We all have had these moments when we wish we could start doing something, but we don’t feel like it. Call it boredom, procrastination, or simply unwillingness to start working right now. Thankfully, there are ways around that. So here are three tips to get started when you don’t feel like it.
Tip 1: Use the stopwatch timer
Ideally, you would start working a few minutes ago, but you didn’t. Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world. What happened cannot be changed, and there is no reason to let it sit in your mind and make you uncomfortable. But you can use what happened before for your growth.
It is time to set the next ideal and reasonable time to get started. The ideal time is right now, but that’s not always possible or easy. So put it a few minutes ahead or an hour or more from now. Choose the time that makes you feel comfortable enough.
The critical bit is that you set your stopwatch to ring when the time comes. This will motivate you to get started a lot easier! For example, you are watching a few YouTube videos, and you don’t feel motivated to get started.
No problem. Set the stopwatch and enjoy YouTube until the alarm rings. And make sure you see the alarm, or you are at least conscious of the time that passes, so when the notification appears, you are mentally prepared to get started. And believe me, it works!
Tip 2: Begin with something easy
One of the most important reasons you don’t want to get started right now is that the task you are about to embark on feels too big. It makes sense, but hopefully, you can get around that.
Start by splitting this main task into a lot smaller sub-tasks. Then, find the easiest of them and go for it! It will make getting started a lot easier.
In case the task you want to complete is not easily dividable, you can still trick your mind into starting. You can tell yourself that you will work on the job for 5 minutes. And you’ll see that after 5 minutes, you’ll most likely want to keep going.
After all, the most challenging part of accomplishing a task is getting started. Once you have the momentum, nothing will stop you.
Tip 3: Visualize getting started
Sometimes, the whole challenge of getting started seems like a battle between your mind and you, or your consciousness, if you prefer. Your consciousness is like “Time to work”, but your mind behaves like a baby and goes “5 more minutes”.
It happens often, and when it does, you better be prepared. You don’t want to let your mind manipulate you. Instead, you want to take control of the mind, which, after all, is a tool you use.
The question is how to be prepared for those moments. Have you ever seen or heard about the routine of elite athletes before the game? I won’t go into details, but there is a bunch of visualization going on, thinking ahead of how the game will be and how they will face different situations.
You can do the same too. First, identify the transition point to getting started. It could be writing the first words, dialing a number, etc. Second, set a time and place to get started. Third, prepare for the first uncomfortable moments and visualize yourself moving through the discomfort without stopping.
This technique works miracles.
Think about it like that: you are an athlete in your own game. Do you want to be an elite athlete in your field? Or are you okay with mediocrity? If you want the latter, it’s okay. Not everyone is the same. However, if you want to be on top of your game, it’s time to act. You can still enjoy those YouTube videos or whatever you do, but set that stopwatch and prepare for the whistle!
When the game is on, you will shine.
Takeaway steps and tips to get started when you don’t feel like it:
-Find a relatively easy task to begin working on it
-Set the time and place to get started by using a stopwatch
-Visualize going through the first uncomfortable moments successfully