Not feeling productive today? Do you tend to procrastinate? Or make to-do lists that never get done? Seem like it’s a recurring nightmare for you? Seriously, what’s the problem? Why are we so good at thinking of what to do but so bad at actually doing those things?

The problem is you’re missing an important emotional factor. Here’s what it is…

We need to think to plan but need to feel to act. So, if you’ve got the thinking part out of the way — how do you get things done? Here are three steps:

1) Get Positive

How do you get optimistic if you’re not feeling it?

  1. Practice gratitude.
  2. Be patient with yourself.
  3. Ditch the crabs.
  4. Do something kind.

“Life is not always easy, and sometimes we get handed a bushel of lemons. However, it is our own perspective that ultimately determines if we will drudge through life puckered and sour, or skip along with a glass of sweet lemonade.” – Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., founded The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in Edmonds, Washington.

2) Reward Yourself

Rewards feel good. Penalties feel bad. And that’s why they both can work well for motivating you. Treat yourself whenever you complete something on your to-do list.

But if you have trouble finding a reward awesome enough to get you off your butt, try a “commitment device” instead:

Give your friend $100. If you get a task done by 5PM, you get your $100 back. If you don’t complete it, you lose the $100.

Your to-do list just got very emotional.

So, you’re feeling positive and there are rewards (or penalties) in place. What else do you need? How about nagging, compliments and guilt?

3) Invite Peer Pressure

Research shows peer pressure helps kids more than it hurts them. And let’s face it, we’re all still big kids. Surround yourself with like minded people and it’s far less draining to do what you should be doing.

Forward this post to at least two friends and start holding each other accountable.

Now you’ve got something outside of yourself that’s watching and motivating you. And everything is easier — and more fun — with friends.

Now What?

Got today’s to-do list? Great. That means the most rational thing to do now is stop being rational. Get those emotions going:

  1. Get Positive
  2. Get Rewarded
  3. Get Peer Pressure

You can do this. In fact, believing you can do this is the first step. Think of yourself as a motivated, productive person. At the end of the day, how people feel about themselves has a huge effect on their success. Now go be your best, successful self!