There is a thought in this world that there are two kinds of people:
- People who are superhuman Shit-Doers, wasting nary a second and only getting the best in life because fuck you, I’m not lazy. They never sleep, they never eat, they never finish all 6 seasons of a show in one sitting because THAT’S WASTING YOUR LIFE.
- Lazy Life-Wasters.
That dichotomy is unbelievably flawed, spewing the idea that only those who never stop to catch their breath are worthy people. Even Jesus wanted to chill out sometimes. Jesus went up on the Mount that famous day just to sit and think about how much he liked cheese, that’s all. He just had a fuckton of people around, so he sermoned instead. Jesus: Sometimes he just wanted to ponder cheese.
Lazy Life-Wasters long to appreciate life on the same lines of Shit-Doers, so they spend their wasted time on “How To Get Motivated” and “How To Stop Procrastinating” tip sites, praying that some hint will finally turn them into the To-Do-List-Tiller that Shit-Doers are.
The tips never work for two reasons:
- They were written by Shit-Doers, who have never been unmotivated. This is basically like Queen Elizabeth explaining the process of how you too can become Queen of England if you just stop whining so much. It’s often patronizing, and it’s almost always bullshit.
- They assume that Lazy Life-Wasters have the same levels of motivation and avoidance of procrastination, and are simply at a loss about how to implement this pooling energy into dream-plowing.
I, Noa D. Gavin, a woman with a job and a house that’s not hoarder-dirty and animals that are alive years after I adopted them, am a Lazy Life-Waster. I, Dangerballs, have some knowledge to drop on you.
You’re Never Going To Be A Shit-Doer, But You Can Get Shit Done
If you’re a Lazy Life-Waster, it’s not because you made an active choice to only dick around forever; your brain doesn’t want to do anything as much as you don’t. You’ve probably been a LLW since childhood. Likewise, you’re not going to wake up one day and suddenly be a Shit-Doer.
This will get in your way, because even LLW’s have jobs, kids, homes, hobbies, dreams, and hopes. As much fun as Snowcone-and-FuturamaFest is every single day of the week, you know well enough to know you have to do things to exist enough to waste your existence.
You can’t force self-discipline, but you can try different motivational tools until something sticks. For me, it’s writing a weekly to-do list every Sunday (a day where I feel most active). This list is broken down by day, further broken down by all steps needed to accomplishing those tasks, and the deliberate working of hard days vs. easy days–with full knowledge as to what I will and won’t do in a day. I do all my work in one block with dicking around before and after, because if I break in the middle, I’ll never do it all. And some days, all I have written down on my to-do is snowcones and Pinterest, and that’s totally fine.
Your tool might be working crazy hard all on one day, and dicking around for the rest. It might be task/reward/task/reward. It might be blocking tasks and then blocking breaks. The system doesn’t matter so much as the shit-doing does.
You’re Not Going To Get It All Done, But You Do Have To Keep Doing It
You can’t get it all done, because there is always something new on your to-do list. Sometimes, you run out of time to finish everything on your list and have to rearrange it for tomorrow. Sometimes you have absolutely zero motivation to do anything other than breathe. And all of that is totally fine.
You can move things around. You can not get it all done. You can take a day if you need to. You are, however, going to have to do those things sometime. If you’re going to dick around today, set your schedule for tomorrow before you get started doing nothing. You don’t have to do it all now, but you will have to keep doing it later.
Even if you’re snail-pacing, you’re moving, and moving breeds momentum. Give yourself a break if you feel you’re not going fast enough–you won’t be moving fast right now, because you’re not a Shit-Doer. You will, however, get used to self-discipline, and be able to add more. Just keep going.
You’re Not Wasting Your Life, But You Do Need To Figure Out What You Want Out Of It
I find it a fascinating idea that most Shit-Doers do NOTHING on vacation but sit by a pool and sleep, while most Lazy Life-Wasters are the insane people who do everything possible and available at their destination. Everyone works, and rests, differently.
Shit-Doers don’t feel personally fulfilled unless they have a stress fracture from all the doing they did today. They experience everything, feel every moment, do everything on their lists, and seem to have it all. That’s great for them. If that’s how they’re personally fulfilled, then super-duper. I also am often fulfilled by the knowledge that I did a respectable amount of work, but I am often fulfilled by days spent doing Pinterest tutorials and watching Golden Girls.
You don’t have to know exactly how to get to your big hopes or spend all day every day breaking ribs to get there, but you do need to have big hopes–otherwise the day-in-day-out is all for nothing. If you have nothing, not even a faint glimmer of, “I’d like to do this one day,” and work towards being able to do it, then I agree that you might as well not do a damn thing ever. Why bother?
Remind yourself of your big hopes when you’re doing that horribly mundane task, or that job you just can’t get started on because it’s so big. Fear that I’ll never reach that hope motivates me. It might inspire you. If it makes you more scared, then start breaking that hope into smaller hopes that seem less frightening, and then start moving.
Remember, moving breeds momentum. Smaller-hoping doesn’t mean giving up on your big hopes, it means learning to get to smaller ones so you can really tackle that big one–so don’t lose that big hope.
If you have any other questions about motivation, I’ll be re-watching all of 30 Rock and The Twilight Zone while wolfing down Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers. So, you know, I’ll get to ‘em when I get to ‘em.
Are you an SD or an LLW? What motivates you? What scares you? What are you working toward?– Favorite Comment From The Last Post: From Monica: “Sometimes when good things I want happen to other people, I get all asshole. Then I remind myself I’m being an asshole, which helps me stop being an asshole. Then I buy drinks.”