Today I was thinking about the connection between action and motivation. In the past, I have spent a lot of time procrastinating on things that were at least ostensibly important. While doing my IB Diploma and for my first couple of years at University I had the toughest time getting started on stuff. Busywork would occupy my day until I got home, ate, watched some youtube videos and read some blogs. At this point I would realize that I would have to stay up late to do my work for the next day, and I would do just that. Ironically, losing sleep makes you lose willpower and attention, so in a sense it is a self-perpetuating cycle of inaction. Even now, I get caught up in "One more article" or "I'll just check my email and Twitter feed and Facebook one more time" or "I wonder if there have been any interesting posts on Reddit in the last five minutes."
This being said, I have improved a lot in my ability to accomplish things that I want to and the biggest change that I have made is simply to take action on these things. Getting started and working when I don't feel like it or for longer than I feel like. Of course this is helped by maintaining basic conditions for my own success, notably:
-Trying to get enough sleep every night, I aim for around 9 hours but will sleep 10 when I can
-Eating relatively healthy foods, in enough quantity. It helps greatly to prepare meals in advance
-Exercising a few times a week to keep my attention and feeling of well-being up
-Maintaining a good time management system. I use the one from Cal Newport's Straight-A-Student
In fact, these habits can involve a significant amount of procrastination. Sometimes I'll research or plan the thing I want to do to death but it really doesn't take much information to get started. Get the minimum information you need, and DO SOMETHING. Every action warms up the body and mind to do more actions and as long as they are focused correctly it is almost impossible not to be effective. It doesn't have to be perfect because creating something is better than creating nothing.