Your favourite one-woman-show is back! In this episode, I talk about how I've been feeling unmotivated and uninspired recently. We all have those days, and with the global pandemic on top of it -- it can feel even more difficult. Here are some things that I do to get my motivation and energy back on track.
Support the show (https://pawlean.com/support-me)
Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of a podcast by Pauline. I'm your host, Pauline Narvas. And today I am by myself talking about motivation. This is sort of weird because last time I did a podcast episode I was with my brother talking about content creation, and that was really fun. But yeah, today you just have me. Um, and I think this one, this episode is just going to be me talking through how I've been feeling recently and that is unmotivated and uninspired. I think a huge part of that is the fact that I've just come back from Sheffield to Leeds. I think a lot of my inspiration and motivation comes from the people around me and my family are all quite high energy people. So I think just bouncing of them over
The last month has been really good for for me and like my productivity and mental health. If you listen to the last episode, my brother especially gives me this like inspiration to do things and to he's got this like energy that I used to have a lot younger than I am. Now, the reason I want to talk about this is the fact that like, as a society, we all sort of obsess over productivity and being motivated all the time. I mean, like, there's a lot of people that I follow on like Instagram and Twitter and YouTube who literally just talk about productivity and be motivated. And it's all really motivating content. But I think when you step back and have a look at, you know, their whole feed and their whole, the content they put out, you have this like, assumption that they must be productive. 24 seven, I remember when I was at university, I was doing all sorts of different things. And I think the things that I put out there on my instagram and twitter
made me look like I always was motivated and I was always up full of energy, getting my dissertation written, go into lectures and then going to work and then planning tech events and then teaching people going back to my other job. And you know, I had multiple jobs. I feel like this is a whole podcast in itself, to be honest. So yeah, like it looks like from the outside, I was super motivated. And you know, when I look back at my old, like Instagram stories and my old posts during that time, it did look like I was like a productivity machine. And I never really talked about how there were days where I did feel unmotivated and uninspired. But so I wanted to talk about that motivation today. And like, just talk through how I've been dealing with my own motivation recently. It's just hitting harder. The fact that you know, I'm feeling really isolated from everything and you know, whenever I'm unmotivated and not focused. I feel this added
pressure as well as like frustration over the small things that I can't do, or that take longer than usual to do but it has just been really frustrating for me. But then I woke up this morning and I said to myself, I can't have another day of feeling shame about my situation, and feeling like unmotivated by my own motivation if that makes sense. If you are feeling unmotivated at the moment, I hope that this episode gives you some pointers on what you can do to improve your motivation. Let's start with the first thing that helps me get my motivation back. So the first thing is my grounding habits and I already spoke about my health and wellness journey and how important having these like habits are, I don't know if it's just me but I find when I'm feeling unmotivated, I feel like I just lack a lot of energy and because of that lack of
Energy, I then don't do anything. Or it's just like a cycle of doing nothing. And as someone who likes to do a lot of things that in turn just makes me feel more frustrated and more upset with like my current situation. My grounding habits have just been there to help make sure that I'm on top of everything. So the first thing is, as you all know, for my other episode, exercise, so exercise is really important. You know, I notice on the days I don't exercise, I just feel like I lacked that energy and then in term, I feel unmotivated to do anything. So having that endorphin rush really helps to feel motivated.
The second thing with my grinding habits is breathing. I've talked about this again, in my other episode, how important it is just to take a few minutes just to do some breathing. I do this a lot in my yoga sessions and I
Other habits that I spoke about before is doing some journaling and reflecting on what you're grateful for doing just regular check ins. So I do they check in session yesterday.
