Start working on your task regardless of how you feel


  1. Recognize emotional prediction errors.
    Be aware that our ability to predict how we'll feel in the future is often inaccurate. Just because you feel motivated now doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way later. When planning for the next day, prepare for the possibility that you might not be as eager to take action as you think you will. This mindset helps adjust your expectations and reduces the impact of motivational dips.
  2. Engage in future visualization to motivate yourself to act.
    Visualize future situations to motivate yourself to act now. For example, if you're procrastinating saving money, imagine what it would be like to live off your retirement savings. Picture the lifestyle you want and the security you need, and use this vision to encourage yourself to start saving today.
  3. Decouple feeling from doing.
    Realize that action doesn’t always require motivation. Sometimes, you just need to start a task, and your mood will improve as you make progress. For example, if you need to write a report, set a timer for 5 minutes and begin. Often, you’ll find it easier to continue once you’ve started.
  4. Just get started.
    Break down a daunting task into smaller, manageable steps and complete the first step immediately. For instance, if you need to clean the house, start by tidying one room. Taking that initial step can make the entire task seem less overwhelming and provide the momentum to keep going.
  5. Practice "tough love" with yourself.
    Set non-negotiable deadlines for yourself and follow through regardless of your mood. If you decide to write a report by Friday, commit to this deadline just as you would if it were set by your boss. Reward yourself for meeting these self-imposed deadlines to reinforce this behavior.


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