How To Stay Motivated

How To Stay Motivated

Image Credit: Fitsum Admasu
Getting motivated about something can be easy. A new project you are starting is fresh and exciting with lots of tasks for you to be working on. You make a list of all the tasks and tick them off as you work down the list; feeling that accomplishment of each task completed.
However, sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated. Maybe you’ve worked through all the easy tasks and all the hard work is now in front of you, maybe there has been a delay in a big deadline or maybe the project simply just isn’t fresh and exciting any more.
What do you do now? How can you stay motivated?

Get Motivation Elsewhere

A trick people like to use is getting motivated from elsewhere and carrying it over to the current project you are working on.
This can be something as simple as getting up in the morning and doing all the housework. You’ve cleaned the whole house, done the dishes and rearranged the living room.
Look around and see what your hard work this morning has achieved. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and motivation looking at your nice clean house. Get straight to work with that feeling. It’s like cheating. It’s like you’ve completed a work task and are now motivated to get more stuff done from your list.

Get In The Right Mind To Be Motivated

If you are half-asleep, feeling lazy and more interested in thinking about your weekend then doing work, it’s going to be really hard to get motivated.
If you are getting out of bed as late as possible, eating something unhealthy and then dragging yourself to your desk, you need to change your morning routine to something that will stir motivation in you.
Get up an hour earlier then usual, work out, drink water, have a healthy breakfast and plan the day ahead. You’ll be feeling motivated because of your productive morning (getting motivation elsewhere) as well as preparing yourself to be as ready as you can for a day’s work.
Check out our Morning Routine article for more ideas.

Change Environment


Image Credit: Andrew Neel

Sometimes a new environment can do wonders for motivation. You can get in to bad habits when you are working from home or the same location all the time. You can slip in to a certain state of mind when you are in a certain environment.
If you are working from home you really need to have an office or work space you can go to. Working from your bedroom or sitting on the sofa isn’t always the best idea. It’s really good to have a place of work; a room you can work from so you can walk in and think, “I’m at work now” and switch to your working mind set.
This doesn’t have to be an office/room at your house. It could be a local coffee shop. Somewhere that you can go that is separate from your living space.


Become Accountable

Some people find it hard to get work done when they don’t have a boss to answer to. You can take a few days to do a task that should have really only taken one day because there is no-one there to tell you to do it quicker.
Find somebody that you can be accountable. This could be a friend, family member, former colleague… anybody that is interested in your success and is going to be happy you are being productive and disappointed if you slack off. Maybe even plan to go out and celebrate with them when you reach a certain milestone in your project.
Knowing that you are going to be meeting this person in a few days time will motivate you to get a lot of work done by then so you can tell them all about it.
This can even be a temporary thing. Learn how to stay motivated by being accountable to someone over a long period of time and you may eventually just be motivated naturally.



Image Credit: Sharon Mccutcheon

David Blaine, the magician, once stayed inside a block of ice for 63 hours in his “Frozen In Time” special. He was encased in a block of ice in the middle of Times Square. There were people everywhere looking on; it would have been impossible for him to cheat. He definitely stayed in side of a block of ice for 63 hours.
When he was asked how he did it he told people he used the chunking technique. This is where you don’t think about something in it’s entirety but break it down in to sections and only think about the current section you are working on. David wasn’t in the ice thinking he had another 62 hours to go; he only thought about making it to the end of the hour. When that hour was up, he was just thinking about the next hour.
You can do the same with your work. Instead of thinking about all the hard work you have to get finished by the end of the day, break everything down in to single tasks. Only think about the task you are working on and finishing that. Do not think about all the other tasks you have to do after the current one.


The Locus of Control

There is an idea called the “Locus of Control” which is defined as “The degree to which you believe you have control over your life.”
People are much happier and motivated about their life if they know they have control over it. This idea seeps in to other things as well; you will be able to stay motivated if you know you have control over your work.
For example, if you are running a business and looking to be more motivated and harder working, think about your business. You started it, you run it and you decide what happens and what doesn’t happen with the business. The business is fully in your control. Knowing that the business is up to your hard work should motivate you to keep the hard work going.
Even if you are working for somebody else, think about your control over the situation. You decided to apply for the job and that’s why you work there, you have learnt how to do the job, you are punctual and well presented, your hard work is producing results for the company, etc.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

If you are working all hours of the night it can be hard to get up the next morning and be motivated about getting back to work. What if you didn’t need to be working that late? What if there was a way to get your work done a lot quicker, giving you enough time for a good night’s sleep?
Always look for a way to do your job quicker or easier. It can be hard to stay motivated when you are doing a lot of laborious admin. Finding a way to do something quicker and easier is going to make you more motivated to get it done. It’s a great feeling finishing a task much quicker then planned, getting that rush of motivation and moving straight on to the next one.

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