Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Motivation vs Procrastination

Welcome to... Writing on Wednesdays. Sounds weird reading that aloud, a little like a cheesy radio announcer introducing the next talkback segment.

Over the past few weeks I have written a few wellbeing posts on Balance, Mindfulness, and Personal Accountability. The discussions following the post on personal accountability basically came to the conclusion that willpower or motivation is essential if you want to talk yourself out of doing things that are detrimental. No amount of personal accountability alone will stop you being led astray by that naughty Sylvester sitting on your shoulder (if you have never watched the tweety bird cartoons then you will have absolutely no idea what I am talking about here.)

I have been meaning to get back to and expand upon this concept for a while because motivation is a fascinating thing. Some people have loads of it, and others struggle to find it buried beneath the excuses. Me, well I just seem to give the impression that I am motivated all the time because of my positive attitude...and the huge rose-coloured glasses perched on my nose...most of the time, anyway.

I have a big confession to make though....I am the world's biggest procrastinator! Seriously I am. There are some things that I put off doing out of fear of getting too involved or, um, that novel for example. There are other things that I just don't want to do because they are yucky or boring, or I don't know how. It may take me longer to get around to those things like cleaning the bathroom or doing a written assignment, but I never, ever quit or give up or leave something unfinished that has to be completed. I guess I put pressure on myself to find the motivation to complete things, and the common sense to discard my crazy ideas that will just never work.

So, where and how do you find motivation? It's not something you pick up by chance on the side of the road. It's something that only you can find for yourself. No-one else can decide what motivates you and what doesn't. Your loved ones will know what most of those things are, but sometimes they will get it wrong. You know why? Because it changes from day to day and from task to task. What motivates you to go to work on pay day will obviously be completely different than the motivation to clean the toilet.

This year marks the longest time I have stayed motivated for many years. Looking after my health, setting personal goals, changing my way of life in living more simply, and I guess, actually thinking about what I am doing with my life every day, has kept me motivated. I can see results from the efforts I have put in, and for me this is the key. I can see a positive future if I keep on this procrastination-reducing path. I still leave the ugly tasks till last but it is my mission to tackle these head on eventually...more procrastination? Hey, I am a work in progress.

I read somewhere that motivation vs procrastination is like a double edged sword - waiting for motivation can lead to procrastination, and feeling unmotivated can cause you to struggle with procrastination. It's when procrastination leaves you feeling burdened or discouraged that you obviously need to take action. Very true. So, if you feel this way at times like I do, why not break the cycle and stop sitting around waiting for motivation to fall into your lap. Look for and identify the things that motivate you. For example the pleasure of a clean bathroom or a beautiful meal on the table. Being a mother can motivate you in so many ways, and even those who have been through stressful situations like bushfires, family deaths and floods can find that motivation...but only if they choose to (and ready to) look for it. I guess that's the point where willpower steps in.

I chose to find what motivates me and makes me happy, and am rewarded every day for that choice. If you are in a rut never give up. Squash that ratbag procrastination beneath your feet, shrug off that naughty little Sylvester on your shoulder, and move forward, one step at a time.

Are you feeling motivated now? I would love to hear how you maintain your motivation when times get tough.

Next week I will keep you updated on my progress with Nano Wrimo. Haven't yet decided what I am going to write about. Other people have plans drawn up and everything....think I will just wing it. Any suggestions for a novel greatly appreciated!

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