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    • 7 May
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    How To Get Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

    Question:  “How do you eat an elephant?”
    Answer:    “One bite at a time”


    Like you, I’ve been spending a lot of time meeting on Zoom or talking on the phone. Way more than normal.

    And one theme that consistently comes up on these calls is that most of us are spiraling between motivated and lethargic.

    Feeling like we have all this extra time that we don’t want to waste, yet wasting it.

    All these projects sitting on the back burner making us feel guilty and wanting to make a quick Five Guys run.

    Typically, a deadline puts pressure on us because we have to get it done. Work projects, kids’ activities, school, all are things that come with built in motivation. That’s easy. We don’t question, we just do.

    I’m talking about stuff that if it doesn’t get done today, this week or even this month, it’s not a big deal. But if we did get it done we would feel way better.

    There’s only one mantra that works for this type of project.


    In coaching we call these turtle steps.  Agile project development calls them sprints. No matter what you call it, it works.

    Here’s an example of how I hung bookshelves in my new office this month using this method.

    First, the thought of hanging them felt daunting. We’re not super handy. I thought about calling someone but knew that should be saved for an emergency.

    This was no emergency. The aesthetics of the office were a bummer though. Plus I needed to empty the last few boxes from the move. Those boxes were waiting for the shelves.

    What I Did

    I broke this project down into tiny tasks.

    Listing all the tasks would take too much energy, so I just started.

    Here’s the basic breakdown. I’m listing them as “days” and not “steps” because that’s all I did on that particular day.

    These days were over a month, not in a row.

    • Day 1 | Watched a 10 minute video on YouTube on how to install the wall hardware
    • Day 2 | Ordered some missing hardware from the Container Store
    • Day 3 | Brought the ladder into the office and moved the desk. Found the electric drill and plugged in the charger
    • Day 4 | Climbed the ladder (which made me nervous because I’m not a fan of heights) and marked where the top bracket needed to go
    • Day 5 | Drilled the holes to mount the top bracket while talking ourselves down that we could always Spackle if something went south
    • Day 6  |  Moved the shelves and all brackets into the office
    • Day 7 | Mounted the top bracket that holds the whole contraption in place and made sure it was level. (OMG it was actually level!)
    • Day 8 | Put all the shelves in after watching a video on how to do that efficiently
    • Day 9 | Unpacked 2 boxes
    • Day 10 | Unpacked the last 2 boxes and decorated the shelves
    • Day 11 and forever after | Admired the shelves

    You might be thinking, “WTH! What a long, drawn out process you should have sat your butt down and knocked it out in a day.”

    I’m telling you if I had said “I will devote 8 hours to installing these shelves,” they would still be sitting on the lanai.  Instead in less than a month, they were up and looking great. Not an unpacked box anywhere!

    I use this method for a lot of projects

    Blog Posts or Writing | When I need to write, I time myself for 30 minutes. I’m always shocked at how much writing I can get done in that time-frame. Usually an entire post can be rough drafted because my inner critic doesn’t have time to stop me. Finalizing takes more time but at least the “bones” are in place.

    Reading | If I have some reading to do but not a lot of time, I read for only 15 minutes a day. I time myself and then stop. By the end of the week, I’ve read way more than if I waited for that perfect time to sit and read for an hour or two.

    Cleaning | I clean the house in 15 and 30 minute bursts. I get a ton done in that small time-frame.

    Small bursts of momentum move you into action. There’s no time to overthink or get tired. It also motivates you to take another small step and another, until you’re done.

    If you haven’t tried turtle steps, give it a try with something you’ve got hanging over your head. You’ll see that it works.

    As we used to say in the consulting biz “let’s get ‘er done!” one bite at a time.

    Still basking in your brilliance from a safe distance!


    I’m Eva Lewandowski MBA,  a certified Life Coach, certified EFT Practitioner, seminar leader, speaker, co-host of the “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva” podcast.  I’m a 30 year veteran of Corporate America, that has worked as an Accountant and IT consultant.  Using the skills I learned in acting classes, life coaching and EFT certification training as well as my own struggle with debilitating stage fright, I created, Stand Up and Be Heard! Public Speaking for Private Professionals, an online, interactive course that teaches professionals how to overcome their fear of the spotlight. I’m also the author of “Put on Your Phone Face: Tips and Techniques for teleconferences and conference calls”.

    To learn more about me and my services click here.

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