To stay motivated consistently, we must have strategies to prevent inaction if we want to achieve important things.
Inaction or lack of action, will cause us to not complete tasks to achieve the results we want. Most people will go through periods of inaction and how we deal with it, will determine how quickly we can move past it.
What Causes Inaction?
Whenever we fail to take action, common reasons include:
- Conflicting priorities.
- Confusion or lack of clarity.
- Overworked and feeling tired.
- Inability to say “no” to new demands.
- Over-committed and feeling overwhelmed.
- Internal dialogue based on fear of being judged by others or fear of making mistakes.
- Lacking knowledge or skills.
- Low self-confidence.
Unless we have strategies we can use to deal with inaction, we will continue to have low levels of motivation.
The Costs of Inaction
Inaction will cost us, which includes:
- Delay in completing things or achieving our goals.
- Not keeping our agreements.
- Not feeling good about ourselves.
- Developing a bad reputation if others are relying on us.
- Losing financially if we miss deadlines.
Whenever I go through a phase of inaction, it’s a sign I’m feeling tired and need to take a break. I’ll usually give myself enough time out, so I can recharge and refocus on what I need to get done. Taking regular breaks daily is a simple strategy I apply to prevent inaction.
If we want to prevent inaction, having simple reminders will make a big difference.
5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Inaction
Here are five things you can do whenever you’re going through a period of inaction, so you can get motivated again to take the right actions.
- Pause and reflect on what is going on. Self introspection is required to identify the root cause(s) of inaction. Maybe there are unexpected situations or events that has caused us to lose focus. We can reflect on what is going on and journal on it.
- Assess how you spend your time. How we spend our time will show up in our results. Sometimes, inaction can come about because we’re allowing ourselves to get distracted and doing things that don’t matter. Once we know where our time is being spent, we can create new plans and make changes as needed.
- Redefine your priorities. We can use phases of inaction as opportunities to get clear on what’s important and when we have to get things done. The clearer we are on our priorities, we less likely we’ll procrastinate and not take action.
- Give yourself downtime. As much as we’d like to think we can produce at a high level all the time, we need time out to recharge. This means not focusing on our priorities and allowing ourselves to have fun. When we’re rested and relaxed, we’ll be in a better frame of mind to do what needs to be done.
- Reward yourself for taking action. Reward is a powerful motivator. It doesn’t always have to involve material things. Reward can include having more time out or spending time with those that matter most in our lives.
Going through extended periods of inaction will not move us to our goals. We have to learn to identify the root causes and get ourselves back in action.
If we continue to avoid taking action, we’ll not only affect ourselves negatively, we’ll also affect others we interact with daily. We can use phases of inaction to recommit to what’s most important.
Action Step: Next time you hesitate or don’t take action, give yourself time out to reflect on where you’re at and what’s going on. Pay close attention to your mental and emotional states. Then apply the things suggested to move past it.
Question: What are other ways you can prevent inaction to achieve important things?