What is Your ONE Thing?

In all likelihood, you’re trying to be good at too many things. Trimming down your list of priorities can make you more effective. Focus your attention on the tasks that bring the most results.

What is the one thing that will move the needle in your life to reach your goals? Have you even thought about it? The one thing that matters is often challenging or unenjoyable, but you might have more free time if you did that one thing instead of the three other things you’ve been doing instead.

Focus on your one thing:

1. Everyone has 24 hours each day. Everyone has 24 hours, but how you spend them is up to you. Some people manage to build huge companies with their 24 hours. Others struggle to pay the rent. Some people create great health and happiness with their 24 hours. Others are out of shape and miserable. How do you spend your 24 hours each day?

2. Focus on what you should do, not what you could do. Most of us that have a daily list of tasks have both on our list. It’s important to figure out the things that are so important and impactful that they must be accomplished TODAY. All the rest move down to the bottom of the list.

3. Prioritize until you’re down to just one task. Prioritize even further. What is the number one thing you need to do today that will make the biggest difference? When you complete that task, what is the next most important thing. Keep going until you run out of time.

4. Have one thing you’re known for. What are you known for? Playing the piano? Installing windows? Your intelligence? Figure out your one thing and ensure the world knows about it.

5. Eliminate distractions. Distractions get in the way of focusing on your one thing. Be relentless in eliminating distractions.

6. Apply this process to all areas of your life.

  • What is the one thing you can do for the next month to most improve your health? There’s one thing you can do in your current situation to improve your health the most. It will probably help more than the next five things on your list combined.
  • What is the one thing you can practice on the piano to improve your playing the most over the next week? Or your golf swing. Or your reading speed?
  • What is the one thing you can consistently do at work to increase your value as an employee? What can you do that would help your company and career the most?

7. Be tough. The most important thing is often the least enjoyable. Squats are far less enjoyable than leg extensions, but far more effective. Joining Toastmasters is far less appealing than practicing your speeches by yourself at home. The one thing is often easy to identify but challenging to do.

What is the one thing for you? What is the one thing for each area of your life that will make the biggest difference? What is the one thing you need to do TODAY? What about this week?

Find your ONE thing, and you’ll see that little else matters.

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A Few Productivity Articles Worth Skimming

Note: I will continue to add to this blog post whenever I come across an article I believe is worth sharing. Feel free to keep checking back regularly for updates! 🙂

Here’s a blog post that gives practical, actionable information, such as when to do your laundry. The writer of this post also happens to be my friend and fellow entrepreneur! Check out these 5 habits here:

5 Habits That Will Make Your Life Easier

One revelation I’ve had recently is that being productive does not equate to good time management. Here’s a New York Times article by Adam Grant that helps shed some light on what productivity actually means:

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.

Here’s one article (4 minute read) that caught my attention, since I’m very much into aesthetics combined with functionality:

Your Productivity Hinges on How You Arrange Your Desk

Become an Early Bird: How to Get Up Early and Feel Great

If you’re like most people, you hit the snooze button several times before you finally get up. Then, getting to work on time means everything has to go perfectly. If you require an extra minute to find your shoes or your car won’t start, you’ll probably be late. The entire morning is stressful from the moment your feet hit the floor.

With a little extra time in the morning, your whole day will be better. Have you ever noticed that if you have a good morning, the rest of the day is usually pretty good, too?

Follow this process to change your morning and have a great day: 

1. The easiest way is to change your wake-up time gradually. Our bodies become very accustomed to getting up at the same time every day. 

  • Every 3 days, set your alarm another 15 minutes earlier. That schedule might seem a little slow, but it works.
  • If you try to get up an hour earlier immediately, the odds of maintaining that schedule are pretty bleak.

2. Follow these three steps each morning to actually get up. Maybe you made it several days and you’re now getting up 45 minutes earlier. That’s awesome! But you might find that you’re starting to hit snooze again and wasting the extra time you’ve created.

