I Canít Make Myself Study

Maybe you hate school, or maybe you merely hate homework.  Even if you find a way to make a living at your hobby, you will have tasks you donít feel like doing.  Here are a few suggestions.

Make a list of things you like to do

Maybe you like to shoot hoops, take a walk, or talk to your friend on the phone.  I like to read mystery stories.  Also, I like to watch certain TV shows.  The important thing is that you feel good when you do finish the things.

No one else has to understand why you enjoy taking a walk.  Some people will consider that boring.  However, after a thirty minute walk, I feel better.  Who cares if someone else doesnít enjoy it.

Iím assuming youíre smart enough not to put destructive stuff on this list.  Some things that make us feel good lead to addictions, broken relationships, and destructive behaviors. Put on the list things that make you feel good and wonít hurt you or others.

Make sure you put some things on the list that donít take lots of time.  You can shoot hoops for ten minutes or limit a phone call.  Going to Europe to hang out takes more time. Itís OK to put that on the list, but also put on some activities you can start and stop or do in a shorter time.

Promise yourself a reward

I wish I could create a world for you where you do only those things you want to do when you feel like doing them.  I canít even create that kind of world for myself.  I like my work, but certain tasks turn me off.  I hate routine paperwork, but a certain amount of it appears necessary.

However, you can learn to take the yuck out of things you donít feel like doing.  You promise yourself a reward.  Iíve been known to bring a mystery novel to my desk on mornings when I donít want to do paperwork.  I promise myself that I will read two pages, work for fifty minutes, and read three more pages.

Now I am focused on something that is fun.  Of course I must watch my time.  One girl decided to paint T-shirts before she studied.  You know how that worked out.  She didnít study.  We had a heart-to- heart about painting T-shirts as a reward for whipping through her homework rather than avoiding her homework by painting T-shirts.  Use a little common sense.

Consider it an essential skill

After practicing this a little, you will have developed the skill of self-motivation.  Instead of waiting for someone or something to punch your button, you have taken control of your life.  You can now punch your own hot button.

Also, you have learned one of the skills essential for success.  No matter how much you like your job in the future, there will be times when you wonít feel like doing it.

Think about that homework you dreaded, or think about the time you put off cleaning your room.  Remember how it spoiled the whole day because it lurked in the back of your mind.  By promising yourself a reward, you take charge, feel better immediately, do the task more quickly, and feel better about yourself because you did it.

Doing things when they need to be done rather than when we feel like doing them is one of the important secrets of successful living.

Give it a whirl and let me know how you come out.

(C) 2000, Don Mize


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