I have had many days in life that were grossly productive. They tend to be the sort of days that everything just seems to fit in place and I have enough energy to do all the things that are on my list. 

I have had quite a few of those, and into adulthood they tend to feel more like notches in a victory belt than they did prior. 

Their scope and power grew exponentially when we had our daughter. 

More often than these days, though, are the days when I just don’t have the “umph” to do those things on my list. 

Doing more than sitting seems a chore, and the idea of actually doing something just seems to weigh on my mind. 

It’s an odd paradox of motivation and energy—whether or not the thought of pushing the task to tomorrow is livable or not, and if the non-livable tomorrow is worth my current status to be shifted. 

There’s this odd thing that happens too, the longer you put off the thing you know will make tomorrow less livable actually seem to sap energy from today—as though they’re prematurely exacting a toll for not doing anything now. It’s an umph tax, and it sucks. 

I’m not ragging on not having the umph, by the way, in case you’re wondering. 

I’m just advocating for getting it. 

Deciding to take a shower, do the laundry, wash the dishes, or floss will make your life better. 

This week I managed to brush my teeth morning and night and have pushed through my umph to make things happen when I didn’t want to, and it felt good. 

There’s a jokey wordplay about how you put the triumph into try by adding a little umph, and that’s where this whole thing is going—to add some umph to your try so that you don’t get umph-taxed on the rest of your life. Future you will be glad you did it.