Typical guru: You could just get everything done if you were a little more motivated!
It’s a massive paradox of motivation.
When you get motivated to get a lot of stuff done, it’s the same feeling of being in a book store and feeling excited to read everything in there and really get to work. Then after a week has passed, you notice zero books got fully read. The reason why is when you’re motivated, you want to do more than one thing, get overwhelmed and don’t start OR you get started on lots of stuff and never finish it because you’re always shifting gears mentally.
Shifting gears mentally is extremely “expensive” in terms of your brains resources (glycogen, ya know…brain fuel, etc). It’s called “switching cost” in psychology, it’s called “expensive” in computer science.
This is along the same lines of multitasking, but NOT quite the same idea. Multitasking has you doing many things at the same time. I’m talking about wanting to do many things at the same time. While you should absolutely be planning your day, the problem is when people want to accomplish 30 things. Then even when they do just 1 at a time in a sequence, the fact that they know 29 more things await them is where it gets to be an issue. If you know you need to wax the car, before you go planning out everything around that activity on all the other things you need to do – just go wax the car right now. Done.
You waste mental resources saying, “I should do this,” or “I need to write down in my to-do list something to be done tomorrow.” All of these things are shifting your mind away from getting anything done. It’s the equivalent of having a hallway in a house. Hallways are generally a bad part of house design – you kind of need it, but you can’t live in the hall way, and it’s not a feature of a house, and it’s basically just a necessary evil that you should try to eliminate.
Your intensity / proficiency goes up as well when you think of just 1 thing. Consider the idea:
Who gives a more intense bicep curl to their maximum strength? The person that is told to do just 1 curl as hard as they can, or the person that is told to do 30 curls as hard as they can.
So, demotivate yourself and stop telling yourself that you’re going to do X, Y, and Z. Instead, if you feel a little less motivation and just want to do 1 thing instead, you get the benefits of:
- Not feeling bad about yourself when you said you were going to do something and didn’t.
- Focusing on one task and completing it.
- Not having any wasted time thinking about all the other things you should be doing.
- Not feeling overwhelmed
- You get more done with less energy used because of ‘task switching’ is exhausting (and you’re not doing them)
So get unexcited. Demotivate yourself. Pick one thing to do. Watch yourself get more done in less time, do it better, AND with less energy needed.