  • Step #1: Get really excited the night before. Before getting into bed each night, think of one thing to do when you get up that really appeals to you. Maybe there’s something you’d like to read or maybe you’d like to take a walk each morning.
  • Step #2: Put your alarm on the other side of the room. When the alarm is buzzing, it’s much harder to sleep. You also can’t hit the snooze button without getting up. If you ignore the alarm, your partner and children will probably let you know about it in no uncertain terms.
  • Step #3: Jump out of bed immediately and go to the bathroom. Wash your face and brush your teeth. You’ll be much less likely to return to bed after hitting the bathroom and starting your routine.  
  • The key is to take control of your thoughts. If you think to yourself, “I’m getting up now,” you’ll be surprised to find yourself really getting up. If you think, “Just 5 more minutes,” you know what will happen.

3. Have a plan for what you’re going to do when you get up. Avoid wasting time by flopping in front of the TV or getting online. There are many more productive options.

  • Everyone is dehydrated first thing in the morning, so get a nice, tall glass of water. You’ll feel so much better after rehydrating. 
  • If you exercise, even for 10 minutes, it will help you wake up and feel better.
  • Have a cup of tea or coffee before you leave for work. You can even take it to go!

4. Go to bed earlier. It only makes sense that if you’re getting up earlier, you need to either go to bed earlier or take a nap each day. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

That’s it! It might take a few weeks before it’s second nature, but you can definitely do it. You’ll find that the extra time in the morning really reduces your stress. You’ll also find it’s easier to get up because you’re getting up to do something that you enjoy.

A Timely Guide to Planning Your Week

Most of us attack the week one day at a time. If you work in corporate, you get to the office on Monday, track down a cup of coffee, and then try to figure out what all is going on.

Consider how things could work out better if you have a weekly plan for your life before you wake up on Monday morning. And don’t just plan your work-related items, plan everything else too. Figure out what needs to be done and prioritize those items.

For your best results, avoid living life as it unfolds. By taking control, you’ll increase your confidence, stay ahead of your work, and actually find more free time to do whatever you like. Give it a try for a month and see if you enjoy the benefits.

Follow these steps to create a plan for the week:

1. Have a weekly planning session. Sunday is the logical choice. You’ve decompressed from the previous week, but it’s still fresh in your mind. The workweek starts in just one day.

Make a list of tasks for each area of your life. The areas might include work, personal items, and family. Your items will vary with your unique life.

An example: WORK

– complete marketing project with George
– interview applicants for marketing supervisor position
– contact packaging vendor to discuss printing issues – find contractor to repair floor on production area

2. Assign priorities to all of the tasks. Assume that you can’t get it all done. Which items must be done and which can slide until the following week?

Assign one of three levels of priority to each task. You might use 1, 2, 3, or A, B, C, or Red, Yellow, Green.

Start with your number 1 priorities and complete all of them before moving on to the number 2 and 3 priorities.

3. Schedule these tasks into your calendar. Begin this process no later than Sunday evening. You should know how you’re going to spend your Monday morning. Don’t wait until your alarm clock wakes you up.

Avoid over-scheduling. I cannot stress this enough. Once you fall behind, it becomes impossible to catch up. Leave room for the inevitable emergencies and requests from the boss. Schedule 50% of your time and leave the rest available.

Using a planner will allow you to move all these obligations out of your head. Put them down on paper as soon as possible.

4. Get busy as soon as you can on Monday morning. If you can work ahead, great! Keep your plans fluid. What you’ve put in your planner is your best guess, but you have to start somewhere. Things will change as the week progresses.

5. Review each evening. Spend just a few minutes each night making necessary adjustments. As tasks are completed, you’ll have the flexibility to move things around. Perfect your new plan of attack each night. Make this a habit. You can do it before leaving the office or do it in the comfort of your living room. Just ensure it gets done.

6. Have a weekly review. What did you do well? What could have been better? How well did your weekly plan work? What improvements can you make to the process?

Reviewing your week and making adjustments is one of the most powerful ways to improve. Address your mistakes and recognize your successes.

