You know those times when you KNOW you should be doing some job, but you don’t have any motivation to ACTUALLY START?
(ok. unnecessary question. everybody’s familiar with that one!)
And you know that task is on your to-do list for the day, but you’re just lacking the willpower for it.
(note: in this post, I’m talking about a temporary lack of motivation. if you’re feeling like this for a substantial number of days, more or less in a row, this feeling might be a symptom of a bigger issue. in that case, please seek medical/psychological counseling and/or support.)
So, what to do when you feel completely demotivated, but the clock’s ticking, and you can’t afford to transfer this task to another day?
There are several options.
One option is to make some excuse and elegantly slip into procrastination mode. (which is not a productive way to spend your time, though)
Another possible scenario is to simply force yourself to do it (and resent every moment of it), or…
You could try to switch your mindset to a totally wonderful, motivated level, and enjoy the process.
(now comes in the mental picture of you hopping in a low-gravity state through an endless field filled with flowers, butterflies, and birds, with a couple of rainbows in the sky and blissful music in behind… ha, ha… 🙂 )
You may be thinking I’m talking nonsense now…
But, it can be done, believe it or not (not the field part, though!).
HOOOOW, you may ask?
Well, I have a few ideas up my sleeve which I’ll gladly share with you.
Now, depending on your affinities, you may find some of the ideas below to work for you 100%, while others may not.
However, it’s not bad to check them all out.
So without further ado, ta-daaah…
Here they are!
1. Always, but always, remember your “why”
Behind every action lies a reason why (a.k.a. a purpose).
And by that, I mean a motivational one.
Maybe it’s not as obvious, but it’s there.
It might be possible that the direct reason why may not be appealing to you (it could even be one of the downers!), but there’s a good chance it’s linked to a deeper, more meaningful one.
Here’s an example of what I think by it.
Say, you’re not motivated for the job your boss just handed over to you.
So your direct reason why you should do this is simple – it’s because that’s your job and what you’re paid for.
But what also might be the case is that you actually don’t like your job as a whole, and whatever assignment you get, it’s not something which makes you happy about.
Therefore, the knowledge that’s your job description doesn’t seem to lift up your spirit at all.
In that case, look for a deeper reason to feel at least a bit more positive about the work you’re currently doing.
You can view the situation in this manner:
Your current job is a means to provide for yourself and/or your family until a better opportunity emerges.
I believe viewing tasks from this perspective can truly add some motivation for the work ahead.
It’s a simple two-step process.
Think about what you are getting from it.
Keep your end goal in mind.
2. Find the positive side
Every task has its upside.
The catch is to discover, capture it, and focus on it.
Think about your assignment from a different angle.
Maybe it’s a boring routine to you (and believe me, EVERY job turns into a routine over time), but I’m super-sure it must be beneficial to someone (if not you). Otherwise, that job wouldn’t exist!
So find THE thing which makes your task important.
Give it a meaning.
When you think about your task this way, you’re becoming a part of an important scheme, and that’s an additional self-esteem boost you just might need to start with.
3. Surround yourself with inspiring people
It doesn’t have to be scientifically proved but have you noticed how you approach the same task differently if you’re surrounded by an uplifting group of people Vs the other kind (let’s not waste time on naming them)?
Hmmm, maybe this one is even scientifically proved, but who cares, you know it stands true!
Surround yourself with positive people.
Sure, you can’t pick the people you’ll work with at the office, but some colleagues which fit your personality must exist out there.
Meet them at a lunch break (if nothing else), to lift up your spirit!
Also, remember that you are not limited to the surrounding you live in.
Reach out and look beyond for people who inspire you.
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to become connected with great people who are (somewhere) out there. With the help of the internet, it becomes a lot less complicated.
4. Listen to inspiring podcasts
Need an external kick in the butt to get you going, but just not in a situation to talk to your best friend in person, or call him/her to lift your mood up?
Again, go to the almighty web for quick help. 😉
Just a couple of right sentences to get you back on the track might be all you need.
Motivation doesn’t come from dull, boring, positive-emotions-detached tasks (in case you didn’t know!).
So start off with a smile on your face.
Think about some funny anecdote first.
After a dose of humor, the task looks less intimidating and more approachable.
For a quick dose of funnies, you can visit this place, but I strongly recommend you to create one of your own (with the type of humor that suits you).
No excuses about this one!
6. Get some sunlight in your eyes
Did you know that depression is more common in countries which have fewer hours of sunlight in a year?
Ok, I know I’ve said I’m not talking about this (or any other) extreme health issue, but my point is next.
It’s proven that sunlight lifts up mood and energy level by stimulating the production of serotonin in the body.
(argh… the molecular biologist inside me is coming out! – the Alien way, ha, ha…)
That little fellow can really make a difference regarding your feeling of happiness and enthusiasm.
(I meant on serotonin, not the Alien… :))
So, on a bright, sunny day, do get out for a quick walk, or just sit on the balcony, enjoy the view, and absorb the sunlight (of course, don’t view it directly!)!
Cloudy, rainy days?
Just turn on the lights inside your home, and make it BRIGHT.
(quick tip: white light is better at simulating the natural sunlight. there are also light therapy lamps on the market, in case you might want one.)
7. Have an inspirational quote to lean on
You are the chief of your behavior and your way of thinking.
But, the truth is, there are people who naturally tend to have a more or less positive point of view on the world around them.
(you know, the glass-half-full Vs half-empty perception)
And even the most optimistic person in the world needs a motivation lift-up from time to time.
Perhaps just one right inspirational quote will do the trick, so why not give it a try?
8. Treat yourself
If the task ahead of you is just a part of the bigger picture, which its full results will be seen in not so near future, it’s a good thing to make a couple of milestone points along the way.
When reached, treat yourself to something enjoyable.
It doesn’t have to be something luxurious, or expensive.
Remember, sometimes the things we most enjoy in are free or cost next to nothing.
Make a list of those treats upfront, and when the time comes, pretend you’re in a lottery picking your prize. 🙂
You now have a fun way to be more drawn to the task by being eager to receive your prize.
(and no cheating here! getting the reward before its time is not allowed! 😉 )
9. Think about the relief at the end
You know you have to do it…
Either sooner or later.
So you might just do it right NOW!
It’s true you might not be as motivated for the task at the beginning (or even in the middle of it), but it’ll sure bring a smile on your face once you’ve got over it!
So start off by knowing what a relief it’ll bring to you when the job gets done.
No more left.
You know it’ll feel great.
Begin with getting it off your chests, then!
10. Take some quick action to get you warmed up & going
Maybe you are capable of jumping straight to the task ahead of you (and lucky for you if you can), but maybe you need a little bit of warm-up first.
If that’s the case, consider doing some other small action to put you in the zone for tackling with the task ahead.
It should not be time-consuming, though.
A 5 to 15 minutes max is sure to get you into the work mood (and don’t let be carried away!).
And there you have it!
10 tips to help you boost your motivation.
What do you say?
You can not believe it’s already over?!
I’m afraid so, at least for now…
Just curious – what tip will you apply the first?
Share your thoughts.