No desire to work – what to do
Motivation is a rather elusive substance. On some days it is in excess, and on others it is critically lacking. And then there is absolutely no desire to work, no matter how hard you try. For example, you look at the computer screen while trying to type, but instead you think about something else, without mastering a single line. Whatever the reason, it happens to everyone. If you suddenly don’t have the strength to finish boring routine work, it’s okay. But if this continues day after day, this is a dangerous sign.
Why is there no desire to work?
People have limited self-control. American psychologist Roy Baumeister, exploring the processes of motivation, discovered interesting facts. For example, that, like muscle energy, human self-control is a limited resource that is quickly depleted. When this happens, a person begins to do what brings more pleasure – putting off the rest. This phenomenon is also known as procrastination.
At its core, procrastination is an avoidance strategy. Procrastinators have no desire to work. They prefer to do something nice instead of something necessary. Procrastination is so hard to beat because it’s not a cold that can be treated with pills. This is a battle against the biological and cognitive features of the human psyche.
How to understand that there is a problem
Worst of all, when a person with a problem does not know that it exists. He finds many different explanations for her, continuing to worsen his situation. The following are common indicators that will tell us why there is no desire to work – due to simple laziness or real problems with motivation:
- avoidance. An obsessive desire to avoid places or situations that might add extra work. The canonical example is the avoidance of children in order not to devote time and energy to them. Why, if you can sit at the TV or computer. At work, this is manifested by ignoring customers and the desire to kill time in any way before the end of the working day.
- Distraction. If there is no desire to work, and every time we try to start, we almost automatically switch to another task (for example, surfing the net, reading blogs or articles, making plans for the evening, communicating with loved ones), then we have problems.
- Trivialization. We convince ourselves (or at least we try) that the task at hand is not that important. For example, “I’m putting off cleaning because the room isn’t as messy anymore" or “I won’t stay up too much today. I will do it tomorrow with fresh forces.
- Comparisons. We compare our situation to even worse ones. For example, “Yes, I have a complete blockage with papers. It’s okay – some in the department have not even started the report yet.
- Humor. Joking about your "success" by making fun of other people’s efforts to achieve goals. For example, “Look how Kolyan got tired in a new position. He has already aged 10 years. But I said that he does not need this promotion.
- Blame shifting. A typical argument is that my failures are due to external circumstances beyond my control.
- Eternal deadline. It all starts with arguments like: “I won’t start now, I work more productively in the evening” or “No, I’ll start after the weekend. It doesn’t matter that there’s a lot of work to do – you need to stretch out properly before working days. “
Not all signs clearly indicate a problem. For example, under the desire to play pranks on colleagues, ordinary envy is often hidden. But if several signs from the list are constantly observed at once, this is no longer laziness, but the beginning of procrastination. This must be consciously dealt with in order to avoid serious problems with motivation later.
Negative triggers are the root of the problem
The first step is to find the cause of the problem. To do this, you need to find out your type of internal procrastinator:
Being perfect is the highest goal a perfectionist wants to achieve. But most often it comes to the fact that he does nothing at all, fearing a non-ideal result. Because of this, a perfectionist often fails to complete a task, constantly choosing the perfect time or way. Instead of the usual make-and-pass-and-forget routine, the life of a perfectionist is an endless cycle of additions, alterations, and the search for the perfect opportunity.
Prefers to remain half asleep. Or, as the people say, do everything "do not care." He does not need to really strain, because this forces him to deal with negativity or stress. Better a bird in the hand than a crane in the sky is their motto. Therefore, the ostrich is happy to be content with crumbs, only to not take on more work or responsibility. All plans are only dreams, which, most likely, will remain so.
The saboteur is ready to consciously work worse or, more simply, to hack, so that he is rarely entrusted with complex, time-consuming and responsible tasks. His motto is "the less you do, the less you screw up." In reality, the saboteur is driven by the fear of making mistakes and being criticized for doing so. Their way of avoiding failure is to do nothing at all.
Chickens don’t prioritize. They prefer the simple and convenient to the important and useful. The chick will willingly "peck" the grains in the form of a large number of easy routine tasks, imitating vigorous activity.
To recover, find your trigger and start getting rid of it.
How to force yourself to work – 7 steps to productivity
The problem is serious, but we can fix it. When the negative triggers that affect us are found, we need to neutralize their effect. To do this, follow these steps. They will help not only get back on track, but also optimize the workflow, reaching the optimal ratio of 80% of the result for 20% of the effort, according to the Pareto Law.
1 Goal search
Determine what work to do and what steps you need to take to do this in order to further evaluate your actions in terms of “productive / counterproductive”.
If the current action contributes to the achievement of the goal, it is productive. If not, it’s counterproductive. Such actions must be deliberately cut off.
2 PRIORITY SETTING
Remember what Dr. Baumeister said: the will is a limited resource. Therefore, first you need to complete difficult tasks that require more effort and concentration. No excuses like: “I’m a night owl, I work better in the evening” or “first I’ll quickly sort out the little things, rest, and then I’ll get down to real business.”
Doing a lot of simple tasks early in the day gives you a false sense of productivity. Use full willpower to do difficult work, otherwise you may not have enough motivation later.
3 Maintain a to-do list
Keeping a diary is not only fashionable, but also psychologically beneficial to our ability to achieve goals. At the very least, psychologists recommend making a to-do list for the day (taking into account everything that we don’t like so much). By making tasks visual, we quickly get used to the need to complete them. If you keep the list "in your head", the cunning brain will constantly powder it with various excuses, putting things on the back burner.
4 Create a schedule with deadlines
An effective modification of the diary is not only to make a list of tasks, but also to indicate each due date. If there is no schedule, there is a temptation to drag it out as long as possible. As a result, things pile up and we can’t cope.
By creating a detailed schedule with task timings, we get rid of the problem. The schedule keeps us on our toes and makes us keep track of time.
5 Breaking down large tasks is not small tasks
If the work seems too huge and unbearable, it makes us lose heart. We are demotivated and do not want to work. The only way out is to break big tasks into small ones and turn them into weekly or daily goals. As the saying goes, "quieter you go – you will continue." Arm yourself with the Nike slogan and just do it.
Rewards are an important motivator. By rewarding ourselves for successfully following a task schedule, we turn efficiency into a habit. Pleasant emotions from the reward encourage you to work even more productively and do more. How exactly do you encourage yourself? It is best to first limit yourself to something, and then turn it into a “carrot”. For example, cigarettes, coffee, minutes on social networks or hours spent on the console. In the future, you can come up with more global incentives.
7 Proper rest
The human brain is not designed to work continuously on the same task for a long time. This is tiring and makes us "slow down". A break of just 5 minutes every half hour is enough to keep your mind sharp and tired.
It’s not easy to keep track of every minute. But no one says that in the 21st century everything needs to be documented on paper. It is useful to use advanced task planners in mobile gadgets to create a schedule of work and rest. The most advanced programs can even help you manage your time properly.
If you don’t feel like working, it’s not so much the effect of laziness as a lack of discipline and a subconscious attempt to avoid what we consider boredom. Most of us are able to give ourselves an account of what things need to be done now, and what to postpone until later in order to be in time and get the result. The problem arises at the moment when we lose control over our behavior and cannot return to the fulfillment of our goals.
Therefore, the first task is to find the main negative trigger. The second is to regain control. The third is to correctly prioritize. The fourth is to break the main work into several approaches so that even our low motivation is enough to complete them. Fifth, find new incentives and make successful work a habit. And of course, do not forget to properly rest. The more physical strength we have, the easier it is to move on.