Tag Archives: laziness

Getting Motivated When You’re Bored Out of Your Mind

19 Jan

You’ve probably heard me mention before how slow things are at work, and have been since May when I was hired. Luckily, I am good at entertaining myself or I would have quickly gone mad.

However, I stink at being motivated when there’s nothing I have to do. And I find myself pushing the tasks I do have off until the next day because frankly, I can’t be bothered to stop reading blogs, mapping running routes, modifying training plans, and reading other useless nonsense on the interwebs. When I do have more than one work-related thing to do each day, I find myself annoyed because I had other things I wanted to do today. I already had plans, thankyouverymuch.

Someone driven by career goals would have quit long ago. My only “career” (and I use that term loosely) goal is to be a published author so I’m not sad to not be “succeeding in corporate America.”

Others would have at least utilized their 8 hours (sometimes 7…) a day for something that would improve their job performance. (I’m a copywriter so blogging counts, doesn’t it?)

Not me. I have seriously done everything on the Internet I’ve ever wanted to do, except anything work-related. I’ll find myself driving by a billboard that looks slightly amusing and making a mental note of the website – I should look that up at work. Things I would normally do at home (read: everything personal) I now save for work, so that I don’t lose it by 10 am and wind up in the office coffee shop, chugging spiked frappucinos.

Some days I succeed. I have enough blog posts queued up in Google Reader from the 100 or so blogs I follow that after the morning’s work of logging my previous day’s workout, checking my email (work and personal), and doing “15 minutes of actual work,” I can easily zone out until I leave at 4 pm.

Other days, when it’s slow in blogland, Reader is empty by 12 pm and I languish. I get a headache from looking at the screen and reading but what else to do? I do a crossword, check email, visit The Nest message boards, vote for the best outfits on People.com, and ::gasp:: even attempt reading the news. (But my eyes quickly glaze over and I abandon that idea. How did I manage to major in Journalism without ever reading the news? I’m just that good.)

You’d think by the time I’m done wasting hours of my life sitting in an uncomfortable chair and causing my back to need physical therapy, I’d be rearing to get ‘er done once I got home. But the combination of the winter cold, the short days, and “I’ll do it tomorrow”s combine to make me even more lazy once I get home. It’s like I’m in a walking coma. After my workout and dinner, it’s only 6 pm and I wonder, Is it too early to go to bed?  I don’t want to watch TV but I don’t want to read and I surely don’t want to be productive. What to do, what to do…

I assure you, there is a point behind all this mindless chatter.

The point is, I have realized that I am not a victim of circumstances. I make my life what it is. And if I don’t want to spend days upon days of accomplishing absolutely nothing but running a few miles and eating a bunch of food, I don’t have to.

So I’m making some changes. I’m not going to get crazy or anything, but I think implementing a modest structure for my days and evenings of boredom would be wise. So this is what I’m thinking:

At work

Do work-related activities until at least noon. Obviously, this goes out the window once I (hopefully!) start having more things to do but who knows when that will be? In the meantime, I will read books and blogs on writing style, marketing, copywriting, etc, or do whatever work is assigned to me. After noon, I can do whatever useless crap I want (unless work comes in, then I will do that). Baby steps people. It’s harder than you would think to break out of a 9-month funk.

I put this into practice today. I had a meeting this morning, worked on some event materials, organized some files and then read The Elements of Style until noon, at which time I promptly opened Google Reader and exhaled a sigh of relief. Although I did mostly enjoy reading the book. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE grammar and syntax? I took a Linguistics class my senior year in college for my Spanish major and wondered why hadn’t I taken any before. It was by far my favorite class ever.

At home

Do one thing every day. I have done this before and found it quite useful. I make a list of all the things I’ve thought about, wanted, or needed to do and then do one small thing or part of one bigger thing on the list every day. For example:

  • Finish race memory book
  • Find passport or apply for new one (I’m pretty sure it’s lost)
  • Buy photo corners at Michael’s
  • Work on scrapbook (1 page each night)
  • Clean the dogs’ ears
  • Brush the dogs’ teeth
  • Buy more dog food
  • Schedule bike fit
  • Clean refrigerator
  • Get teeth cleaned at dentist done!
  • Get haircut done!
  • Get physical therapy for back done!

On a positive note, I have been more diligent about going to bed early and getting up at 5:30 to read the Bible and work on my book. So at least I have that going for me!

Do you struggle with laziness when not required to do anything? Any tips on getting motivated?

Five Randos

21 Dec

1. We went to Zoolights last night.

It was way cooler than these pictures show – it’s just that our camera doesn’t take pictures of lights very well. We didn’t see very many animals – a snake, a hippo and a rhino was pretty much all but it was still fun!

2. I’ve felt on the verge of getting sick since Sunday but have so far successfully staved it off with eating more veggies and getting more sleep.

3. For the past month, I’ve been buying spinach with good intentions of eating salads every day at work. But every day I looked in the fridge and spinach didn’t sound even remotely appealing. This happens to me a lot – I go through phases of what I like to eat. For a while, I was eating spinach with everything – seriously. I served leftovers on spinach. I put spinach in sandwiches, pizza, smoothies. Now? Eck.

