Prioritizing Motivation and Taking Control of Your Life

Gathering momentum, being productive and completing goals you set out for yourself can be incredibly challenging. There’s no doubt about it. We may think that some people are blessed with always having motivation for getting things done but the reality of it is that we all struggle with finding a way to get as much done as we like.

Defining Productivity

We all carry around loose definitions of what certain things mean to us. Being productive is no exception. Your definition of what it means to be productive could range from merely brushing your teeth when you get up to making sure you’re busy at least 90% of your day. You may even believe that you need to be multi-tasking in order to believe you’re being productive. These definitions can either assist you or debilitate how you are progressing in your life.

For example, if you believe that doing just about anything is productive, you are likely to fall into a default pattern of resorting to the easiest of tasks and avoiding anything of substance simply to satisfy a false self image of being productive for that day, week, month etc.

Avoidable and Unavoidable Tasks

Things you do throughout the day tend to fall in one of these categories. Some things like washing the dishes can fall into the avoidable category and then slowly move into being unavoidable when you realize you have no dishes to eat your dinner on and your sink is full of cockroaches. Knowing which category tasks fall into can help you become incredibly more productive because you can begin to put more of your energy into avoidable tasks first.

Putting your energy into avoidable tasks first helps you get things done first which you would otherwise ignore once your energy was spent after completing unavoidable tasks. For example, take the time to clean out your closet before making dinner. Just because you potentially become worn out after cleaning it out doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to skip dinner. Well, you may but chances are your hunger is going to push you to get some food one way or another. More often than not, getting something done you have been putting off for a long time will give you a real physical and psychological boost which is essential to building momentum to keep that motivation going.

Being Honest With Yourself

We don’t always need to be productive and becoming a workaholic can leave you as unbalanced as someone watching paint dry all day. However, there’s a commonality between both types of people. They make excuses for themselves. Being honest with yourself goes far beyond the realm of productivity but for the sake of this article I’m talking about examining your beliefs about productivity.

What do you spend most of your time doing and are you making excuses for it being productive?

Do you find yourself sitting down to zone out, socialize, surf the net, eat food or any other activity when you know you need to get something done? Of course you do, because we all do it. The destructive part of this is when you justify it within your mind. You know what I’m talking about. When you say to yourself, well, I’ll just relax for a little bit and take care of that later. Or, resting up will really help me have more energy to take care of that. Or, I need to get my mind off things for a while.

The list goes on but you get the point. The excuses themselves are tailored to how we relate to ourselves. Before we know it, these excuses become so automatic, so unconscious that we stop saying them to ourselves. It’s almost as if we simply mentally nod to ourselves and get on with our procrastination habits. This is why self examination is essential to break these habits. When these unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface their reign of terror over you comes to an end.

If you’ve been unconsciously or consciously convincing yourself that your unproductive habits are indeed productive, it’s time to be real with yourself and ask if living an uneventful, boring life is more important to you than achieving your goals, feeling satisfied and living a life of purpose. You can break it down any way you want to but it will always ultimately come back to this.

It’s Your Life

There’s something about the way we grow up that ingrains a belief in us that there’s always going to be someone there to help you. There’s always going to be someone there to push you to get things done. We get this continually reinforced as we go through school and even somewhat in our professional lives afterward. While there’s nothing wrong with getting help, this can easily stunt someone’s growth once they are left without anyone to push them along. All of a sudden it’s just them in complete control of their lives. They could lay in bed all day or they could check off 100 tasks on their to-do list. Either way, nobody is going to care but them. If you’ve spent your life getting things done because you wanted to impress someone you may feel lost.

You have to want to get things done for you and you alone.

Putting it all Together

To sum up what I’ve talked about here today, It’s essential for you to prioritize what you need to get done. If the only thing you take away from this article is to tackle avoidable tasks first you will already be setting yourself up to build highly effective habits. In addition to this, take a moment to examine your patterns. Are you making excuses for yourself? Are you pretending that fiddling with your phone is productive? Are you waiting for someone to tell you to get something done? It’s your life and it’s time to get things moving.




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