Monday, January 11, 2010

Lack of Motivation on a Monday...grrr

For those of you who know me, I am about to say something astounding.  I don't have anything to say.  It's true. 

When I sit down to write these blogs I usually have a long list of ideas to help we along the way.  For those of you who are loyal readers, you know my own life brings out profound (and not so profound) thoughts 5 times a week.

This morning when I got up there was nothing, just nothing I wanted to talk about.  In cases where I need a jump start I troll the news feeds to see what there is to comment on.  Today's news was dry.  I don't care if Simon Cowell is a judge on American Idol.  I'm not impressed by box office returns.  The financials and ethics of Irish parliament members and their spouses does not bear comment.  We all know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we know the economy has not recovered.  Many of us are living in freezing temperatures, (although I am not one such person,) and we know the snow and ice are causing problems.  Jay Leno and his current job situation is immaterial and what happened over the weekend on the police blotter is only mildly different from last week.

So how is it I have hit the "ho hums" so early in the year?  I have an entire year ahead of me, scheduled with great projects and entertaining goals.  Why am I stagnant at this moment?

I am stagnant because I am standing at the bottom of the hill looking up at the mountain above me.  I see the climb and I am a bit overwhelmed.  There is so much to do, so much that needs to be done.  Somewhere in the middle of the "have to's" are a few "want to's" and a ton of "should's."  It can be a bit overwhelming.

Last week I did an entire series on goal setting, and I don't want you to think I don't believe what I said, because I do.  The problem is feeling overwhelmed.  Right now the list of what I need to accomplish has outstretched my desire to feel motivated.  Not good.

I am aware many people feel overwhelmed.  It has happened to me in the past and I know it will happen again.  The crazy part is I don't have anything that can be filed in "crisis mode" pile.  I am just plugging along, doing my normal stuff, and feeling overwhelmed.

So here is my logical list of stuff to do.  I am not motivated enough to take my own advice yet, but it is good advice none the less.

1) Start with the stuff you CAN do. I am sure this sounds obvious, but when the list gets longer than your current motivation you need to start with what you can do quickly and easily.  Don't laugh when I say start with a shower.  It is simple, it is something you need to do anyway and you will be able to mark it off your list.

2) Determine if you are simply overwhelmed or if you are depressed as well.  Often feelings of being overwhelmed arrive with feelings of depression.  I usually find my lack of motivation to be couched in a general desire to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.  In these cases I try to work on my mood before attempting my to do list.

3) Act "as if" you were motivated until you get the important stuff done.  Sometimes the reality is you have to get things done, even if you just don't care.  Going through the motions is not a great long term solution, but it can get you from point A to point B in a pinch.  Try looking at small milestones until you can cross the "have to's" off the list.

4) Re-group.  Reevaluate the to do list and see what it is you are feeling the most overwhelmed by.  You have options in most circumstances.  You might be able to get help.  You might be able to reduce the effort needed. You may be able to shift other items on the list to free up more time.  Or you may just have to dig in and get that nasty thing off your list.  Either way, figure it out and confront it head on.

5) Remember this feeling of unmotivated mush will pass.  I know it may be hard to believe, but your motivation will return.  You will feel better and you will conquer the world another day.  It may be in your best interest to give yourself a break right now and hunker down a little later.

Okay, there you have it, my guide to get over the lack of motivation we all feel when overwhelmed.  You may have noted I started this long winded article by saying I had nothing to say.  I still don't, but apparently I can find a lot of words to not say it with.

If you have ever felt this lack of motivation, post a comment and help us all feel better.  There is sweet solace in knowing we are not alone.  Oh, by the way, Happy Monday....grrr.

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