Honest. I am new to the world of full-time work. I’ve done school, and I’ve done school and work at the same time, but I’m new to the 9-to-5 world.
I love my job, but there are weeks where I feel a little bit like I’m drowning in all of the things that need to get done. (Doesn’t everyone feel like that every once in a while?) And when that happens I have a really hard time finding the motivation to write, to practice French or to exercise.
All I want to do is take a nap, eat chips and salsa and watch tv when I get home. I barely have the energy to keep my eyes open. Forget writing 500 plus words or speaking in a foreign language.
Honestly — I’m struggling right now. I know this is where my heart is. I know this is what gives me my energy and my motivation to wake up in the morning.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Everyone pursuing a dream on top of a full-time job must struggle with motivation some days. So what can we do to get the wheels in our brains turning when all we want to do is shut down the factory?
Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Shhh… I’m thinking.
Review goals. This, of course, requires you to have written goals.
On my weekly to-do list (I use Things), I have “Review goals” pop up once a week on Sunday. Today is Thursday, and I still haven’t read them.
My goals include reasons why I want to do the things I do outside of work, what’s at stake and the positive habits I need to develop to achieve them (all courtesy of Michael Hyatt). It’s no wonder that I’m lacking motivation. I’ve forgotten why I make myself do this.
Sometimes the best thing to get going is to review goals. Remind yourself why.
Read something inspirational. For example, a favorite book on writing or art or a favorite piece that you’ve written.
I wrote in this post that reading and researching art is vital to my motivation. When I’m too tired to make myself write or draw, I pick up What are you looking at? by Will Gompertz or On Writing Well by William Zinsser, read a page or two and suddenly my pen is off!
Or I scroll through my previous blog posts. Believe it or not (isn’t it obvious yet?), creative blocks and lack of motivation plague me on a regular basis, and I’ve written about them before. In that way, my own blog posts help me. It also helps to just read what I’ve written, especially something I love. I read it and think “That was fun, let’s do it again.”
But ultimately I think the best idea to start again is to start.
Start. I have said it before, and I know I’ll say it again. The power of starting is amazing.
You can review all your goals, read every inspirational book and look at all your previous work, but at some point you have to start — just like I did fifteen minutes ago.
I opened “My Desk” on Scrivener and created a new document with today’s date as the title. And then I wrote:
“…But I didn’t have enough to eat for lunch today. And I didn’t even have a full cup of coffee. I have no caffeine in me and no food… All I want to do is go home and take a nap. Go to bed right now. Or get some chips and hummus and sit and eat them and watch tv until I fall asleep…”
The actual whiney words I wrote. You’re welcome internet.
The words were stupid and meaningless, but once I started writing, — after reminding myself of my goals and looking over some old posts — I found the motivation to start this post. See? The power of starting.