How to Motivate Yourself to Work (when Netflix sounds much more appealing)

Let's face it: it's hard to be motivated sometimes.

You get home from class, you drop your bag on the floor, and you are faced with a choice: math homework or…. Literally anything else. We may tend to choose the “anything else” option because it’s easier.

If you make the hard choice to start right away, you will be well-served and making progress. But, if you don’t, you get home, flop on the bed, start watching Netflix, and then suddenly it’s dark, you’ve wasted your entire afternoon, and you feel terrible about yourself. I’ve already written about motivation to get to that first ideal choice, but I understand it doesn’t always work that way. This is from personal experience. We tell ourselves that we’ll just “lay down for a bit” or “just watch one episode” or “start after dinner”. Today, I’m going to teach you how to get out of that cycle once it’s already begun.

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Step 1: Get Up

This is super simple, and that’s why we start with it. Sometimes, it can feel so difficult to just get up and stop watching or scrolling. I’m pretty sure you can convince yourself to just get up.

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Step 2: Do Something Easy

This could be anything. Make your bed. Wash your face. Take out your planner. Just do something, anything, than what was distracting you. (just make sure it’s not another distraction, something easy but productive)

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Step 3: Prep Your Space

Clear off your desk. Take out your work. Get out a pen.

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Step 4: Prep for Work

Make a list of what to do. Decide what to do first. I recommend something that doesn’t intimidate you, and something that will make you feel accomplished. Rather than looking over notes, try doing a worksheet or some math problems or answering questions. This physical progress will make you feel more motivated to keep going.

Step 5: Let it Happen

From here, just keep going through the rest of your list. The momentum you’ve gained from steps 1-4 will set you up for success.


I hope these steps get you out of your next rut where you’re feeling unmotivated and wanting to procrastinate. I’ll leave you with the pithy statement: just get it done. It’s so much better to get it done and then enjoy your Netflix guilt-free.

❤ Alicia

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