There are days when you wake up and your energy and enthusiasm to take action seems to be low. You know you have a lot of to do’s, yet something stops you from getting started. Most of the time, you are left with no option. Taking action is a must.
Overcoming that hurdle to get things done when you have the itch just to sit back and relax isn’t easy. It is easy to set goals but twice as hard to get them done. It all boils down to motivation. Without motivation, you feel hopeless, lost, and stuck.
There are a number of ways to feel inspired when you lack the motivation to work. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can employ to motivate yourself:
1. Write down your concrete goals and stick them at a visible spot. Rather than writing down some abstract goals, write down specific goals that you want to accomplish to motivate yourself. Stick your goals on your bedroom wall or the bathroom mirror, so that you will be reminded of them throughout the day. Whenever you see them, it will help you stay focused and motivated.
2. Create a to-do list. Make a to-do list of things that you plan to do to reach your goal. You will feel encouraged as you cross off items from the list.
3. Research your task. Researching about something that you are about to do will keep your expectations grounded, and you will be well aware of the difficulties that you may run into. When you know what others did in similar situations, you can adapt and try out their solutions. This will make it easier for you to handle the task.
4. Learn to think more positively. Whenever a negative thought crosses your mind and starts de-motivating you, take hold of it and start thinking positively. Never use negative words to describe yourself. The pattern leads to excuses: for example, ‘I can’t do this because… so this …will never happen’. Although this may sound a little difficult, with practice, you will be able to master this art. Try and make positive thoughts an everyday habit.
5. Act motivated. If you don’t feel very motivated, act like it. You will notice that within a few minutes, you will start feeling motivated for real. Give yourself a pep talk focusing on current achievements. The memories of your accomplishments will provide positive feelings that will increase motivation.
6. Dress to feel motivated. When you dress to impress yourself, you will feel good about yourself. Dress up to boost your confidence and feel motivated.
7. Maintain a routine. Routine creates a structure for the day. Waking up at the same time, working at the same time, and following a similar routine each day make things easier. A routine eliminates chaos and helps lay the pattern for predictability. When we can predict our schedule we feel more in control and more motivated.
8. Set a deadline. Set aside deadlines for each task. It will push you to get the task done before your time is up. It will create a sense of responsibility and ownership. This will boost your motivation.
9. Do the toughest task in the first hour of your day. Set aside the first hour of your day to do the tasks that require the most energy - mental or physical. Mornings are the time when your energy reserve is at its peak. Utilize this time to delegate, delete or complete things that you are likely to procrastinate. Once you are done with all the pending work, your mind will be able to focus on other tasks for the rest of your day.
10. Take breaks between your tasks. Many times working non-stop will drain your motivation. Instead, take a break every 45 minutes. Go out and get some fresh air, do a bit of stretching, listen to motivational tracks, or simply do a 2-minute meditation. Sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Taking a break will help you to get more work done. Your work will be of higher quality as your energy and focus will last longer if you take breaks.
11. Sit next to a focused person whom you don’t know. When you feel de-motivated at work, find an empty desk and sit next to a focused colleague, preferably someone you don’t know well. Unconsciously you copy the postures, mannerism, and behavior of the people around you. Another benefit is that changing your desk will change your environment, resulting in a change in your behavior.
12. Get a partner and share your goals. Find someone who will motivate you when you lack energy and enthusiasm. Having a friend to motivate you can be of great help. Tell your friends and the people around you about your goals. This will keep you accountable and will serve as a motivation to get your task done. Also, friendly competition improves motivation and may increase the creativity to complete tasks.
13. Do some small task. When you lack the motivation to do anything, get started with something small. For instance, clean your desk, wash your dishes, and water your plants. You just need to get started. Once you get started, you will feel more alert and motivated to do the next thing.
14. Don’t pursue perfection. Perfection can kill your motivation. So, next time you are working on a project, work on it as if it’s a rough draft. Don’t do too much at once. Focus on one task rather than working on five different things. Each time you accomplish one task, your motivation to continue improves.
15. Eat, Sleep, and Exercise Regularly. During times of high stress, we often forget the basics of taking care of ourselves. It is important to eat good food and drink plenty of water. A proper diet helps keep us focused and functional. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night recharges our brains and sets the stage for the next day.
Exercise is a great stress reliever due to the release of powerful chemicals in the brain. When we treat our body and mind properly, we set the stage for optimal result. When we feel good, we are more motivated.
16. Reward yourself. If you do not like doing something, link it to something you genuinely like. According to the basic principles of positive reinforcement, when a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened. Setting up rewards along the way helps to strengthen your motivation to reach large goals.
17. Watch someone happy. When feeling de-motivated, watch something inspirational or look at a joyful picture. When you see others happy, joyful, and at their best, it will motivate you.
18. Take a selfie. A selfie is more like a validation. Looking at selfies or sharing it with people will make you feel good about yourself, raise your self-esteem, and motivate you to move forward.
19. Keep a tab on what information you intake. If you are watching, listening, or reading too many cynical things, reduce your information intake. The negative information can change your mood and diminish your motivation.
20. Stop comparing yourself with others. Comparing what you have and your achievements with others will make you feel de-motivated. There will always be someone ahead of you, but there will always be someone behind you as well. Compare yourself to your goals and use your motivation to be the best self you can be.
21. Check on your progress weekly. Every week take out some time to evaluate what is helping and what is not. Modify as needed to meet your goals. Review motivating forces and review obstacles that were in your way. Create a plan that allows you to move forward. Reviewing your results helps you plan the next steps on your road to success.
22. Get out of your comfort zone. Facing your challenges will give your motivation a boost. If fear is holding you back, take that first step outside your comfort zone. Question your excuses. For instance, if you say you are too tired to study, ask yourself are you really that tired? Make it a habit of questioning yourself every time you come up with some excuse; push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you never push yourself, then chances are you will never change your behavior.
23. Be proud of yourself. Chances are, you have overcome many obstacles and moved through many fears to get where you are. You have put time and energy into making your goals a reality. Celebrate yourself, be proud of who you are. Your self-confidence is your greatest motivation.