By planning and prioritizing, you can hit the ground running. You’re also assured of getting the most important things accomplished. Start next week by making a plan and following it religiously. Your life will change for the better.

Following Your Anxiety to Beat Procrastination

In my last post I claimed that I had finally “figured out” how to schedule my time, and yes, that was true at the time (about a month ago). But I think I was a little too quick to make that kind of a claim.

Yes, I really did feel like I had my life under control just a month ago, and it felt great. I was productive, waking up early in the mornings, exercising, starting each day intentionally..

But that kind of “ideal” lifestyle gradually evolved into a less ideal one as the days and weeks went by. Hence the lack of new blog posts for a whole month.

The good thing is that I finally told myself tonight that I cannot go to bed until I’ve finished writing a new blog post. So here I am.

It’s actually very late at night, past midnight, but I knew that if I didn’t take action ASAP it’d be difficult for me to make progress on my big life goals. I believe that it’s worth making certain sacrifices (in this case, the amount of sleep I’ll get tonight) if you know you will not regret the results you’ll get from sacrificing some of your comfort. I just wouldn’t do it every day.

Just before I started typing up this blog post, I read a bunch of articles online that talked about time management, productivity, habits, and related topics.

But first, just a sidebar before I talk about what I just read…

It’s actually really frustrating for me right now as I’m typing these words because my thoughts aren’t flowing and it’s like my brain is stuck. It’s like some form of writer’s block, where my sentences are choppy and I wonder how I used to be able to write so much so often and my range of vocabulary words seems so elementary now.

That being said, I will still finish up typing this post because I want to respect myself and my already-made decision to finish this before going to bed. Actually I’m technically already in bed, using a lap desk, leaning against my pillow against the wall, looking forward to finally resting from the long day. (Note – I fell asleep right about here after I wrote this paragraph, so I actually finished writing this the next day.)

Anyway, one thing I thought was insightful and helpful from one of the articles I read was that if you find yourself procrastinating on something and you sense resistance or anxiety about the thing you’re procrastinating on, that’s a good indication that that is the very thing you should do first.

This makes sense to me because if you think about it, who in their right mind would “procrastinate” when it comes to watching their favorite shows? Netflix and YouTube have never struck me as anxiety-inducing, but rather, they have a way of helping us numb away the scary “real” things that we should actually be working on. 

But after that numbingly wonderful Miranda Sings video is finished, you’re back to square one: overwhelming huge mountain of intimidating task giving you anxiety and way more stress than you need (not that you ever “need” stress).

Let’s look at it from the other side: you’re about to procrastinate by doing something that seems productive such as wiping down your kitchen counters (why not), or taking some papers out to the recycling bin to help you “declutter” and “organize.”

So you proceed to “take care” of these good, productive tasks, when deep down you know you will still have to face that looming project you’ve been avoiding. Despite all the little tasks you get done, your stress level rises, you’re less happy, you’re more irritable, and any ounce of motivation that was in you leaks out.

Then you continue to look for petty (but oh so productive) tasks. Maybe you even plan out an ambitious schedule for yourself for the next week to complete that project of yours. And then maybe you don’t even follow the well though-out, ambitious, color-coded schedule that you labored so diligently on.

Meanwhile, you’re MORE stressed, MORE unhappy, MORE irritable, and EVEN MORE unmotivated. And this vicious cycle repeats itself over and over again.

Does this sound familiar????

My point is, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed about something that you’ve been putting off doing, that’s probably an indication that it is a very important task or project that needs your undivided attention right away.

So if you’re feeling anxious right now about something you know you have to eventually do, my suggestion is to “follow” your anxiety right to its source and face it head-on. Make that a priority and just start.

In most cases, starting is the hardest part, but once you’re fifteen minutes (i.e. the time it takes to get into the “flow” – I read that somewhere) into it, you’re in the zone, you finally make some progress (however little it may be), and you experience a decrease in stress and irritability, and an increase in happiness and motivation.

Try it out and let me know how it goes. 🙂


How to Prioritize When Making a Schedule

 

After a long while of inconsistently posting on this blog, I’m finally writing a post and expect to be considerably more consistent about posting in the near future. Why is that? Well, it’s probably because I’ve pretty much figured out a weekly schedule that works for me.

