You know you need to get started – or keep going, or finish up, or whatever. You know you have work to do, but you just…
feel like it.
Well, join the club. Everyone feels like that sooner or later. For some it’s a daily occurrence, for others it’s rare, but it visits us all.
Now, I’m a big fan of the kind of thinking that advises us to just push past it (or through it, or whatever) and act in spite of those feelings of lethargy, or anger, or fear. I think there’s a lot to be said for feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
However, I’d like to offer a method of getting yourself engaged in your projects that takes this a step further. It’s a fun and easy mental trick that anyone can play, and it connects you to yourself in a way that feeling the fear and doing it anyway just can’t offer.
I’ve written many times that avoidance of a task usually indicates fear, but asking yourself, ‘What am I afraid of?’ can only take you so far. Because remember, understanding ‘why’ isn’t going to get you results. Only action does that.
What I propose is this: Absolutely embrace that lethargy, or fear. And apply those feelings to your task. Do your task lazily, do it fearfully, but do it. Approach your task knowing and fully understanding that you don’t feel like doing it, and embrace that feeling.
You see, you don’t have to jump for joy at the prospect of cleaning the house or coding bugs out of your app. You just need to do it. So next time you don’t feel like mowing the lawn, ask yourself the Question and realize that you’re going to do it anyway. So, just slowly and lazily start it. Push it like you’re trying to move a mountain. Complain loudly if you like. If it’s a writing project, sit down and write, “I don’t feel like writing. I am lazy today, and I just want to watch crazy cat videos all day.”
You’ll find that you get something accomplished by doing it this way, which is more than you can say for avoiding the task altogether. You might not actually push that mower any faster. You might only get half of it done before you call it quits. You might only write one paragraph, but as you write down all the reasons why you don’t feel like writing, inspiration may just pounce on you and help you produce the best work you’ve ever done.
At the end of the day when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be able to say you at least got something done, which is more than would have happened if you’d completely avoided your work. You didn’t have to like it, but you did it. Tomorrow there will be less to do, less distance between you and your goal.
I’d say that’s worth doing something lazily, wouldn’t you?
And along the way, you’ll have used the most powerful sentence in the world. Next stop: Global domination!