When we’re exhausted or stressed, our brains want to save mental energy and avoid things that make us feel uncomfortable.
So how can you get stuff done, especially challenging tasks, when you’re tired and your mind is telling you it’s not worth the effort?
Try changing your perception of the task by using a tool called “reappraisal.” For example, you might say to yourself, “I’m going to feel better once I get this new process down on paper,” rather than repeatedly thinking, “I just don’t want to do this.” Also, remind yourself of the long-term benefit of getting the task done. For instance, you might consider: “Do I want to experiment with a new project management tool that may boost my team’s efficiency, or do I want to stick with the same existing process that none of us feel great about?”
This will make the easier path less appealing. By reframing hard work and envisioning an incentive, you’re more likely to move past your instinct to avoid the effort and convince yourself to just get it done.