But this definitely didn’t happen overnight at all. It’s been a lot of experimenting with different ways to block out certain amounts of times in the day/week, keeping in mind the level of importance of things. In other words, I’ve found that if you want to make a schedule that works for you, you have to be clear about what your priorities are.

Knowing what’s most important to me has been a game changer. I didn’t have to sit down to brainstorm and write down what my priorities are. You can do that if you want, but personally I think the process of creating your weekly schedule itself is sufficient.

If making a schedule right away is overwhelming, then I’d suggest getting a notebook or blank piece of paper, or even a post-it, and writing down a list of things that you know are important (studying should be a no-brainer if your current occupation is “student”) or that you’d like to spend more time on (maybe learning a new language or some other hobby).

It’s likely that you’ll write a number of things down, but you really shouldn’t have more than three priorities, lest you fall into the trap of focusing on so many things that nothing gets done properly, adequately, or thoroughly enough. So after spending about 5 to 10 minutes of writing down your potential priorities, take a look at your list and begin crossing things off. There will always be at least one thing that is easy to cross off, but it may take a few extra minutes to narrow it down to three.

To give you an idea of what I’ve deemed important…

My current top 3 priorities are:

 

  1. Health

    This is number one for me, because when looking back on my life over the years, I’ve realized that one thing that has often kept me from performing at my best is health. It’s not that I had any major illnesses or medical conditions, because I didn’t, but the fact that I didn’t pay attention much (if at all) to diet and exercise resulted in considerable sluggishness and fatigue that prevented me from doing my best in school and at work.

    Lack of proper diet and exercise also greatly affected the condition of my spiritual life, which is huge for me. The only reason why my spiritual life is not #1 on this list is because without a healthy body, you can’t really do or enjoy anything that much, spiritual or nonspiritual. So, it’s important that I keep myself alive first before I even consider my other priorities.

  2. Spiritual life

    This would have been number one for me but because of the reasons I just gave, my spiritual life now comes in a close second. If you’re reading this and you’re turned off by anything “spiritual” or “religious,” that’s completely fine because I’m not trying to convert anyone or change anyone’s personal beliefs or values. As a rule of thumb I think having three different priorities, as I have here, works well, regardless of what those priorities entail.

    My spiritual life includes Bible reading, ministry reading, personal prayer, and church meetings. My faith is my (non-physical) lifeline, gives my life meaning and purpose, and keeps me grounded in a very positive sense. I owe my life to God, and believe that He is the one who has brought me through everything so that I can be where I am today.

  3. Blog-related things

    You can call this my “hobby,” though it’s more of a “side hustle” which is a term commonly used in the entrepreneurial world. Everything related to my blog (and turning it into my own business down the line) is the main thing outside of my actual job that I’m actively trying to work on. It’s one of my top priorities not just because I want to make money, but because I actually enjoy working on it and it honestly makes me so happy.

    I don’t have very much to say about my blog right now, except that I clearly haven’t posted much on here for a while. Guess why? Yup, I didn’t prioritize it, so it didn’t end up on my calendar, which means not much got accomplished in recent months. I really hope and expect that the effectiveness of my new schedule will be reflected in my blog posts and updates in the near future.

Putting it down on calendar

Whether you use a physical or electronic planner or calendar depends on your preference, but personally I’ve found that I work best with iCal which I can access from both my MacBook Pro and iPhone 8.

I used to use physical planners all the time, and have gone through multiple Moleskine planners which I loved, but after I started going digital, there was no going back. I actually tried to go back to paper and even bought a really beautiful planner with a well thought out template/layout, but I somehow still ended up reverting back to my digital calendar.

When it comes to making your actual schedule with your top priorities in view, it honestly isn’t rocket science. I just color-code each of the three priorities when putting them into my weekly schedule on Sunday evenings. I use magenta (or whatever that color is) for health things (gym, personal training, pilates), green for spiritual things, and yellow for blog things. And then I use different colors for other things, such as purple for work and orange for special events.

