Today I would like to talk to you about some ways to motivate yourself and keep your motivation level throughout your day. Just imagine, being able to get a lot of things done. Each and every day. Seeing your to-do list getting smaller. So today, I am going to share with you some ways, how to stay motivated.
Here are 10 tips:
Keep switching types of your tasks
This is especially useful, if some of your tasks require you to sit in one place for some period of time, while the other need you to move.
Let’s say that in any given day you have to wash the dishes, write a report and do grocery shopping. In your analysis you estimated that writing a report is going to take you 4 hours. So you could start writing it first, after 2 hours take a break to wash the dishes and return to writing after that. As report is done, you can go to do your shopping. In this case, household tasks are becoming a break in your big task which is the report.
It is a lot easier to maintain motivation, if you will keep switching between task, where you sit and these requiring you being active, these outdoor with these indoor ones. This way each task will be sort of break after the previous one you’ve just accomplished.
Make starting your tasks as easy as you can
This one has changed my day a lot. If you are anything like me, you know (even better than you should) this feeling, when you feel so ready to take this run which you have planed the day before. You get out of bed, have a glass of water, light breakfast and of you go! Well, almost. Where are your running clothes? Ok, it will take just a while to find them in your wardrobe. Ok, now you are ready, you can go. Where did you leave your shoes last time? Quick search and you got them on your feet. This time, for sure you are ready, aren’t you? But it would be nice to have something to listen to. But what? You are creating running playlist very quick and when you are checking the time you realise that you wasted two hours already and you should have started writing this report for work an hour ago.
You decide that you are going to skip running today and go tomorrow instead. Now you really need to do your report. But where are your notes you’ve taken during the last meeting?
You know the circle. Before you even start, you will realise that you should be already working on next task and this way nothing really gets done.
Getting everything ready in place beforehand, will make you more likely to actually work as soon as you’ll ‘force’ yourself to 😉 And this is how you are being productive instead of just being busy.
This one you can probably see in each and every article or blog post about productivity. Well, probably for some reason. Getting distracted during your work, has similar result to the one from previous point.
Let’s imagine following situation. You planned to write your report. You made your tea, all your notes are waiting on your desk, so is your computer with text editor opened on the screen. Happy to start, you are sitting in front of the screen, you almost typed your title when… “ding!” – you just got notified on your phone that your sister updated her status on her social media profile. You are checking it. It will take maximum two minutes. She posted that some movie she has just seen, was amazing. Yeah, you wanted to see this movie. Ok, you’ll book tickets after your report. Well, but what if you’ll forget. Better to do this now, and work on your report right after. You go on cinema’s website, choose movie, time and place, pay and it is done. “Ding!” quick look and it is just message confirming your reservation. But wait, there is another message from your friend. Maybe something happened? It will be wise to actually check it. Uff, she is just asking how are you. Yeah, but you opened it, better to answer, otherwise you’ll forget and she’ll be upset. ‘I am ok. Just writing report for work. And you?’ You put your phone on desk, start typing your report. Ok, title page is done. “Ding!” Your friend just answered. She is fine too and would like to go for a walk with you this evening. You answer that it is ok, just when you finish your report, shouldn’t be late. You check the time and you realise that you just wasted half an hour. Better leave it today, and get ready for a walk. You’ll write your report when you’ll be back or even tomorrow. It doesn’t go well any way.
I think all of us have been there. It is not a secret that we spend much more time looking at our smartphones screens. We subconsciously are only waiting for this “Ding!” sound whatever we are doing. And don’t get me wrong, I am exactly the same. But since some time I’ve just decided, that when I intend to do some job, I swith off all sounds in my phone (vibration too) and put my phone out of my sight. And I am sorting all ‘important’ notification right after my task is done. This way, my task actually are getting done 😉
Have a vision board
This is kind of tricky, because as a first step you have to actually make one 😉 Just another task to complete. Ok, but before we start – what vision board is? It is a board, piece of paper or even file with your goals visualised. You can print pictures of your dreamed home, piles of money, exotic places or just smiling face of your child being happy after receiving his dreamed gift. Whatever the reason why you continue doing what you are doing, will work. And now, each time when your brain is trying to think about everything but your task, have a quick look at all this reason and go back to work. Just make sure that it will not become another distraction!
