I remember one of those “stupid YT videos” ( ) talking about how it’s a cycle. Action leads to result leads to motivation leads to action. And you can start at any of those three. So if you don’t have motivation, doing anything, even if it is picking up something to throw it away, has the potential to start up that cycle. Being productive isn’t about doing stuff, it’s about getting the results you want. Unfortunately I don’t explain it as well, so…
I notice it happens over time if you stick to your subs. At some point you start becoming more active even if you don’t want to. Can take a while, and you need to NOT jump to new subs all the time, but it happens.
For studying, the main reason is usually that your goals are not clear or way too ambitious. Telling yourself to memorize 10 chapters by the end of the week will inevitably lead to you waiting until Sunday, then saying it’s impossible and declaring you’ll try again next week.
Instead, set a small and clear goal, like instead of memorizing you just have to read it in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. And maybe it’s only one chapter instead of 10. Maybe you only need to write one page instead of an entire thesis.
Also, set a goal for each day, small enough that you can do it on top of other things. That way you won’t be able to wait until the last day.
@HappyHero had an excellent recommendation for this one, the book Tiny Habits. Something that @i_am also does when he mentions meditating for only 5 minutes instead of 20 because it’s easier. It’s much better and easier to do something every day for 5 minutes than trying to do it for 20 minutes. It’ll be easier to turn those 5 into 6 into 20 over time, once you have the habit.
Same advice for going somewhere. Just take one step, then the next and follow your feet. Do something, anything, even if it is dusting something off, doing dishes or straightening a painting. Once you are mobile, staying that way is easier. It’s the advice often given to depressed people.
For getting up in the morning, you could go the Mel Robbins route. It’s the exact example she uses to tell how she “invented” her 5 second rule.
Another route that I use (when I have to) is more artificial. Make sure the alarm clock is out of range and that you have to be alert to turn it off. I have an Android app that presents me with three math questions before it will allow me to turn the alarm off. By the time I have gotten out of bed to reach the alarm, then while standing in the chilly morning air solved three math questions, I am usually annoyed enough that the world still doesn’t adapt to my schedule that I’ll stay up.
And if you have somebody in bed next to you that is annoyed that your alarm is so complicated, tell them to build the habit of waking you up instead. There is only one way of waking up that I can think of that is nicer than someone whispering in your ear how awesome you are between kisses, and that one is also performed orally.
Oh, there’s no supercharger with telekinetic powers that can pick you up. They can motivate you, but usually your ability to de-motivate afterwards is stronger in the Ways of the Force. Maybe we could create an ice-bucket challenge supercharger, that’ll wake you up!
EDIT: Or get a cat: