A few weeks ago, I shared a strategy to identify your top priorities. By answering just one simple question, you have a better idea of where your values lie and where you should focus your energy.
While sometimes these top priorities are exciting, and we’re motivated to dive in and do the work, at other times, we drag our feet. We might understand the task’s importance, but the drive to act is practically non-existent.
(Are any examples popping up in your mind yet?)
For some of us, we might struggle with going to the gym. For others, it might be working on a challenging, long-term project. Some of us might avoid trying something out of our comfort zone. The list is endless.
Can you pinpoint any essential activities in your life that you seem to avoid? Are there any responsibilities you have or habits you want to adopt, but you can’t muster up the motivation?
For me, it’s working on my book. I feel like I’ve been writing it for-e-ver, and I’m completely burnt out.
Yes, I objectively know it’s important to focus my energy on this project, but when I get ready to write, just about anything else sounds more appealing; empty the dishwasher? Yep! Answer emails? Sure! Mow the lawn? Okay!
As a person who likes to get things done and check things off her to-do list, I find this lack of motivation incredibly frustrating. I see the bigger picture, but I struggle to move in the right direction.
So what do I do? How do I get myself back on track?
I find my why through a so-that answer.
You: Huh? Are you even speaking English, Paula?
Don’t worry; I haven’t gone crazy; let me explain.
How to Find Your Why And Boost Your Productivity
If you find yourself struggling to work on an important task, then a helpful solution is to find your why.
What I mean when I say find your why, is to think about the task at hand, and focus on the real reason that it’s important to you.
The way I like to practice this find your why approach is by completing a so-that statement.
- I goto the gym four times a week so that ________.
- I’m pushing myself as an entrepreneur by going live on Facebook so that ________.
- I do my family’s laundry, fold it, and put it away so that __________.
By looking at the task and digging to the root of its importance, we often have an easier time finding the motivation to get started.
For me, my so-that statement is twofold: I need to work on (and finish) my book so that I ensure job security going forward. I also need to complete my book so that I feel that sense of completion and accomplishment upon tackling an incredibly challenging task.
By reminding myself of my bigger why I have an easier time sitting down to do the work.
As I’ve worked with other women on this approach, I’ve also found that it plays a significant role in quieting mom-guilt. And this is especially true when it comes time for self-care. For example:
- I’m practicing self-care by getting a massage so that I can rest, soothe the aches in my back, and have more energy to play with my kids later today.
- I’m practicing self-care and going to bed early rather than cleaning up the kitchen so that I am more well-rested and present for my family tomorrow.
By thinking about the essential tasks on your list that you can’t seem to complete, and reflecting on why they’re truly important to you, you’ll discover the motivation you need to take that first step.
You’ll get to the gym, you’ll go to bed early, or you’ll work on that daunting project that’s been looming over your head for far too long.
Are you ready to give this a try? Great! Then think of your task, find your why, and get to work. You got this. 🙌
Do you have important tasks that you struggle to complete? What’s your why? Let me know below!