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  • Let's be honest with each other here.

  • You're not actually supposed to be on YouTube right now.

  • Right?

  • Now you probably have some huge assignment

  • that's staring at you from your desk right now,

  • but the thought of doing any work

  • on that assignment right now

  • is the last thing on your mind

  • because you have literally no motivation to do it.

  • And if you're feeling that way,

  • well you're not alone.

  • I feel that way all the time.

  • And despite all the years I have put

  • into productivity research

  • and all the videos you see on this channel,

  • at least once a week

  • I run into a situation where I have to do something

  • and I have basically no motivation to do it.

  • So this is a pretty common problem.

  • And despite those immortal words from Shia LaBeouf

  • constantly ringing in our heads ...

  • Just do it!

  • A lot of us continually deal with it.

  • Now within the realm of productivity,

  • there are both long term fixes and short term fixes.

  • And for a problem like this,

  • a problem of motivation,

  • long term fixes would be things like

  • building better self discipline

  • or building strong habits

  • or creating a better study space.

  • But today I wanna focus on the short term fixes.

  • If you have something that you need to get done today,

  • but you're feeling completely unmotivated,

  • what can you do?

  • Well today I'm gonna go through a four step process

  • that I go through every single time

  • that I'm feeling this way.

  • And through personal experience over several years,

  • I have learned that doing these things really does help,

  • even if my brain tells me that,

  • this time I really am having an off day.

  • This time it's not going to work.

  • When I actually take the time

  • and put in the effort to put these things into practice,

  • they really do help.

  • And the first one on the list is to simply

  • go outside and go for a walk.

  • This is probably the simplest practice on the list.

  • But it's also the one that my brain

  • always tries to convince itself that it doesn't need to do.

  • Because when I have a lot of work to do,

  • the thought of getting up from my desk

  • and going outside,

  • seems like a huge waste of time.

  • But every single time that I do it,

  • when I'm feeling unmotivated

  • or I'm dealing with brain fog,

  • it always helps to raise my motivation levels

  • and clear my head.

  • Now I could send you all sorts of scientific evidence

  • about why this is true.

  • For instance,

  • Dr. John Ratey's book, "Spark,"

  • goes into all sorts of detail about how exercise

  • raises your cognitive abilities after you do it.

  • And there are also studies that show that Vitamin D,

  • which you get primarily through sunlight exposure,

  • can help with symptoms of fatigue.

  • And there's also the Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku,

  • or forest bathing,

  • which asserts that exposure to nature,

  • you know forests and trees like this,

  • can have all sorts of health benefits.

  • But the main thing I want to share here

  • is my personal experience with this practice.

  • Because my ability to focus is always

  • 100% of the time improved when I choose to go for a walk.

  • Or to be more accurate,

  • whenever I choose to go outside and do any kind of exercise.

  • Could be playing basketball or skateboarding.

  • The reason I chose to focus on walking here

  • is that it's easy.

  • You don't need any equipment.

  • You don't need a basketball.

  • You don't need a bike.

  • And you can even do it if it's cold.

  • As they say in Norway,

  • there is no such thing as bad weather,

  • only bad clothes.

  • Now let's go back to the studio.

  • So once you've gone out and finished that walk

  • and you brought your mental energy up just a little bit,

  • the next thing on the list to do

  • is to decide on one specific task to work on.

  • If you have a to do list with multiple items on it,

  • put it away.

  • You need to commit to a single task

  • and you don't want that to do list

  • to be a temptation to jump to something else

  • once it gets difficult.

  • It's all about committing.

  • Imagine a hamster ball with three different hamsters in it.

  • If all those hamsters

  • are trying to go their own little separate direction,

  • then that hamster ball is going to go nowhere.

  • But if they all decide to go in one direction,

  • well they're probably going to trip all over each other

  • because hamster balls

  • were not designed for multiple hamsters,

  • but luckily your brain is not a hamster ball.

  • And when you decide on one specific direction to go in

  • and you commit to it,

  • you make progress.

  • Now you can make this commitment purely mental.

  • But I also find that it sometimes works

  • to pull out a scrap of paper

  • and write down the task that you decide to work on,

  • so that way it can be sitting next to you on your desk

  • and constantly reminding you if you start to forget.

  • And if you want an electronic solution,

  • there's also a chrome extension called momentum,

  • which basically replaces your new tab screen

  • with a cool wallpaper

  • and it lets you decide on one singular focus

  • that you can type in and then set.

  • Alright onto step three in the process.

  • Once you've decided on that one task

  • you're going to work on,

  • the next step is to clear to neutral.

  • This means to clear up your work space,

  • your desk,

  • and your desktop on your computer,

  • and setting that space back to a state

  • where it's prepped for that single task

  • you decided to work on and nothing else.

  • Anthony Bourdain talks about a similar concept

  • in his book, "Kitchen Confidential."

  • He talks about how a chef that he used to work with

  • went up to one of his line cooks

  • and ran his hands across the cooks really dirty,

  • crumb-filled cutting board,

  • put it up to his face and said,

  • this is what your brain looks like.

  • Work clean.

  • Every chef knows the value of mise en place.

  • Did I get that right this time?

  • - [Offscreen Male] Yep. - Yes!

  • Which is a French term that essentially means,

  • everything in its place.

  • When your work area is organized

  • and set up for the task that you have decided on,

  • you are going to work on that task a lot more effectively.

  • Again remember that hamster ball.

  • Finally,

  • to actually get yourself into the process of doing the task,

  • utilize what I like to call,

  • the low effort hack.

  • This is a useful little mental hack that I use,

  • on pretty much,

  • a daily basis.

  • Because usually when I feel mental resistance to a task,

  • like researching for a video

  • or writing a video script,

  • that mental resistance is usually because

  • of how difficult it is to do the task well.

  • If I'm writing a video script,

  • usually I feel resistance writing the next paragraph

  • because I feel like it needs to have a better word play

  • or a funny reference.

  • And when I'm researching,

  • I know that it's gonna be difficult

  • to actually find the scientific studies

  • that will back up what I'm trying to say.

  • But,

  • and this is where the whole low effort thing comes in,