From the feedback I’m getting every time I do a post on this topic, I’m going to guess that we could all use more motivational posts . So….let’s keep the excitement going, right? And, it’s the beginning of a new year, so who doesn’t love a good motivational post? The truth is, I actually really like writing posts on this topic because they’re helpful for me, too. Sometimes I need my own advice, know what I mean? Hands up here…..
These tips can be applied to just about anything, so no matter what you’re needing motivation for, they should help! I also didn’t want to get too specific because I feel like I could write a blog post on each tip as a stand alone. I want you to feel like each one is actionable, but not overwhelming.
Anyway, even if that new year motivation is still going strong for you, bookmark this post for those times when you need a little push! I’ve got you.
Think about your goals
Whenever I’m really struggling to get something done – ANYTHING – to get a project moving, I like to back up and think big picture. Because if I’m struggling to find the motivation to do something, it’s usually for one of two reasons. One, I’m just distracted by other things and/or feeling lazy in that moment (or lacking motivation, right?). Or second, whatever it is I’m trying to get done doesn’t actually ALIGN with my goals. You know when you try to push an idea and you’re not really feeling it??? Like that.
If it’s the latter, I’ll ask myself how I wound up doing whatever it is to begin with and then why I’m really doing it. Obviously if it’s a project for work and I’m committed, I’ll get it done, but I think it’s important to note whether you’re spending time and energy on things that you really just don’t care about or just in a slump.
Look for inspiration
I am crazy about a good self-help book and tend to write about motivation a lot on RJI, so I wanted to share some of my forms of finding it when it’s not coming naturally (which happens more than I’d like to admit). If you’re lacking what you need to finish something (or even get started), seek it out in others! Bookmark this post for when you need an extra push or hop on Pinterest and read all the motivational quotes or even save them as your computer/phone background – I’ll share some of mine in another post! Read or listen to a podcast. Make an “Goal Board” (this was a post a while back…..revisit the article and get motivated)! Meet up with someone who always inspires you or ask someone to grab coffee. Be careful not to take advantage of their time and energy. Don’t ask for lots of “freebie” ideas or concepts. Watch TED Talks on YouTube. There’s no shame in needing to lean on others for a little motivational inspo. It’s just plain smart to glean some energy from resources already out there. I LOVE a good Podcast. I try to listen to a couple every day. They usually provide some excitement and good tips about how to self-motivate.
I’m not saying you should go to Bali every time you finish a project or reach a goal, but maybe pour yourself a glass of wine or turn off the computer and go for a walk? Or shopping. Sometimes to feel motivated we need to know there’s a reward waiting for us at the end and that’s OK! Just make sure your celebration slash reward is in proportion to whatever task you completed. Having said that…..it’s ok to get slightly (ok really) carried away every once in a while….really wallow in the success of completing something. No judgment here.
Perfection is not good here
Ugh, this is one I struggle with ALL THE TIME. If you’ve been around here for a while then you probably know I’m a Triple Type A perfectionist freak. Working on giving up on the idea that everything has to be perfect has helped me enormously in terms of getting things done. It’s a struggle some days but helps me move through simple tasks much faster. If you’re on the struggle bus with this, leave a comment below with your fave way of coping with it. I’d LOVE to know what each of you does to combat this evil trait.
Procrastination – The Lurker
Whenever something is lingering, whether it’s a workout, a work project or cleaning my office UGH, I hate the feeling of overwhelm that starts to creep in. It’s like my brain knows I’m putting something off and am in dire need of motivation. When this happens, I try to regroup and instead focus on what I’ll feel like once I’m done. One word usually comes to mind – RELIEVED. And that is ALWAYS better than stress.
Break big lists into smaller, more manageable lists
Do you ever lump several small tasks into one big one and then put it off all day because it just feels like too much? Same. Like instead of putting “Pay Taxes” on your calendar and then moving it from day to day because you just can’t, break it up into more manageable tasks. Start with getting all your documents in order, then maybe later that day go through the first 6 months of the year. Do another small task the next day and so on. I also like to take a bit of time at the end of my work day to write out 6 things I’d like to accomplish the next day. List them and then prioritize them according to their importance in being completed. Work on number one first and stay there until it’s done. Move on to number two next. Do this everyday and I promise it will help you GET MORE DONE! Try the LEE binder here.
I WILL ONLY WORK FOR 10 MINUTES
This is a trick I use all of the time. Nine times out of ten it works like a charm. This really works well for working out, too! For some reason, things can start to feel scary if I have to commit for more than 10 minutes, so that’s kinda my “safe zone”. Usually once I’m a few minutes in, I forget about time completely and zip right through whatever I’m working on. 10 minutes is SO much less imposing than saying “I’m only in the office for 2 hours…..” seems like a lifetime if you are struggling. This cube is my new weapon when it comes to staying on task and on schedule with anything from meetings to cleaning time. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. Let me know how it works for you!
Ok, seriously I could go on and on for quite a while with this topic but I don’t want anyone falling asleep or into a coma reading my blog. I’d love to hear what you have to say about some of these ideas….ever used any of them? How do you get motivated? Out of a slump?