Finding Your Motivation

DavidAllenParkIn David Allen’s latest Productive Living newsletter, he wrote about the tricky business of motivation. Here’s more sage advice from David on that topic…

Q: How does one get motivated to do these things?  Yes, I can put pressure on myself;  know that I SHOULD do them, but there is pain and suffering that takes away any motivation to “do” things?

David Allen: If I had the magic key that could guarantee that it would get you motivated, I’d be the king of the world (which I’m not!).

I have been in the state you describe, and I think I know the feeling that nothing seems worthwhile to do. It is just a feeling, however, and feelings can change. The problem is, when you’re in that feeling, you see the world through that lens, and nothing is attractive.

I’ve found the best way to change that filter for me is physical movement.  To get my butt in gear about something, even the littlest thing, like walk around the block. Sometimes I just find things to do that don’t require much mental or emotional energy, like clean a drawer or closet, or weed a garden bed. It tends to force me into the driver’s seat of my own energy, and I start directing it in some positive way, as mundane as the activity may be.  Interacting with other people who have my best interests at heart and who hold a positive focus for and with me (instead of letting themselves be brought down with me – “misery loves company”, you know) is a real key for me too.  Sometimes writing in my journal helps.

Trust that there’s a part of you (though it might not be perceivable from your viewing point) that is connected to motivated energy. And imagine what you’d be like if you were, and what you’d likely be doing.