7 Simple Reasons Why You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything
Number 1: You Need Structure in Your Life
If you feel like you need more discipline, then this is probably why: you need to develop a routine. Sticking to a structured day develops discipline as a habit, rather than trying to brute force it through your willpower (which is only going to leave you exhausted).
Here is another post I wrote on building habits. Check it out!
Discipline is like riding a bike: you can’t expect to be moving at top speed if you’re not even sitting on the bike. You have to sit on bike, adjust it as necessary, catch your balance, and gradually increase your speed. At a certain point, it doesn’t even feel like you’re working that hard to maintain that speed. And just like riding a bike, at times you may stumble, or need to slow down for pedestrians, or you just need to let your muscles relax, which may mean coming to a complete stop–this is perfectly normal. Just get right back on it and do what you know works for you once you’re able to do so.
Develop a routine. Don’t be afraid to start from zero. Remember, you have to sit on the bike before you can get moving, and you have to adjust yourself and keep balance before you can go at a top speed. Set a time to start working; use work blocks and Pomodoros to stay focused while also allowing yourself to take healthy (and necessary) breaks to stretch, breathe, walk, dance, etc.; listening to repetitive music helps (classical is great for this).
Number 2: You’re Not Recharging
This is the polar opposite of No. 1, which is that you’re too structured and you’re simply burned out. You’ve focused too much on maintaining and optimizing your structure and daily routine to maximize productivity. This results in you neglecting to take a break, or simply going at a pace that isn’t maintainable (to keep the analogy of the bike, it’s like over-exerting your muscles by peddling too hard), or it could even be that you’ve dedicated yourself so much to your schedule that your life has become a means to an end, and you’re just doing things for the sake of working through your schedule (when this happens, we tend to feel like we’re on autopilot; life loses its enjoyment).
Set a time to stop working every day. Let’s say you’re already working 6 hours per day (excluding breaks; studies show that this is the most we can exert ourselves mentally, on average, before starting to feel exhausted): is the extra time really worth your happiness, peace, mental health, and enjoyment of life? You’re not a hamster. You’re not in a rat race. Yes, working is healthy, but don’t forget to enjoy your life, too.
Number 3: You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself
Your body is like a machine: you need to put the right fuel, recharge the batteries, keep it oiled, and make sure the parts are moving properly. You need to follow a healthy diet, stay hydrated, exercise every day, and sleep enough. Here’s what happens if you don’t do each of these:
If you eat foods with added sugar, sodium, artificial dyes and ingredients, and things that are preserved (like sauces and canned/smoked meats), then you’re going to introduce inflammation into your body. Why? Because these ingredients aren’t natural. You’re literally putting substances into your body that are difficult to digest and filter. It’s why people who follow unhealthy diets develop cancer, diabetes, fatty liver disease, pancreatitis, etc. Your body wears down if it’s constantly fighting inflammation.
If you cut out the foods listed above (e.g., pastries, candies, pizza, deli meats, white flour, sodas, etc.), then you’re minimizing the inflammation your body suffers through. Less inflammation means better sleep, less fatigue, fewer aches, improved circulation through the body and brain, and an improved ability to focus, learn, and remember. Who’s going to feel like doing anything if they’re fatigued, can’t focus, and struggle to remember things?
Your body is mostly made of water. If you don’t stay hydrated, and you continue to release water through sweat, your breath, and urine, what do you think happens to your lungs, your brain, your kidneys, etc.? It isn’t pretty.
Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. If you feel cold, weak, tired, unable to focus, with a dry mouth/eyes/nose/skin, or you have a headache at your temples (either side of your forehead), then you’re already dehydrated. Drink water! If you feel cold, tired, and can’t focus, you’re not going to feel like doing anything.
Exercising regularly (30-90 minutes) every day of moderate to intense exercise is amazing for your body. Without it, your circulation suffers, your sleep suffers, your body retains a greater amount of toxins (since you’re not sweating them out), your muscles atrophy, you develop body aches and stiffness, etc
Exercise regularly. Do something that makes you sweat every day. What’s more painful: 30-90 minutes of slight discomfort, or a lifetime of body aches, stiffness, weakness, poor sleep, increased inflammation in your body, and not feeling like doing anything because you’re body and brain are suffering the consequences?
Absolutely vital for every function of your body, brain, and mind. Not getting enough sleep impairs your ability to reason, focus, learn, regulate emotions, form memories, repair damaged tissue, fight inflammation, reduce cortisol, regulate hormones, etc. How can anyone feel like doing anything if they’re sleep deprived?
Sleep for 5 or 6 full sleep cycles (either 7.5 or 9 hours). If you sleep a fraction of a sleep cycle, you’re going to wake up groggy (this is called sleep inertia). So set your alarm for 8 or 9.5 hours to give yourself enough time to fall asleep. That way, by the time you fall asleep (say, 30 minutes after you close your eyes), you’ll be every close to getting an exact number of sleep cycles.
Even better if you stick to a sleep schedule and go to sleep and wake up at consistent times. This is great for your circadian rhythm. You’ll drastically improve the quality of your sleep if you also practice good sleep hygiene: for the last 90 minutes before bed, allow yourself to relax and unwind so that you’re actually sleepy by the time you should go to bed. Turn off screens, dim the lights, listen to relaxing music, don’t do any intense thinking, reading, calculating, planning, conversing, or exercising. Do something to relax. Your body will thank you for it.
