It's easy to get motivated to do the work that you know will induce flow, because it's fun and a good fit, or maybe new and exciting. Doing the stuff that needs to be done is a bit of a grind. A chore.
I have a long list of things that I would like to work on this morning. Writing up my literature review is not anywhere near being on that list. But it is at the very top of my 'has to get done' list so after I hit publish on this I'm going to close down my web browser, put my phone out of arms reach, and open the Word document. Hopefully not too much time will be spent looking at the flashing cursor in front of me.
But if there's one thing that I've learnt from reading books like Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, and even You Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins (this book is very different to the other two) it's that if you want to be a professional you don't wait for inspiration or motivation, you show up and you do the work. You are disciplined. Start by getting the shitty first draft done, or by running a wheezy mile, and it will gradually get better over time. The key is putting in the work consistently, not talking about it or making plans. To do, not to be.
The likelihood that me being here writing this blog rather than doing the work will be perceived as going against my own advice and procrastinating is not lost on me. But writing this blog is programmed into my day. I decided a few months ago that I wanted to practice getting better at writing and show up to write something every work day, so I have time scheduled to do so. Consider today's post as an example of starting with the shitty first draft rather than waiting for inspiration to show up, because that is the honest account of what's happening right now!
One last thought on this theme as it comes to me. I've been struggling recently with pharmacy's quest for expanded scope of practice (sometime's put as "working to the full scope of their training"). Its becoming clearer to me that one of the reasons that approach doesn't sit well with me is because I think it's an undisciplined approach. It's a classic example of chasing the new shiny things rather than mastering the core business; that is, making sure people can use their medicines safely and effectively. There is so much evidence to say we aren't performing well enough in our core business. Let us work harder at addressing that. Lets master it consistently over time.