Motivation comes from alignment
If I don't feel like doing something, it's often because what I'm working on is not important, and I haven't realized it yet.
For a long time, I believed that I was uncommonly lazy and unmotivated. I've since realized that often when I feel like this, the problem is that I've failed to make sure that what I'm working on is aligned with my goals.
My brain doesn't want me to waste energy on things that aren't worth my time.
Usually, this happens when I learn something that changes my perception of the return on investment from what I was working on, but haven't reevaluated my priorities to take into account the new information yet.
I used to be resistant to the idea that my motivation levels were tied directly to the importance and relevance of the work I was doing. I thought I needed to be forcing myself to work to do valuable work.
Now, I realize that whenever I feel lazy, it's a signal that I need to reevaluate what I'm working on.
If I believe what I'm working on is important, I'm motivated – even if it's difficult. If I don't, I'm lazy – even when it's easy.
Instead of having an antagonistic relationship with my laziness, I now view it as a barometer that helps me determine what to work on and when I need to take a step back and reevaluate.
Not only do I have a healthier perception of my work ethic, but I'm also able to cut my losses and stop working on unimportant things more quickly. I work with my gut, not against it.
Of course, work can occasionally be draining, and we sometimes have to do things we don't enjoy. But often, a simple check into how things are aligned can reveal the importance of a task and result in renewed energy and momentum. Progress is intoxicating.