Some days you wake up motivated and ready to go. And some days things feel heavy as you arise and it is hard to get going and find that inner drive.
1. Just get started and let the motivation catch up with you. You don’t have to wait for motivation to get started. If you want to work in a consistent way every day then sometimes you just have to get going anyway. And the funny thing is that after I have worked for a while things feel easier and easier and more fun and the motivation catches up with me.
2. Start small if big leads you to procrastinating. If a project or task feels too big and daunting don’t let that lead you into procrastination. Instead, break it down into small steps and then take just one of them to start moving forward.
3. Start tiny if a small step still leads you to procrastination. If breaking it down and taking a small step still leads you to procrastinating then go even smaller. Take just a tiny 1-2 minute step forward. That’s it. Because the most important thing is to just get going and to build momentum forward.
4. Reduce the daily distractions. When you have easily accessible distractions all around you then it becomes hard to focus. So shut the door to your office. Put your smart phone in silent mode at the other end of your work space or home. And use an extension for your browser like StayFocusd to keep yourself on track.
5. Get accountability from the people in your life. Tell your friends what you will do on social media, via phone or in real life. Ask one or more of them to regularly check up on you and your progress. By doing this you’ll be a lot less likely to try to weasel out of things or give up at the first obstacle.
6. Get motivation from the people in your life. Spend less time with negative people who always look at the dark or apathetic side of things. And spend more of the time you have now freed up with enthusiastic or motivated people and let their energy flow over to you.
7. Get the motivation from people you don’t know. Don’t limit yourself to just the motivation you can get from the people closest you. There is a ton of motivating books, podcasts, blogs and success stories out there that you can tap into to up or renew your motivation.
8. Play music that gives you energy. One of the simplest things I do when I feel low in energy or motivation is to play music that is upbeat and/or inspires me in some way. A break with a few songs or working while listening to them for a while usually works well.
9. Find the optimism. Pessimism can drain both your motivation and energy. But the positive and constructive way of looking at things can on the other hand energize and recharge your motivation. So when you’re in what looks like a negative situation ask yourself questions like: What’s one thing that’s good about this? And what’s one hidden opportunity here?
10. Be kind to yourself when you stumble . It’s so easy to fall into the trap of beating yourself when you stumble or fail. But that don’t work that well in my experience. You just feel worse and less motivated. So try this the next time: be kind to yourself, nudge yourself back on the path you were on and take one small step forward.
11. Be constructive about the failures. To make your setbacks more valuable and less hurtful be constructive about them. When you stumble ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback? Then keep that lesson in mind and take action on it to improve what you do.
12. Compare yourself to yourself and see how far you have come. Instead of deflating yourself and your motivation by comparing yourself to others who are so far ahead of you.
13. Be grateful for what you got. When motivation is running low then it’s easy to start seeing your life and the aspects of it through a negative lens. To put your focus on what you still have and who you are – and to recharge with positivity and motivation – ask yourself a question like: What are 3 things I sometimes take for granted but can be grateful for in my life? My answers would, for example, be a roof over my head, clean water and not having to go hungry.
14. Reduce your to-do list to just one item. An over-stuffed to-do list can be a real motivation killer. So try reducing your current to-do list to just one item. The one that’s most important to you right now or perhaps the one you’ve been procrastinating on for way too long. Then get started by taking a big, small or tiny step. And have another list tucked away somewhere where you can’t see it with other tasks to do later on.
15. Don’t forget about the breaks. Few things can in my experience drain the daily motivation like just working non-stop. Instead, work for 45 minutes each hour and use the rest for a break where you eat a snack, get out for some fresh air or do a bit of stretching. You’ll – perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively – get more done in a day and week and do work of higher quality because your energy, focus and motivation will simply last longer.
16. Adjust your goal size. If a big goal in your life feels overwhelming set a smaller goal to find your motivation again. And if a smaller goal doesn’t seem inspiring try to aim higher and make it bigger goal and see how that affects your motivation.
17. Take 2 minutes to look back at your successes. Close your eyes and let the memories of your biggest successes – no matter in what part of your life – wash over you. Let those most positive memories boost your motivation.
18. Reward yourself and celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small they are). If you’re looking forward to a nice reward that you’re getting yourself after you’re done with a task or a project then your motivation tends to go up. If you celebrate a success in some other way by for example by taking 1 minute to appreciate what you did or by telling someone about your success then that also usually recharges motivation and positivity. So dangle those carrots and celebrate to keep your motivation up.