As I’m writing this, my back is killing me, my knees are aching, I’m just exhausted from hours of training, and I’m tempted to just lay in bed all day watching Netflix. In the past, I probably would have. However, every time I would do that, I’d have this feeling of emptiness because I knew I was wasting time and avoiding working on my purpose.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s essential to take breaks and relax every now and then, especially after you’ve finished working towards your goals for the day. It becomes a problem when you put off working towards your goals in the pursuit of comfort, especially if it’s an often occurrence. If you have big dreams, and you aren’t where you want to be in life right now, then there’s no way you can justify taking a bunch of breaks/days off.
Of course, there will be days where you won’t feel like doing anything. That’s how I’m feeling right now. But every time I’m ready to put my goals on the back burner, I remember this video on YouTube by Jocko Willink where he explains what he does on days where he’s just not “feeling it.” Those days when he doesn’t feel like putting in the work, going to the gym, etc.
He responded simply. “Do it anyway.” Even if you have to just go through the motions or just show up. As long as you do it, that’s what matters.
Your brain loves comfortability.
Given the choices of resting or staying up late to do extra work, your brain will naturally rationalize reasons for why it deserves to rest. You must fight through this feeling. Aim to get something productive done every day. If necessary, plan a day or two where you give yourself absolute rest, or maybe reduce the workload for a day. Just know you’ll be a lot further in a year if you progress or improve by at least 1% every day.
I understand how hard it can be to force yourself to do something productive, especially when you just aren’t feeling it. Below I will share a few tips you can do to force yourself to get things done, regardless of how you feel:
Set a quick timer of about 3-5 minutes to work towards whatever you need to do. If you feel tapped out after the timer goes off, then feel free to take the day off. However, I usually find myself working past the timer most days, but setting a short-timer makes it easier to get started on something.
Put a productivity wager with a friend. My brother and I recently started doing this. I bet that I would complete at least three blogs in 2 weeks, and he bet he would create at least ten pages of a script in 2 weeks. The wager was for $50. The great thing about this is it forced me to write. I now see I could have done at least 5 or 7, so I will up the quota next wager.
Get inspired. Listen to some motivational videos. Or read some motivational quotes. This sometimes lights a fire inside of me and makes me want to conquer.
At the end of the day, you have to be self-disciplined and have a goal that is beyond compelling. This will keep you going despite days where you don’t have the motivation to. Some days being motivated may not be enough. You need determination. Go out and crush your goals, regardless of how you’re feeling.