It is a Wednesday afternoon, I just got back from a short trip visiting family and I should be working hard to catch up on all of the work I have, instead …
A wave of un-enthusiasm and un-inspiration. Unconventional words to say the least, but something we all understand and something we all can relate to.
Is it exhaustion or something else?
If you know me, you know, movement and progress is the name of my game. I thrive on the ability to keep moving, without breaks. I work as hard as I can, on everything I do; typically, with high enthusiasm and motivation. I love the work I do and I could not be happier with where I am today! But … we all have our off days.
So, I sit here on this afternoon, and instead of forcing productivity or forcing myself to keep moving, I take a moment to stop and reflect. I take a moment to write and review my thoughts. Amidst the hurried pace and the speed of it all, it is important to step back and reflect.
How to motivate yourself when you are feeling uninspired:
Write down your Goals:
I think too often we forget what our goals are. Sure, we know deep down what our true passion is, but on a day-to-day basis, we forget where we want to go. Is it a lack of direction or is it “out-of-sight, out-of-mind”? My trick is writing down my goals over and over again. So here it is: I want to work in medical education, be a gastroenterologist and nutrition expert and revolutionize how we train healthcare workers. I won’t get there by just studying for exams and reading medical literature, it is going to take a lot of hard work, commitment to becoming an educator and expert, and constant advancements in my ability to think creatively to one day develop a new model for medical education.
Stepping back and observing how we spend our time is a big one for me. We all have a lot going on. We are all extremely busy, BUT understanding how we spend the hours of our day is important. When I talk to premed students about studying for the MCAT there is always a tradeoff between how much you study for the MCAT vs. how much you study for your classes. Time is, however, relative and each minute is not equal. If you can spend 10 hours and get an A+ on a test, but spend 6 hours and get an A, chances are that the A is good enough which would free up 4 hours for studying for the MCAT. I find it important to always step back and analyze how I am spending my time to see how I can maximize my output in each individual area in my life while making appropriate sacrifices of my time.
Clear your head:
Breaking patterns is the best way to learn. I like to clear my head every morning. I wake up and the first thing I do is go for a run to clear my head and focus on the day ahead, but for everyone that isn’t realistic. If you are feeling uninspired later in the day, stop what you are doing and go take a walk or walk down the street, do anything to clear your head and get away from your current environment. Sometimes breaking up the monotony can help balance your thoughts and re-center your priorities.
Reach out to a friend:
It doesn’t have to be a friend or a family member, but chances are there is someone else in your office or industry who has felt the same way. Ask them how they overcame it, ask them what they did. I often reach out to other medical professionals on social media and ask their advice on things. I find it is the best way to talk out issues with someone who has physically been there before.
Well I guess it is back to work. I think it is important to realize that we are all not perfect. We all have our bad days. We all struggle at times. No matter how motivated you are or how inspired you may feel, the times of self-doubt and loneliness will always creep in.
Hope you all have an amazing day! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!
Hi! I am a third-year medical student and third-year PhD candidate with a passion for innovation, biomedical research, medical education, healthcare policy, biotechnology, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I am a bit of a non-traditional student as you can see from my personal bio. I am a host of medical podcast and the owner of an admission company focused on helping students get into the school of their dreams. I love educating and giving back so if you have questions feel free to email me!