Two guidelines for motivation

I was feeling unmotivated about my to-do list, so I decided to ask myself two questions about each item on my list:

  1. Does it affect someone else?
  2. Do I really enjoy doing it?

If I don’t like doing something, and it’s not helping someone else, then I don’t need to do it.

So what did I eliminate? One thing is reading books that I don’t really like. That serves no purpose, since I don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t affect anyone else. Another thing is going on walks–I really like to go on hikes, but just walking for the sake of walking, particularly when I live on a busy highway, is not interesting to me. And sometimes I try to learn new things, find out I don’t really enjoy it, but keep on learning anyway. Coding, for example. It’s fine, but I don’t love it.

I realized I needed to prioritize things that affect other people a little bit more: cleaning my house, cooking dinner, and working on my renovation. It’s nicer to get things done when I can share my work and other people appreciate it.

And there are other things I really like to do. Writing in my journal every day. Playing the piano. Even working on my calculus class–it’s fun for me. But I have to remember I’m not doing it out of duty, but because I want to.

Is there anything you are doing that you don’t like to do and it doesn’t affect anyone else? Can you eliminate it from your life?

And is something you don’t have motivation to work on? Do you actually really enjoy doing it once you get started? Is someone else relying on you to do it? Does recognizing those things give you some added motivation and clarity?

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