yourself, here and now.
Ask questions from yourself! Here are some example questions that can help you break down your goal / task / work into smaller parts.
For example if you want to finish a painting:
- What is the next part you can work on?
- Is it the skirt of the character or painting the cat?
- Is the next step making three sketches or deciding on colors?
Do you want to write a journal to let your followers know about your new comic book or drawing course you have created? (That is a great thing to do!)
- What do you want to write in that journal?
- What are the important points that should get in the journal? Write a list then freewrite each one!
- Read it and correct it.
What to do if the problem is not the quantity of the work ahead of you but something else?
You have probably asked some questions in the previous step but you might still find that you are avoiding doing your work.
Because it means you will need to face a challenge in order to progress with your work at hand.
These challenges can be for example:
- talking with someone you don’t want to talk with
- you are stuck with your painting because you actually don’t know / don’t have the skill yet how to paint a given part
- you find your work is not good enough (if this is the case ask yourself what you don’t like in it and change that. I wrote about how to imrpove you art before.)
- what you do is something new and you are not familiar with it. That is great! You are leaving your comfort zone. Take this as a challenge! Just do it! It might take more time to do but you will learn it.
As you can see all of these are mental challenges. In most cases you will find that you are avoiding work because it is uncomfortable for you to face the challenge it represents.
If you can’t see this challenge just ask “why” until you find it. For example:
- Why am I not doing this? What is keeping me away?
- Why does it keep me away?
- Why do I feel that way?
Dig down deep until you find the core problem. The core challenge. Face it! If you know what it is you can solve it. You can find a solution.
The next step is to ask: okay, now that I know this what can I do to solve it? What do I need to talk with that person? What can I do to paint that area? How can I learn this new skill? How do others do this?
Be open for solutions and take the steps needed to do that challenge!
You will feel so awesome and so great after it. You need challenges in life, because facing them makes your life interesting. They will shake you out from boredom, repetitiveness and will fill you with success, joy and enjoyment.
Be up for the challenge! The reward is bigger than you would think!
Look at your project with enjoyment
You might look at your passion project as a work that needs to be done and the enjoyment vanishesright away. To get the enjoyment back remember, why you have created your passion project. What do you enjoy in it?
I will be very honest with you: if you let yourself to take a few days off because of excuses, instead of doing the next step, you will get nowhere and you will feel pretty bad about it. Maybe you think that working on your creative project means that you can let yourself be lazy whenever you feel like it. No! This is the worst thing you can do. Do you know why? Because doing nothing kills your momentum! You stop with the bicycle if you are not pedaling it.
When your momentum stops, doing the actual work will get more challenging. You will question what you were doing and why. You will be thinking about what you want to do and you will just feel unsure. Can’t choose, can’t decide, don’t know what is the best thing to do. Disturbing thoughts arise.
If you want to get out of this mess, the best thing you can do is to get back on your bicycle and start pedaling again. Get back your momentum by doing the next step.
It doesn’t matter if you know or don’t know whether this is what you want to do or not do for the rest of your life. Just focus on doing the next step. Go and sit down, give yourself 10 minutes (or a bit more) to work on your project. 10 minutes is something you can easily do. This 10 minutes can save your project! It is enough to put some work down, to feel the progress, to get the momentum going again.
This is all what you need right now! Once your are pedaling and gaining speed, you can adjust the direction anytime to go anywhere you want to go.
There is not a defined path for you in life. You can go and explore wherever you want to go, wherever you feel the calling leads you.
But first, get the momentum going to be able to go forward.
Good luck to you and keep pedaling!