Here is another one worth it to be mentioned. Having huge to do list full of tasks would probably make you feel proud, but only if you tick at least most of these boxes. If you you accomplish just few of thousands, it will just feel like a tear in a sea.
Just for your mental health, make sure that amount of tasks is equivalent to time you have. Otherwise you’ll be constantly disappointed with yourself and all your motivation will disappear as soon as it came (or maybe quicker, as you probably read this post because of lack of motivation).
Remember though, that if you’ll put less on your to do list, there will be still space on your list. If you’ll accomplish all of your tasks before next morning 😉 you can always add a couple more. After all, it is better to do extra, than not do enough.
Have regular breaks
This is something you’ve probably heard millions of time, too. But here is the truth, we are not robots, we can’t just connect ourself to charger and we’ll be fine. We actually need some rest. Sleep, walk, meet people and eat. Simple as that. Not taking breaks might work for couple of days. If you are super human, maybe couple of weeks. But eventually, you are going to burn out.
So whenever you feel tired (but tired, not feeling like watching an episode of your favourite serial), take break, have a lunch or dinner with your friends, visit your grandma. Anything! Just forget about work for a while and relax.
Look at your obstacles as if they were an exam
Before I’ll explain, let’s establish something. In our life we have tasks and TASKS. Some of them are as easy as washing the dishes, where there are just two cups in the sink, but the other seem impossible to even start. And even if you will start you will soon realise, that you have no idea how to move forward with this thing. You are in very dead point where nothing seem to work.
And I am not talking now about overfilling chairs with clothes to iron in my spare room, because last three days were a laundry days after my washing machine arrived finally 😉 this is thrilling, but you can do this. I am talking here about this project, which doesn’t want to give right results, this exam where you study honestly focused, but can’t understand even a small bit, this app which keeps crushing every time you want to compile it.
These kind of TASKS are the ONLY, when you can intentionally procrastinate. Just step back, work on anything else, take a break and don’t come back to it until the very next day. Remember, that hard things are your life exams. How do you deal with them, are you going to give up? This is what matters and this will determine, if you will succeed or not.
So try and push through hard things. Wait for some inspiration, if you need to or even ask for help. It’s not a shame to ask. This task might be your final exam. You will get an A by solving your problem and your dreams will become the truth, or you’ll see F by just giving up. It is your choice of course, but I think first option is more attractive.
Keep your environment clean
Did you hear the stories about students who clean the entire home like never before during exam period? Well, there is something right about this. When we have some task, which seems hard for us, we tend to look for anything easier to do. This way we still are ‘productive’, but we don’t really get important things done.
Keeping your environment relatively clean (it doesn’t have to be a sterile place) will reduce this kind of distraction. It will be harder for your brain to find an excuse not to focus on your task and as a result, you’ll be more likely to at lest make some progress in your work.
Schedule your time, not tasks
This isn’t always possible. I’ve started testing it before I had my son. And I’ve worked in this system for about two weeks. But let me explain the idea. Instead of having tasks like: finish my project you would have something like I’ll work on my project for one hour. You could also time when exactly you are going to start particular task. This way, no matter how far you did get while working, you are stopping your work as soon as your alarm starts ringing.
It worked quite well. However, I am aware this method isn’t for every one. As I mentioned, I stopped using it when my son was born, as I am not able to predict how long he is going to sleep each day. And there are some tasks I simply can’t work on, while looking after him. It probably wouldn’t work, if you have tons of deadlines the very next day. But if you are able, try this way. It has a great potential.
Make habit of getting your stuff done
This last one will not be helpful right away, as it requires a lot of time to establish. But if you will create a habits of working, if you will let accomplishing your tasks become part of your routine, you will not have to struggle each time to get yourself into doing something. It will be as natural as having your coffee or other beverage in the morning.
That’s all tips I have to share with you today. I am constantly testing new solutions so I might write continuation of this post in the future. I hope you’ll find my tips useful. If you have any other advises, feel free to share it in the comment section below.
For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.