Ugh, yes, I’m actually on this forum because I’m trying to scale a massive “I don’t feel like it!” wall right now.
I am glad so many others commiserate. THIS is why I’m just not having success in being a freelancer… or a small business owner… or really, at the moment, anything.
There are a number of “things I should do”, and normally, I try to just tackle one, and hope momentum takes me along to the next, and eventually I do end up accomplishing something.
But a huge roadblock for me is when I encounter problems, or complications, in that first task. So if I’m trying to download an app, but then there’s a problem with the credit card, meaning I have to go fix it in settings, but then there’s another problem (say, a declined credit card because I forgot to pay the bill), and then I get a text notification about confirming a doctor’s appointment… and it just goes on and on. When complications pile up, my motivation dies a painful death. Honestly, as someone posted earlier, I almost have to do a task with no purpose or “end game”, because it actually brings relief. Even when I manage to slug it through, I end up grumpy because it was such a miserable experience.
I also work in the creative arts, and if I feel I have to put in a lot of “non-creative” work (writing a grant application… it’s always that), I definitely do not feel inspired. I also talk myself out of ideas that I once thought were brilliant, but in the harsh light of a Monday morning, now appear ridiculous. I end up procrastinating about work that I actually enjoy, want to do and am capable of doing because of this destructive pattern.
Anyway, I’m just adding to this because it’s something I struggle with enormously, and it’s also something I’m deeply ashamed of; it seems so immature. It’s hard to admit I do this, and ask for help (especially because neurotypical people often think the answer to is shame you for doing this, when that’s just perpetuating the cycle).
I have heard of two suggestions that have helped: 1) Start the task, but do it in slow-motion, or with the most sluggish attitude you can muster. I don’t know why, but that helps somehow (maybe because physically embodying my reluctance actually makes me feel acknowledged): 2) Arrange for a ‘body double” session, where you invite a friend over or ask a family member/roommate to just be there while you work on a challenging task. They’re not there to instruct, coach, criticize or nag you; they’re just providing a physical presence that triggers a sense of accountability (I have also heard of groups that do this via Zoom or Skype, but haven’t found any yet).