How To Work When You Really Don’t Want To


It’s sunny, it’s summer and there’s so much you should be doing — but you just can’t seem to get to it.

Maybe you have a project to complete, it’s not a priority but it needs to get done. Or you want to update your resume and cover letter.  And you really should be sending out emails to contacts to keep in touch, before they forget about you.

Everything is do-able, but for some reason, you’re just not doing anything.

At the Bagg Group, we lead in successful placements of high achievers. It’s what our five divisions (Bagg Pro, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg Managed Resources, Bagg @ Your Service and Turn Key Staffing) do best. We help strong candidates land full-time, contract and temporary placements.

We understand high-achievers – and we know that procrastinating doesn’t mean you’re not one of them.

It just means you need to stop, take stock, and figure out how to keep working when you really don’t feel like it.

The 4 top reasons people stall –and what to do about it.

  • The work is really, truly …  b-o-r-i-n-g.

Some tedious tasks come with every job. So be realistic – there’s no point setting aside huge blocks of time for work that makes you restless.

You’ll likely spend those dedicated hours doing anything but the task you have to do.

We all know the drill: We read a few online news articles and blogs, edit pictures, look for old schoolmates, and of course…Facebook. And then we’re out of time and we beat ourselves up once again for not getting to the work.

Solution:  Set a do-don’t do-repeat cycle

Set a timer. Work for 10 minutes.

Set the timer again for 7 minutes. During this time, read a blog or emails until the buzzer goes off.

Repeat the cycle.

Sure, almost half your time is spent off the project, but that’s much better than nothing.

The secret is to actually set a clock alarm. Studies confirm this will give you a critical sense of working to some kind of deadline. It will keep you going when you would really rather be doing anything else.

  • The work is … well, it’s complicated.

You’re not sure of what is expected, what you’re meant to be doing, how to approach the project. Little is more de-motivating than uncertainty.

Solution:  Send out a trial balloon.

Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend more time upfront to save considerable time – and frustration and procrastination — down the line.

If you aren’t sure of an approach, go with your best guess and write out an equivalent of a table of content or an outline. Send that with a note to whoever assigned you the work, and say you want to ensure, as you proceed, that this is the desired direction.

  • It’s kind of risky business.

You’re worried, you feel you can’t afford to mess up this work. And the anxiety and doubt are paralyzing.

Solution: Ask yourself, what if you don’t do it – is that so much better for you?

Usually, the cost of not doing something is a significant loss of some kind. You may lose hope and feel you’ll be stuck forever, or it may be loss of reputation, or even loss of self-esteem.

Standing still, or inaction, always comes with its own price –and it’s usually too big to pay.

  • It’s work you just really don’t feel like doing.

In his book The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, author Oliver Burkeman shows that when we tell ourselves things like “I just can’t get myself to exercise,” what we really mean is that we can’t get ourselves to feel like exercising, etc.

Burkeman insists it’s really not necessary to feel like doing something to do it.

Solution: Don’t get into a debate with yourself

Don’t ask yourself the question, “Do I feel like this?”  Don’t say yourself, “Argh, I hate this, I don’t want to do it.”

Do not engage in those conversations with yourself, they’re nothing but roadblocks to accomplishment.

 Instead,  even though you don’t feel like it, tell yourself, “Ok, I’m now going to do this for xx time.”

 It’s just that simple.

Now, after the hard talk –the fun stuff.  

All of us at The Bagg Group believe in the value of celebrating wins and finding enjoyment in the everyday.

At The Bagg Group, we know happiness counts, so …

Eat dark chocolate for your work: A study looked at the effects of eating 60% cacao chocolate (dark chocolate) on the brain waves of 122 participants. And great news, it was found chocolate boosted alertness and attention for a period.  Bring on the chocolate bar.

Colour your environment bright:   Research shows bright yellow and bright red rooms boost reading comprehension — so you can get through all report faster.

Take heart, even the most successful procrastinate:   If you’re using the timer method, check out this EllenProcrastination Help with Ellen DeGeneres for your minutes off. It’ll make you laugh. And you can’t beat laughter for recharging your battery.



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