Anyway, that is a general overview on prioritization when making a schedule, and I encourage you to take out a piece of paper or notebook, or pull up a new Word document or Google doc, and figure out what you want to make your top three priorities in your daily life. Let me know how it goes and anything you have questions or comments on, or if you want me to elaborate more on a particular topic from this post.

For more tips like these that are not posted on my blog but are only sent via email, send me a DM (and follow!) on Instagram @justamyllennial or email me at amy@justamyllennial.com to personally request to be added to my email newsletter list, since my newsletter sign up form is unfortunately not working at the moment. Thankfully my blog is now a priority so I’ll have more time to work on some of this technical stuff, like making certain things on this site less “buggy.”

11/22/18 Update: Newsletter form is up and running again!! Unless I messed something up again… (if that’s the case, please let me know).

The Importance of Having a Clear Vision

Note: This post was written over a span of several weeks, not because I was perfecting it, but because I either didn’t feel like writing or I got interrupted/distracted or sleepy. Hope it still makes sense! 🙂

Not gonna lie, life is pretty rough sometimes. Sometimes we might find ourselves in an extended slump during which we have no motivation or drive to “push through.” Maybe that’s how you feel right now regarding some long-term endeavor. Maybe you feel like all you want to do is give up, but you’re also torn knowing that if you quit, you’ll probably feel like a failure and consequently, that would be quite depressing.

Maybe that’s how I’m feeling right now. Actually, that’s exactly the case. Inwardly I’m a blob of discouragement and unmotivatedness, and quite frankly I feel depressed, as if there’s a deep hole in my heart. But this “hole” has visited me enough times in my life that I’ve somewhat learned how to handle myself in such times.

How did I end up showing up to my laptop to write this post when my whole inward being doesn’t want to do anything except feel sad?

Two things.

#1: PRACTICE – Or more like, it’s happened so many times in my life already that after experiencing it over and over again, I’ve found that some ways of coping/dealing with depressive episodes are far more effective than other ways. I’ve learned that no matter how terrible I feel, the feelings will not stay permanently. I’ve been practicing, based on my therapist’s suggestion, to “notice” or “acknowledge” those feelings, to recognize that, “oh look, there’s sadness paying me a visit, so I’ll say hello to it and then let it go,” similar to letting go of a balloon. In a sense it’s like you’re objectifying the feeling, though I still allow myself to feel the feelings rather than pretending they’re not there. It’s like, hey, I have this feeling and it’s there, and I won’t deny it because that’s the fact, but the feeling is just a feeling so I acknowledge that it’s hanging out here with me for now, but in the meantime I’ll keep doing whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing. The more I do this, the more easy and automatic this “method” becomes.

#2: VISION – If you have a clear vision of something you’re working towards, and you can really SEE it to the point where it’s REAL to you, and you want it SO badly.. then that vision will be able to override your lack of motivation (the majority of the time), and it’s COMPLETELY OKAY to have occasional “off” days. The vision is THAT good, that even when you’re like, “I can’t get up from this comfy couch and I don’t feel like doing anything,” you’ll somehow still (perhaps slowly) get up from that couch and do something to get closer to your dream goal.

For some reason I somehow find myself writing more about depression on this blog than planned, so apologies for that. If you can relate at all, then great, and I hope my sharing can be of help to you. But if you can’t really relate much to depression and mental health struggles, that’s okay too. Regardless of our natural disposition, we all still need to find ways to get things done in life, especially us millennials.


Some days later…

I didn’t get to finish writing some days ago, so here I am again. Showing up to my laptop. Except this time I’m not feeling depressed at all and am finishing up this post at the end of a great day. (Didn’t actually finish the post that day..)

I also learned an effective secret yesterday, which I guess is now my not-so-secret secret. 🙂 This secret has gotten me way out of the realm of depression, sadness, anxiety, and restlessness. This “secret” – actually, I don’t know why I’m calling it a secret because it’s not something that needs to be kept from others to know about.