And I literally looked inwards. And I said to myself, right, why am I feeling like this? What's causing me to feel groggy? And what I found from that check in session was that recently, I've just not been mindful of what I've been eating. So I literally have just been eating everything and anything and that's completely fine. But I have found that certain foods make me feel more groggy. And so the next day I wake up and I've just not set myself up for success. From that exercise. I realised that this month, I really need to focus on what I'm eating. And so yeah, that's my challenge for September. I'll let you know how that goes. Another thing is loads of water. Drink as much water as you can. As soon as you
You wake up, that's what it really makes a huge difference. And yeah, those are my granting habits as soon as I wake up, and sometimes like, especially the journal things if I don't have like the time to do it in the morning, I do it in the evening. And yeah, again, that just sets me up for success for the next day. And other things too to look at is your environment. So whenever my the room I work in is messy, and there's like loads of clutter around I literally can't think like, I can't do anything but tidy up. It has to be tidy before I get really focused in anything. I think that differs from person to person because I know that some people literally don't care or thrive in mess. I was completely fine. But for me personally, this is a huge part of what helps kick my motivation. I usually do this like at the end of my working day. So I usually just quickly look through my desk
tidy things up so that the next day, I can just jump right in. In addition to that, since I'm always on my laptop, doing all sorts of different things, I like to make sure that tech I use is all tidy up. So what I mean by that is the digital clutter. So making sure that I don't have excess files on my desktop, because I literally can't think if I do.
And so I just make sure that that's all nice and tidy. That's the same with emails. So I make sure that my emails and to do lists, and my notion is nice and tidy, ready for the day. I usually again, do this at the end of each working day, so I don't spend time in the morning like cleaning things up. When I can, it's still really good because it's like it makes me feel productive because I'm doing like a small task, which actually leads me on to another one. Another thing that I do whenever I feel motivated and
Is prioritising the small tasks. Maybe this is like this isn't the right advice for some people. But for me, whenever I get a quick win in in the morning, like a quick tick for something, then I feel really motivated because it keeps the momentum up to continue about the rest of the day. Another thing I like to do is making sure that before I start the actual working day, I plan out what I'm going to do. So I look at all of my meetings that I have coming up and then I like to write that down three things that I need to add one to get done today. And that usually helps me just organise my mind because I'm thinking about all sorts of different things. And so just the act of writing things down or creating another list or another to do task really helps just organise my mind motivates me to get stuff done. There's that there's a saying about if you don't plan
Then you fail. That's a really blunt way of saying, but it's true, there's probably a more like elegant way of that quote somewhere on the internet. Another thing is, whenever I really want to focus on something, I've noticed that when I put my headphones in, I get into this like zone. And that usually motivates me, especially when I have like my favourite, like pick me up songs, but it does help me focus. In addition to that I love sometimes like listening to podcasts in the background. I like this a lot because back when we were in the office, are you for like listening into different conversations were also worked, I met just motivated me to keep going with whatever I was doing. And so having podcasts in the background has been nice because it's sort of like me listening into a conversation and learning something not not like super actively but even the act of doing it passively has been really nice. Sometimes I like to take a few breaks when I do take breaks.