Luckily, I bought some romaine lettuce last week and am back to enjoying salads! Today’s has sliced deli ham, grape tomatoes, sliced carrots, cottage cheese, a tiny bit of feta and sautéed zucchini and yellow squash. I’m sad that I forgot croutons. But I did bring a hunk of French bread filled with refined white flour – redeemed!

4. This week has been the week of the slide. I’m not even trying to pretend to be motivated. I did get laundry done between Monday night and last night. And I made or helped make dinner (as easy as possible). But other than that, I’ve laid on the couch watching TV each night, slept in each morning (and sometimes gotten up to just take a nap on the couch), and eaten my weight in chocolate and cookies, in addition to not working out. And it’s been glorious.

5. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight – 4 to 8 inches.

While I love the snow, I wish I didn’t have to drive in it. It snowed Monday night and I seriously was so scared driving home in my little Ford Focus that I about cried, pulled over and asked Travis to come get me. Instead, I muscled through and once home, drowned my fears in Godiva chocolates. I swear, it seems like every year I get more and more paranoid about driving. If it gets to the point where I can’t handle driving anywhere in snow or rain, I’m seeking professional help.

Some much-needed relaxation

28 Sep

I am currently sitting in my room at The Dana of Mission Bay in not-so-sunny-right-now San Diego. Travis is taking a class down here for work and invited me to come along. Stay in California for a week FREE? Heck yeah!

But I’m not doing much to take advantage of my beautiful surroundings today – I ate breakfast with Travis and then spent the morning in bed watching TV. I kept thinking that I should get up and do something but I am utterly exhausted. We had another race this past weekend and working 26 hours in 2 days out in the sun definitely takes a toll. It takes me at least a day of being a bum to feel human again, especially when I don’t have any coffee!! I don’t have a car and our hotel is about a mile from anything – walkable but Travis is concerned about me going anywhere on my own. And actually, I would be totally fine with just bumming around the hotel but my internet connection barely works so I can’t work, can’t watch movies, can’t blog (I’m doing this on my phone, which works but isn’t ideal.) I don’t even have any sunscreen so I can’t lay out much either. Tomorrow I’m going to see if I can drive Travis to his class and then take the car to a coffee shop with free wifi. Then I might go to a book store or shopping.

The ironic part about this is that I always dream about days like this – just getting to lay around, reading, blogging, getting in the word. All the time in the world. But my feeling of guilt over not being productive or making the most of my day makes me realize that I have made productivity an idol. I mean, in reality, I am not being lazy – I am recovering from being legitimately worn out. And its only one day! In fact, I only laid in bed for 4 hours – not even a quarter of a day!

But even so, I find that the way I feel about myself is effected when I feel lazy. I don’t feel as valuable or as lovable. And that means my identity is wrapped up in how much I get done in any particular day, not in Christ alone.

It’s amazing to me how fast my flesh runs to things of this world to justify my existence. It’s not enough that the God of the universe loves me eternally – I need to prove how much I’m worth by being thin, well-dressed, smart, and having everything under control. I need to accomplish things, to do stuff showing I am not just taking up space here. But like any idol, my idol of busyness robs me of my joy and my need for rest. Jesus offers me rest, not more work. Not only that, He devoted an entire day to resting, because He knows we need it. He even rested from His own work after creating the world! So rest is a good thing. And I’m thankful because I really need some! And now its off to time in the word, some reading, and a nap.

Thinking about prayer

27 Feb

I’m sitting here in a coffee shop called Raw Bean in Salt Lake City, looking at the snow-covered mountains surrounding the city. It’s really beautiful. Whereas in Denver, the mountains are off in the distance, in this city they are right there.

Our little getaway has been really enjoyable so far – I’ll give the details in a future post, when we get back home. But I felt the need to blog this morning because it helps me think through what I’m learning about God. For some reason, on vacation when I have more time to spend with God than in my daily life, I end up spending less time with Him, thinking, praying, and reading. Part of it is my lack of resolution to do so – I either give in to my laziness or allow myself to go along with what other people are doing, to the detriment of my God-time.

Case in point: yesterday, Travis and I got up around 8:30 to go eat breakfast at our hotel. Then we came back to our room and while Travis did homework, I could have gotten in the Word – but instead I watched TV and attempted a crossword puzzle. While relaxation is good and I do think I need it spiritually and physically, I feel closer to God, more joyful and more relaxed when I spend time with Him. So this morning, I suggested to Travis that we spend time at a coffee shop, reading the Bible. I’m glad we’re here.

But it’s weird… God has given me the desire to pray so much lately that right now, I feel like my quiet time is incomplete because I haven’t prayed (I have a hard time praying in my head – I usually have to pray out loud for it to be coherent). Prayer really makes me feel close to God – something I have come to crave, need, depend on. Other the past several weeks, I have gone to God with a lot of things – far more than I ever used to go to Him for. So while I am still struggling with finding time for the Lord on vacation, I am excited to see how much He has grown my prayer life – almost in spite of myself. It’s awesome to see how God can take a tiny flickering flame – one that would go out if someone just walked past it – and fan it into a steady flame. He took my indifference and turned it into passion.

Now I just need to keep that passion while on vacation. 🙂