So this “tool” that I discovered over the past week is something that has revolutionized the past few days for me, and I believe the lessons learned here will also revolutionize the rest of my life.

It’s actually quite simple. I began to shift my attention away from myself, my problems, my worries, my discomfort, my unfulfilled desires, MY MY MY everything… and began to pay attention to the problems of those around me, but not in a critical sense at all.

What I mean is, I’ve been finding that what saves me from depression the most (besides meds and therapy) is helping and caring for others, thus redirecting my focus to something outside of me and my situation. I believe that human beings have this innate characteristic of finding fulfillment in making a difference in others’ lives. Just think about it.

That being said, I was told by my therapist that I shouldn’t always be “distracted” from the difficult things I’m going through, because in order to properly pass through the healing process, it is still necessary for me to take time to process everything, while not allowing myself to fall into the depression vortex.

So for the most part, focusing on other people or things is a healthy way to be distracted to the point where I can still experience the inevitable emotions for healing, without being overtaken by the stronghold of depression.

On another note, I’m also at a time of the month when PMS is no longer an issue. Pardon me for being TMI. Just telling it as it is, because I don’t want to sugarcoat anything I write here. So granted, my stabilized hormones has probably also contributed to my improved well-being.


Even more days later…

I just went back and added some more writing above to fill in some gaps.. now my brain is tired after trying to put into words some of the complicated ideas in my brain.

 

 

How to Feel Motivated When You’re Feeling Down and Low Energy [PART 3 of 3]

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, reading those first may help give some more context before reading  Part 3. Or you can read this first, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can always refer back to the first two parts of this mini “motivation series.”

Part 1 stressed that motivation is not necessarily a feeling. To accomplish something, you can’t solely rely on how motivated you feel. Otherwise, chances are, your “momentum” will not last forever and you’ll easily want to quit.

Part 2 stressed that on the other hand, sometimes it’s necessary to be a little more forgiving when someone doesn’t feel motivated to do anything, because the lack of motivation might be due to poor mental health, which can often be easily treated or helped with medication and/or professional therapy.

Both of these views are rather “extreme” and “absolute,” and suggest more of an underlying “all-or-nothing” mindset. But in most cases, the average person usually experiences a combination of both self discipline and a motivating feeling. So Part 3 will be called “normal.”

Normal: Somewhere in Between

We’ve all experienced some kind of “I have no choice but to do this anyway” approach (e.g. writing papers in college, picking up your dog’s poop, showering, dragging yourself out of your cloud-like bed to go to work), as well as the “I’m feeling so pumped right now LET’S DO THIS” approach (e.g. signing up for a half marathon without thinking, starting a business after getting majorly inspired, happily doing your first homework assignment after the first day of school, getting up at 5AM to hit the gym on January 1st, 2nd, and 3rd).

I do not believe that you or I have experienced ONLY doing things by means of self discipline, or ONLY doing things based on how pumped we feel. There’s a time and place for black and white situations, but this is not what we’re talking about here.

I myself have fallen prey to such black and whiteness, to all or nothingness. Actually, the situations themselves may not have been so black and white, but rather my way of thinking just did not have much of a middle ground. I believe that this all-or-nothing way of thinking and approach to life is why my life at times have felt so difficult or un-enjoyable.

I am also, right at this very second as I am typing this sentence, experiencing major writer’s block and cannot figure out what it was that I was supposed to talk about at this point of this blog post. My brain feels fried and empty, but I am still typing this.

I cannot say that right now at this moment I am practicing outstanding self discipline, because if I was, I would probably just willfully and unforgivingly tell myself, “Amy, snap out of it right now and use your brain to its full capacity for goodness sake. Just force yourself NOW to give it your absolute all and nothing less, or else you are a failure and your life is meaningless and you will never succeed in life because successful people don’t give in to their lazy feelings so easily so what in the world is wrong with you.”

But a part of me also thinks that this military-like mentality would likely result in unnecessary over-exhaustion by the end of the day. So, on the one hand I somehow am still typing away at this post, yet not beating myself up over not writing the most intellectually stimulating content, and also not fully succumbing to my blank-mindedness or blah-ness.

