A Look at Consumer Greed in a Post-Recession Economy

The following is a guest post from Anna W. of ASerialLife.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @aseriallife. The Great American Recession is over. However, many are still recovering from its devastating effects. Of course, the level of “devastation” varies, depending...

read more

A Guide to Switching Careers

If you’ve thought about switching careers, you’ve undoubtedly encountered this classic dilemma: Pursue dream but struggle to pay bills vs. Pay bills but stay in a mediocre job Wow, those are some lackluster options. Should you give up on your dream so you can afford a...

read more

How to Write a Book (Without Losing Your Mind)

I have some exciting news this week! After busting my ass all summer, I have officially written a book. It's titled Get Money, and it's slated for March, but you can now pre-order your copy! The process of getting my book deal was one of the most exhilarating...

read more

What Happens When You Negotiate and Get a “No”

"You should always ask a client or potential employer for more money," negotiation experts like to tell you. "After all, the worst they can say is no." But if you're a soft-spoken, mild-mannered gal who's not used to ruffling feathers, the word "no" can be scary. And...

read more

My Favorite Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Whether it's an article or a book or just a sentimental email to a loved one, you've probably experienced writer's block. It's real, and it's frustrating. I once read that what separates a professional writer from an amateur one is that "a professional writer never...

read more

How to Invest When You Don’t Have a 401(k)

At 24, I had no clue how investing worked. I didn't know a stock from a bond. Index fund? What's that? My idea of investing was the hope that my childhood Beanie Baby collection might be worth money someday. However, despite my lack of even basic knowledge around the...

read more

Hey! I’m Kristin, a freelance writer and journalist (you can find my stuff at NY mag’s The Cut, the New York Times, Lifehacker, and more). Here, I share what I learn about the freelance life, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn’t working. My book GET MONEY will be out in March 2018 with Hachette Books.

What You're Saying

  • Jessia Kay: Kristin, your post shot an arrow into my...
  • Steveark: Wow, for a kid (relatively speaking) you...
  • James: As a highschooler close to graduation, this...
  • Done by Forty: I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro...
  • Kathy Bartoy: Are you doing any inner circle tours...

I’m Officially in Holiday Mode.

So I just don’t feel like working. And this time, it’s not because I’m stuck in a rut or because I’m depressed or anything like that.

Stuck in holiday mode and don't feel like working? Here are three tricks to break out of your hibernation and get stuff done.

I’m in full-blown holiday mode, completely caught up in that end-of-the-year vibe that makes me want to do nothing but wind down with some hot cocoa by the fireplace while I ruminate on what remains of 2017 and mentally prepare for doing big things in 2018.

For lack of a better phrase, it’s like my brain is hibernating from productivity.

But alas, I do not have the luxury of not doing shit. Until I am massively wealthy or at least financially independent, shit must still be done. Editors want articles. Comcast wants me to pay my bill. The world turns, so I must continue to churn out the work, which is hard to do when you want to hibernate. If you’re on the same page, you know it’s a challenge to force yourself to work when you just don’t wanna.  Here are three things that are working for me.

Work in Increments

It’s easier to write a sentence than it is an entire article, so I focus on finishing a sentence at a time, which is very easy to do. Similarly, you could focus on working for merely an hour at a time. Lie to yourself! Tell yourself that’s all the work you have to worry about getting done today, just one measly hour. You can do that, right? Lying to yourself seems ridiculous, I know. But once you finish that little hour, the momentum makes it easier to finish the next one, then the next, and so on and so on until that TPS report is DONE.

This is why, despite how frequently I’ve already recommended it, I’m going to once again suggest the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a magic bullet for procrastination. Work in 25-minute increments, take a 5-minute break. Repeat three times, then treat yourself to a longer, 30-minute break. Watch a scene from Home Alone. Drink some hot cocoa. Make a gingerbread house. That time is yours.

Emotionally Detach From Work

If workaholism is a thing, make no mistake about it, I am a workaholic. But this kind of  “rut” is less about burnout and more about a lack of motivation and willpower. My usually work-centric mind is elsewhere and as someone who is very emotionally attached to work, this shift can be jarring. In short, I don’t really know how to work without motivation because I almost always have it.

However, in this Harvard Business Review article, author Heidi Grant makes an interesting case: you don’t need willpower to get stuff done.

“In his excellent book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman points out that much of the time, when we say things like ‘I just can’t get out of bed early in the morning,’ or ‘I just can’t get myself to exercise,’ what we really mean is that we can’t get ourselves to feel like doing these things. After all, no one is tying you to your bed every morning. Intimidating bouncers aren’t blocking the entrance to your gym. Physically, nothing is stopping you – you just don’t feel like it. But as Burkeman asks, ‘Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it?’

Think about that for a minute, because it’s really important. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea – without consciously realizing it – that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action. We need to be eager to do so. I really don’t know why we believe this, because it is 100% nonsense. Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing – you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day. ”

read more…

Hey! I’m Kristin, a freelance writer and journalist (you can find my stuff at NY mag’s The Cut, the New York Times, Lifehacker, and more). Here, I share what I learn about the freelance life, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn’t working. My book GET MONEY will be out in March 2018 with Hachette Books.

What You're Saying

  • Jessia Kay: Kristin, your post shot an arrow into my...
  • Steveark: Wow, for a kid (relatively speaking) you...
  • James: As a highschooler close to graduation, this...
  • Done by Forty: I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro...
  • Kathy Bartoy: Are you doing any inner circle tours...

A Look at Consumer Greed in a Post-Recession Economy

The following is a guest post from Anna W. of ASerialLife.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @aseriallife. The Great American Recession is over. However, many are still recovering from its devastating effects. Of course, the level of “devastation” varies, depending...

read more

A Guide to Switching Careers

If you’ve thought about switching careers, you’ve undoubtedly encountered this classic dilemma: Pursue dream but struggle to pay bills vs. Pay bills but stay in a mediocre job Wow, those are some lackluster options. Should you give up on your dream so you can afford a...

read more

How to Write a Book (Without Losing Your Mind)

I have some exciting news this week! After busting my ass all summer, I have officially written a book. It's titled Get Money, and it's slated for March, but you can now pre-order your copy! The process of getting my book deal was one of the most exhilarating...

read more

What Happens When You Negotiate and Get a “No”

"You should always ask a client or potential employer for more money," negotiation experts like to tell you. "After all, the worst they can say is no." But if you're a soft-spoken, mild-mannered gal who's not used to ruffling feathers, the word "no" can be scary. And...

read more

My Favorite Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Whether it's an article or a book or just a sentimental email to a loved one, you've probably experienced writer's block. It's real, and it's frustrating. I once read that what separates a professional writer from an amateur one is that "a professional writer never...

read more

How to Invest When You Don’t Have a 401(k)

At 24, I had no clue how investing worked. I didn't know a stock from a bond. Index fund? What's that? My idea of investing was the hope that my childhood Beanie Baby collection might be worth money someday. However, despite my lack of even basic knowledge around the...

read more