But also just a reminder for me to actually take more breaks. But whenever I have a break, I like reading bits of a book, or reading bits of a blog or an article that inspires me. Another thing is thinking long term, you know, having those reminders of long term goals. I'm sure we all have this, but sometimes I forget why I'm doing the thing that I'm doing. Sometimes we just need to step back. Remember our why. And the end goal, as an example of this is, you know, sometimes whenever you're debugging code, or you're trying to finish a ticket, and you're stuck, and then you get frustrated is just a cycle of frustration, taking a step back and being like, Okay, why am I actually doing this? Where Where will this lead me to can really help motivate me on what the end game is and so
Sometimes when I am super stoked and I get frustrated, I'm just like, well, it's okay, I can push through this frustration and this imposter syndrome and on motivation by focusing on the fact that once I do this, this adds up to the fact that in the future I want to get here. So, like, as an example, with the technical stuff work, whenever there's like a ticket I really struggle with or something I'm quite frustrated over. I always like think to myself that this all adds up to the fact that I want to improve my technical knowledge and skills. And so being frustrated being unmotivated to complete a task has given me like extra energy to finish what I started, and I love that. It's really nice. It's a nice reminder, because then I know that it from a year from now, I'm good to look back at what I was, you know, a day but I was unmotivated, but then push
Through and then I'm gonna think back I'm gonna be like, wow, I'm so glad I push through that really difficult task or that unmotivated day because that has led to today, it all adds up in the end. And I think just having sort of like a roadmap in your life, but don't like formalise it but having that roadmap and then I'm thinking about what it could be, really pumps me up and motivates me to just do the thing. My last advice would be stepping back to do nothing. And I know, this is like sort of opposite to everything. I just said that. I think it's really important, especially in a world right now where, you know, everyone's obsessed with hustle. Everyone's obsessed with being 24 seven being productive all the time. And you know, sometimes this on motivation is a sign that your body and your mind is telling you to step back and
Relax, we have all the time in the world. We don't need to go go go constantly. Sometimes you're when you're feeling unmotivated and uninspired, sometimes it's okay just to like step back and give yourself a break. You don't have to accomplish like huge tasks every single day. You can do smaller tasks, because like I said before, they all add up in the end. And so don't put too much pressure on yourself. If you can't, like do this huge thing because you're feeling unmotivated and uninspired that day. That's okay. Yeah, sometimes it's okay, just to accept that, okay, I'm feeling unmotivated today. So I'm just going to spend a bit of time just doing smaller tasks or looking at other things and doing a bit of that self care to maybe give me that energy. But if I don't have that energy, that's okay. Take your time. It's not always slow down. So one of the things I've decided to do
Recently since I've been feeling unmotivated is actually to take a break from screens more often, and to take a break from this dopamine rush that I get every time I post something on social media and people like send me messages This is taking like a huge degree of honesty because Yeah, because it's uncomfortable. It's science. You know, we all get a dopamine rush from scrolling on social media but like whenever someone likes my stuff, or sends me a message or you know, reacts to my stories and stuff like that, I get this dopamine rush that I don't think a lot of people and talk about too often. So yeah, this is me just being super honest sometimes that there'll be me rushes leads me down the wrong path and leads me eventually feeling unmotivated because I'm constantly like seeking validation and doing a lot of meaningless things can eventually lead down the path of odd motivation. So yeah,
I've been trying to do more regular dopamine fasts from social media. So a lot of my tweets right now automated. Yeah, it's nice, just like not checking Twitter all the time. It's also nice like, not being on Instagram all the time, like thinking of what to post and thinking of what to snap and share my story. It's just nice just to live and just be away from all of that for a bit. Sometimes just scrolling down your feed can be emotionally draining, and you don't want that you don't want to be emotionally drained. That again, leads to on motivation and feeling uninspired because you're constantly thinking about what is so instead of doing and then you know, when you see someone doing something, you're suddenly like, should I be doing that? And then it's just all like irrational decisions and irrational thinking which is just, again, leads to the fact that down the line, you just won't feel motivated or inspired. Thank you.
It's really important to take a take a break. I think I've said this before in a blog post, but inspiration and motivation doesn't come from like, screens doesn't come from feed. It comes from the fact that you look around you and look inside of you. It just comes from there. That's all you need. All in all, resting is the best remedy and no one can tell me otherwise. If you're feeling unmotivated today on uninspired that's okay, take a step back rest. I don't think anyone else but Eliza Hamilton said it better than me, but basically...
Thank you for listening to another episode of my podcast. Let me know what you do when you're feeling unmotivated and uninspired. You can find me on social media, on Twitter @paulienuh, Instagram @paw.lean and on my blog, Pawlean.com!
Thank you so much once again for listening!
Why am I talking about this?
Grounding Habits - Exercise, breathing, looking inwards, water
Have you checked your tech? Digital clutter
Building up momentum with small tasks
Planning the 3 most important tasks of the day
Feel-good tunes and podcasts
Inspiration from books, blogs and articles
Thinking long-term - what is the end game?
Taking a break (including from the dopamine rush!)