I suffer with a chronic lack of motivation. I know I am not alone in this too. I don’t know for sure if it’s worse now than it was for previous generations but I think it’s safe to say that when I feel like doing something other than what I’m obliged to do, there are way more avenues in which I can sate my appetite for mindless entertainment than there would have been even 20 years ago. I know I am not the only one who sits down in front of a computer screen with the intention of doing something productive only to come out the other side of 4 hours and have nothing to show for it. Well sure I may have found a few new songs to play out at gigs, maybe read an interesting story or two on Reddit and giggled to myself over a couple of stupid pictures but I haven’t done the thing I originally set out to do.
Instead of ranting about all of the distractions and how bad they are, I want to ask why do I get so easily distracted. I can’t place the blame anywhere but on myself for my lack of focus, even when I know that I need to do something. Why do I have such a fear of starting important things (assignments, e-mails etc..)? I think it comes down to a fear of being wrong. I can only speak for myself here, but I think we all have a grand idea of ourselves in our own mind. We are confident in our abilities and skills, we don’t need to validate that to anybody, particularly to ourselves. “I know I’m a good programmer, I don’t need to prove that to myself by actually writing some code.” is a thought that has run through my mind subconsciously too many times.
“When you hear the voice in your head telling you that you don’t feel like doing work, take a step back and look at your self. Say ‘So what if you don’t feel like doing it? That doesn’t mean you can’t do it.'”
– Damian Gordon, Lecturer at DIT
This is something that a lot of people don’t realise. We may not feel like writing that important e-mail but really does that even matter? Just because we feel a certain way doesn’t mean we are immobilized by that feeling. I don’t feel like getting out of bed at half 7 in the morning yet I do it anyway. I’ve begun to take on this mentality of ‘So-what’ recently and I implore you all to do the same. I’ve found that the thought of doing work is much worse than actually doing it and if we don’t let ourselves be consumed by procrastination, we can do an awful lot more than we think is possible!