66. Those days when you “don’t feel like it”

We all have those days where we don’t feel like doing what we’re supposed to do. Our plate seems so full but we can’t get ourselves to start on a single task. We drag till the last minute and resort to mindless procrastination.

When these days happen, before punishing myself for it, I learned to first evaluate the merit of the task. I’d ask myself: will continuing doing the task do me any good?

Sometimes that reservation could be a sign that I’m heading in the wrong direction. If I feel like continuing doing that task will not provide me any growth, if it’s repetitive and not contributing any values, then it is a good time for me to re-evaluate my approach. Find a better way of doing it or cut it off entirely.

If the answer is yes, however, then too bad, I just have to show up and do the work regardless of how I feel. Some examples are habits and skills that requires rigorous practice to acquire like writing, waking up in the morning, becoming an expert, learning a new language. You know that to be good at them, there’s no workaround or shortcuts. You just have to work it every single day.

My trick to overcoming the inertia is to find the smallest action I can take now and commit to it for just 10 minutes. The biggest hurdle is usually bringing myself to start. So I’ll make it so easy to act on something that my mind would find it ridiculous to say no.

What I realize is, any kind of action will spark enthusiasm for more action very quickly. They build on top of each other and create momentum. Slowly but surely, they pile up and snowball into this big energy that charges me forward to the finish line. The key, is to start doing, something, anything. Like Nike says, just do it.