Negative motivation

When we put off unpleasant tasks, we often try a number of ways to motivate ourselves to get the task done.

One of the most common ones is negative self-talk. We tell ourselves we are bad for not doing it. We shame ourselves, we should be doing this. Maybe it comes from the idea of conditional love, that we are not good people if we don`t get this task done.

One of the worst verbs is “should”. As my daughter would say, “it’s evil”

When you should yourself, does it make you get up and do the task you`ve been dreading?

Probably you want to do it even less.

What if you talked to yourself a different way?

First off, do you really need to do the task yourself? Can you delegate it someone else?

If the answers are the task needs to be done by you, start thinking of ways to make the task enjoyable. Whether you give yourself a reward afterward, put on some music while you do the task or involve someone else.

Still having trouble getting up and getting that task done?

Estimate how long the task will take. If it will take a couple hours break it down into 15-30 minute chunks and set a timer. For most tasks I find myself putting off, such as stacking the dishwasher, it only takes about 10 minutes maximum to get it done. Get up and just do it. Sometimes, that`s all you need.


One thought on “Negative motivation

  1. I try to say, “I get to” instead of ‘have to’ or ‘should’. Negative self-talk is the worst! I’m guilty of it all the time and am working to change that behavior. It’s hard.

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