Let’s get real here: motivating yourself sucks.
Motivation is tough. It’s not even the fact that I’m a PhD student; it’s still so freaking cold outside that I need a mountain of motivation to get myself out of bed, fed, clad, and off the couch every day. I managed to move from bed to couch at around 11 AM, but didn’t even leave the apartment until 5 PM. Granted, it was hovering around 0 degrees for most of the day, but I could’ve gone to the gym or something. Instead, I watched all the YouTubes, did all the crossword puzzles, watched blog stats, played Word Strips, and finally spent 2-3 hours agonizing over a dramaturgy project like a maniac before leaving the house to get Target and food.
Thursdays are always like this: I go to bed the night before thinking that I will get started on things on Thursday and not put them off until Sunday night. I spend the majority of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday doing anything but work (social, tv, even cleaning the apartment), and then freak out Sunday night as I attempt to read several hundred pages while I hate myself for having wasted 4 days. Monday through Wednesday are pure torture as I spend every free waking moment working or worrying, only to breathe a sigh of relief on Wednesday night, promise myself I’ll do better next week…and then the cycle continues.
So far, I’ve only wasted about 70% of the day; I read and took notes on half a chapter for Monday. PROGRESS.
Motivational quotes are all over my Facebook feed, and they’re all just, so, trite. So, in a vain attempt to be creative on a frosty brain that is resisting the urge to resist doing work, here’s a list of realistic motivational statements.
20 Totally Made Up Realistic Motivational Statements/Suggestions/Stuff/Things
- This one is from my dad – the best way to confront a crisis is head-on. Except if that crisis is a speeding car coming in your direction.
- Don’t tear out your hair; nature will do that for you.
- Nobody is grading how clean your apartment is, so cleaning it can wait. Unless you’re having it shown, in which case, clean like a crazy person for 30 minutes. You will feel so much better, and ready to work after a short break.
- Shakespeare didn’t write all of his plays in one sitting, you don’t have to either.
- If it’s on TV, chances are it’ll be on again. If not, it’ll be on the Internet. If it’s really important, like the Olympics or the Oscars, just wait for the BuzzFeeds, they’ll edit out the boring parts.
- If you actually get stuff done, you’ll be able to concentrate on beating that game and know that you earned that time.
- Move to a different spot on your apartment. You will be able to see yourself in a different light.
- Think of someone really successful. They are most likely slacking off right now, so if you do your work right now, you’ll be one-up on them in your own mind.
- You know how much you hate that person who’s gotten all their work done and is now bragging about it? Beat them to it. Works every time. And it’s even better when you tell that person “oh yeah, I just did nothing all day,” secretly knowing that you did, indeed, do the exact opposite.
- Pretend like there is a bomb in your apartment and if you can hit that “I’M DONE” button (aka “save” or “send”) before a certain minute/hour, the bomb will be destroyed and you will have saved the world. Yes, THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. You’re Buffy.
- Make that an actual button. Have your mom/dad/sister/friend’s number programmed into your phone, and when you press “save” or “send” simultaneously press your phone and then tell them about it. But check the time first, and calculate time difference.
- Make dinner or a yummy treat and race against the oven timer to get your work done.
- So many amazing things were invented by unmotivated people. Think of how much you could do in a motivated state of mind.
- If you miss that TV show, there will be no consequences. There are always consequences to not finishing your work. Nobody likes the c-word.
- Tell yourself that if you don’t do your work, you will end up living in a dollar store shopping cart with an needle full of cocaine in your arm and stray, rabid cats licking your bare feet. That is a scary, scary thought.
- Think of someone who told you that you couldn’t do something. Do your work to spite them. Let hate fuel your rage, and channel that into doing your work.
- Heat up soup or make coffee or something, then challenge yourself to get something done before it cools. Cool = failure.
- Someone else, if given all the work that you have to do, would throw up their hands and call it a day. If you can even do a little bit of it, congrats – you’re not that person.
- Remember – somewhere else, someone is being arrested, being stoned to death, getting dumped, giving birth, getting divorced, getting a shot, starving, lost in the woods, locked their keys in their home/car, or has twice as much work as you. Revel in that for a moment, then do your work.
- Just fucking do it. Just go over there, not here, not on the couch, over to the desk, and fucking do it.