Number 4: Poor Hygiene
This is the start to depressive cycles. Once you stop taking care of your hygiene, it’s a slippery slope into feeling depressed, which may be why you don’t feel like doing anything. Why? Because you’re not only telling your brain that your not important enough to take care of, but by smelling something foul (you, if you don’t clean yourself or wear clean clothes), then you keep your brain on edge. Think about this: imagine you’re a caveman and you smell something horrible. You know foul-smelling things to be one of the following: poop, rotting food, or a dead body. What do you do? You get the hell out of there! Those things are toxic to your health. So since our brains are wired to be alert to bad smells, if you smell bad, how do you think your brain is going to react if it’s constantly smelling something bad? It’s going to be in a state of tension and low anxiety (negative emotions). And remember, emotion carries momentum. So what might start as tension and anxiety, will lead to feeling depressed, because unresolved negative emotions only get worse.
Bathe! Wear clean clothes! Make sure you (and your environment) smell good!
Number 5: Less Screen Time; More Outdoor Time
Your body needs vitamin D to have a healthy immune system. Your body also needs melatonin to sleep well. If you don’t have a healthy immune system or proper sleep, your body will suffer tremendously (see above). How does your body produce vitamin D and melatonin the best? From direct sunlight. If you don’t spend time outside during the day (even when it’s cloudy), away from screens, then you’re going to be lacking in vitamin D, melatonin, and a happy life. You’re not going to want to do anything!
Go outside. Just 15-30 minutes per day is enough, which is very easy to achieve if you exercise outside, eat outside, take your work breaks outside, work outside, etc. Do something outside for at least 15-30 minutes every day.
Number 6: You’re Choosing Instant Gratification Over Delayed Gratification
When you do things that make you feel good in the moment (browse social media, watch videos/shows/movies for mindless entertainment, watch porn, play video games, etc.), then your produces dopamine–an addictive reward chemical. So when you do things for instant gratification, you’re rewarding yourself for doing nothing. Talk about addicting. And this desire for instant gratification is going to leave you wanting more and more, until you feel like you need it to be content. Remember, emotion carries momentum. Desire is a sort of negative emotion, because if left unresolved, it gets worse, and eventually leads to you feeling depressed, which is probably why you don’t feel like doing anything.
Abandon ship! Delete these apps! They’re no good for you. They strip you of your dreams, goals, and ambitions. They deplete your creative energy. They make you negative, unhappy, and miserable because you’re either thinking about what you don’t have, you’re comparing your life, on average, to someone else’s (probably fake or manufactured) highlight reel. They only leave you wanting more, and how can you possibly feel happy if you’re in a constant state of wanting more? (You can’t!) Instead, focus on what you want to do to enjoy life (not throw it away by mindlessly staring at a screen, swiping/pressing a piece of plastic, or rubbing yourself to some pixels). It’s okay, I was there, too. It might be uncomfortable at first, but there’s not only light at the end of the tunnel: there’s freedom! There’s peace! There’s true enjoyment, fulfillment, and satisfaction! Learn something. Meet new people. Experience life. Grow as a human. Help others. Dream. Step out of your comfort zone. Do something, because instant gratification is an addictive sense of nothing–you’re not actually doing anything, but you’re making yourself a slave to a piece of plastic and some pixels.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Number 7: You’re Focused on the Negative
Note: this isn’t undermining what you’re experiencing. I’m simply pointing out that you have absolute freedom to interpret life however you wish. You can either frame things in a positive, constructive, and creative way, or in a negative, destructive, and wasteful way. The choice is yours. Our thoughts create our emotions. What we focus on determines how we feel. And remember, emotion carries momentum, so if you’re focused on the negative, you’re going to feel negative, and it’s only going to get more negative from there. It may start with being apathetic or pessimistic about something, but if you continue, you’re going to feel frustrated, disappointed, angry, then eventually feeling powerless and depressed. This may be why you don’t feel like doing anything.
Change the station. Tune into a frequency that empowers you. Focus on what’s good about your life. Here’s a good start:
You’re able to see and read this.
You’re able to learn.
You’re able to think and reason.
You have the freedom to acquire knowledge through the internet.
How awesome is that? Most people can’t do that set of things that you’re able to do right now. Take a moment to think about how fortunate you are, regardless of anything else that might be negative in your life. Here’s the lesson: not everything is negative. And regarding the things that you do consider to be negative, if it’s something you can’t control, why throw your life away over it when you still have a lot of good left? And if it’s something you can control, why throw your life away over it when you have a lot of good you can use to change and improve it?
This one is especially tricky to solve because it’s entirely based upon what exactly you’re experiencing, how you feel, and how you’re interpreting it. This is something I specialize in. I help people all the time to reframe things in the most positive, constructive, and helpful way so that they can get themselves out of a depressive cycle and build one for themselves that’s empowering and creative. If you’re ready to get out of your depressive cycle and start your best life, you can sign up right now for a free discovery call, here. This is my life’s purpose, so you won’t find anyone who’s more dedicated to your well-being, mental health, and personal growth than me 🙂
Hope that helps!
Here’s a video on this topic, if you learn better by listening or by watching videos
Here are the links to the reddit posts if you’d like to be a part of the online communities:
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