I guess maybe my current state of being and how I am responding to this circumstance is illustrative of this “happy medium” or “normality” that I am trying to explain here. I’m basically experiencing and practicing an approach that is somewhere in between the two “extremes.”

I would also say that what I am talking about is very much related to the matter of perfectionism, which is one of the top characteristics of people who waver between one extreme to the other, between black and white, between all or nothing.

Perfectionism “brings home” the discipline aspect and the emotional aspect, but not in a positive sense. If I were to let my perfectionism get to me right now, I would probably just keep thinking about how my head is starting to hurt and I have no idea what I’m writing or if my train of thought even makes sense at all, so I give up on writing this post because I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore, and why would anyone want to read this, etc. etc. and then as a result of this approach/way of thinking, aka this deadly perfectionism, I probably wouldn’t get anything done today. I’d rather complete a task imperfectly than not complete a task perfectly.

Meanwhile my eager best friend keeps texting me almost every day asking for a new blog post.. so giving in to my “I don’t know how good my writing is” thought would result in disappointing at least one of my perpetually excited readers. And I hope she feels special that I’m giving her yet another shoutout on this blog. You’re welcome. 😛

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Proof of best friend’s enthusiasm. Screenshot taken by Amy Lo.

 

So how do you feel motivated when you’re feeling down or low energy? Do you just suck it up and forget how you feel altogether? Do you throw a pity party and say that your life sucks, and let your emotions give in to every negative thought in your mind? I don’t have the answers. But both Part 1 and Part 2 have their place and their validity.

I do, however, have a few “tricks” that seem to almost always work for me in terms of motivation, though sometimes it takes longer for the motivation to kick in.

Sometimes, when all the energy is gone and motivation is but a distant memory and all I can do is sprawl on my bed which, by the way, is the most comfortable bed ever, I have found that the hidden inner motivated Amy within knows that anything is still possible with her iPhone 8.

Literally though, I can’t even count the number of times my phone inspired me to get out of bed and get things done. What does this look like? A few different possibilites..

Possibility #1: Text one of my bffs, usually the one in my timezone, and say that I need motivation and can’t get out of bed. But for some reason I can still text in bed.. Then she’ll send me all the cheerleader-like texts and emojis and even record herself saying “You can do it” in a weird voice, or come up with a great convincing reason for me to get up. I’m fortunate to have this kind of best friend, but maybe not everyone’s friends are as weird and quirky as us..

Possibility #2: Open YouTube app, and watch or listen to a personal development video (also while in bed). Sam Brown’s videos will usually do the trick. I don’t know why, but I would say in less than 15 minutes I’m usually “pumped” again because something in those videos always sparks renewed inspiration in me.

Possibility #3: Similarly, sometimes I’ll open either my Podcasts app or Libby app to play life-changing podcasts and audiobooks. I am currently listening to The Magic of Thinking Big. If you listen to or read a portion of that book and you don’t feel at all motivated and/or inspired afterwards… maybe you’re not a real human.

There is an overarching principle in all the above iPhone techniques. If you have an Android that’s fine too. The principle is that when there’s no motivation in me, I draw from others’ energy and motivation to get energized myself.

This “hack” somehow works well for me. It even worked, or at least helped to some extent, when I was miserably going through a rough breakup, in which case the bff technique usually worked best.

All that being said, I will add that if you’re feeling down and low energy, you might just need to take a nap or get to bed earlier. Or maybe you just need to eat a healthy meal, drink some water, or go for a run.

Our bodies and souls are so intricate and complex, for which reason practicing self care is (in my opinion) mandatory and foundational for our well-being. Any little issue with our body, soul, or spirit, can affect a person’s level of motivation.

My purpose in writing these three posts is not to address every possible scenario or solve everyone’s problem. I am just a fellow millennial figuring all this out myself alongside you, and sharing my own insights that could potentially be helpful or thought-provoking for my fellow Gen Y-ers.