It’s been an unprecedented and challenging few months. Motivation – staying energized and focused on work and work tasks – has become more difficult as personal and health issues fill our minds. Try these motivation tips. They’ll help you feel re-energized and ready to focus on work that has to be done.
Recall Your Why
When your motivation is slipping, try writing down a list of all the reasons why your current project is important to you. Send yourself calendar reminders daily or post the list in a place where you can see it. That way you’ll remember what you’re working toward and why it’s important to you … and that keeps you motivated.
When you’re trying to stay motivated, think of the bigger picture. How does what you’re doing relate not only to you but to others? How can what you’re working on contribute to something really important where you can make a difference? Getting outside yourself and seeing things differently gets you thinking bigger … and thinking bigger helps you stay motivated.
Focus on the Positive
If you have some anxiety when attempting a new task, this motivation tip can help. Before you take action, think back to a positive memory of when you accomplished something you were really proud of. Draw on those positive feelings to help get you over the hump. Positive feelings have the added advantage of energizing you and boosting your motivation.
Jump Start Your Day
Start your day with a personal routine that will get you into the right frame of mind to attack the work ahead of you. It could be an early morning workout, listening to music or a motivational message, going for a walk … whatever will give you a positive start to your day.
Listen to People Who’ve Been There
If you’re looking for a motivation boost, put on your headphones and cue up an inspiring podcast or TED Talk. Positive ideas from people who have been there and and done it already generate new ideas for you. You’ll feel inspired with the motivation to get back at it.
Mistakes Are Part of the Process
We all make mistakes. Being afraid of doing something wrong often weakens your motivation. The tip? When you make a mistake, remind yourself mistakes are okay because you’re still taking action. It’s just time to correct the action and keep moving forward.
Just Get Started
If you can’t find your motivation one morning, and nothing seems to be working, just make a start … switch to a different task, try a different approach. You can always make revisions the next day when you’re in a better frame of mind. It’s always easier to build from what you’ve started than to begin with a blank page.
Kill the Negatives
Does reading the news or checking social media during the day stress you out? Try checking out what’s happening only once, at the end of your day. Monitor your thinking so you recognize when you’re slipping into negative thoughts. Work at replacing those negative thoughts when they creep in with more positive ones like I can do this, I can make this work, I’ve done this before. When you minimize the negatives in your life, they won’t drain you and you’ll maintain your motivation.
Enjoy the Journey
Yes, accomplishing a huge task will be hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like a slog. If it does, ask yourself why and what you can do to turn this around. Does the task need modifying? Is the timeline too short? Is it time for a break? Work to restore your enjoyment and your motivation by making the necessary adjustments.
When Are You Most Successful
A motivation tip that works for me is attacking big tasks early in the day. It is more effective than waiting until the afternoon, when my energy tends to sag. If you’re not a morning person, determine the time of day when your energy is at its peak and get at your big tasks then. You’ll feel motivated when you attack them at the time of day that suits your personal time clock.
Take a Social Media Break
This motivation tip works well for all of us. Try shutting off social media completely for a day or two, or even longer. See how much work you can get done. It’s challenging to stay motivated and focused on what you have to do when your energy is trained on monitoring what everyone else is doing.
Start and Switch
If your motivation is flagging, start your day off with a task that you’re excited about and then move on to ones that you are less enthused about. Try to have a number of tasks you enjoy doing in reserve so you can use them as motivation boosters throughout the day.
Recruit a Pep Up Partner
Connect with a similarly-minded friend or colleague who is also trying to stay focused on a major task. When your motivation starts to falter, check in with them to give yourself a boost of confidence. Sometimes, when you’re having difficulties, it can help to see what others are doing to overcome theirs. At a minimum, you’ll feel better knowing others are experiencing similar challenges.
Give these a try. Adopt the ones that work for you to maximize your motivation day after day.