I Don’t Want to do Anything: Lacking Motivation & What to do

lack of motivation

You know the experience of wondering what you’ll do now that you don’t want to do anything. You also know the internal or external pressure to feel motivated or to at least act as if you’re motivated. But. You’re. NOT. Let’s skip the lousy vocabulary on your mind, and all the blame you’re heaping on someone else and/or yourself. Let’s just cut to the chase and find out how to bypass the whole “I don’t want to do anything” problem.

Imagine a dart board emblazoned with a short statement of the goal you need or want to reach. Toss some special darts at it. They’re special because they hold stickers with short statements about why you aren’t accomplishing that goal yet. Keep tossing the darts until you’re out of ideas. Cover the dart board or score a major bulls-eye that describes exactly what’s troubling you. It could be that your darts carry messages such as

  • I dislike the work involved.
  • I’m frustrated about the deadline. I need more time.
  • I lack confidence that I can do this.
  • I’m not sure how to handle the assignment. I need instructions or a mentor. Maybe I need a cheerleader
  • I need a better space for doing the work, something inspirational, something less distracting, fill in the blank as appropriate

Okay, make the necessary imaginary stickers for your imaginary darts and throw them repeatedly at the board. Which ones stick? Read them carefully, out loud. Now you’ve identified the problem/s.

Start over. Imagine the day that you accomplish your goal or task. How would you feel? How would the important people involved with the project feel? What would you look like in the mirror?

On an actual piece of paper or on a digital device, record the steps that you need to take to accomplish your goal/task. Study the remarks. Figure out how to do all that in a way that leaves you feeling comfortable and proud when you’re finished, even if you’ll be uncomfortable while taking necessary actions (adults do this all the time. It’s why “I don’t like adulting” tends to get some funny memes on social media. Behaving in a responsible manner means that sometimes you must put up with boredom, with challenges, and with emotional discomfort. That “I don’t want to do anything” line of thought is not going to help anybody.

Now face the reality that the universe is full of tempting rationales about why you can procrastinate with honor (a lie, because procrastination is not usually honorable), why you are correct to fear some aspect of getting the job done, and that you can recover from boredom or a lack of creative insight with some food, a nap or a movie if you don’t escape into pointless online games and social media time. Rational lies are not the means for motivating anybody. Drop them. If you feel depressed, spend time figuring out what would motivate you to achieve the goal.

Let’s back up a bit. Go back to feeling upbeat about accomplishing your goal or task, and that everyone involved is pleased about that, too. Make the happiness a priority and start posting entries in your day planner for handling each task. If necessary, celebrate each step after taking it. Check or X off the days as your deadline approaches, and watch your progress report develop before your eyes.

When you need to turn up the volume on your motivation, listen to presentations by motivational speakers. Hardly anyone turns off an Oprah show, Tony Robbins speech or one of Randy Gage’s powerful point-by-point lessons without heading towards some form of success. The “I don’t want to do anything” idea will become foreign to you.

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Yocheved Golani

Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.