What do you do when you don't feel like working?
I'm struggling with that a little today--in particular with respect to writing this blog.
I know it's worth it to get in there to do just a little.
When I'm resisting work and procrastinating, I often find it useful to simply tell myself that I'm going to make an absolute minimum effort. And then, being free to do as little as I wish, I often find it possible to engage in the project in a way that I couldn't if I were thinking about how much work I had to do.
Tonight, for example, I didn't feel like writing the blog. But I thought I'd just say a few words about not wanting to work, and suddenly here I am. It's no novel, but it is a handful of sentences and growing.
A sense of obligation, in and of itself, is an emotional burden. If we can enter the work space without the sense of obligation engendered by saying "I have to work on this for the next three hours," then we may actually be able to get more done than if we procrastinated due to our sense of obligation.
Often I follow the suggestion of Joan Bolker and suggest to writers to work on something for fifteen minutes, with no judgment about having done something "good enough." I was wondering tonight whether that even might be too much obligation for the writer to be able to enter the process without a sense of obligation.
Anyway, if you don't feel like working, it can often be worth it to say to yourself that you're going to sit down for just a minute on some minor task.
And that actually brings to mind another thought: if we can start with some very simple task--cleaning the desk, fixing a sentence that we didn't like, adding a reference, or checking a reference to find the page number for a quote--that can often help us to get into the flow of working and to get our focus to move to the project.
The simple little task is minor, but it shifts us to thinking about our project, and may even clear away some sort of minor administrative nuisance that was bothering your when you were concentrating on larger issues during your previous session of work.