Lately my motivation has been all over the place. Some days, I get into work and feel so motivated to get stuff done. I was feeling that way this morning. I had a big block of time available at work today, so I stopped and got Starbucks on my way in to give me an extra kick of motivation and got to work. It was GREAT. I got so much done in the first several hours of work today. I felt like for sure I would be able to get completely caught up on some of the things I was putting off.
Until something happened that completely threw me off my game. Let me tell ya, the rest of my work day was all over the place. My motivation tanked, and I was completely unfocused. It took most of the day for me to get back on track and get things done. On top of that, I actually had a different blog post planned for today, but when I sat down to write, I was completely unmotivated. And then it occurred to me– I can’t be the only one that struggles with the waxing and waning motivation problem.
And as much as I hate to admit it, motivation isn’t an uncommon problem for me. But on the bright side (since I’m trying to be more positive!) I’ve learned a lot of strategies over time on how to get motivated when you don’t feel like it.
How to Get Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like It
1. Recognize that motivation naturally comes and goes.
First thing’s first: It’s not just you. Everybody has problems staying motivated from time to time. If we were constantly motivated, we’d have no down time and we’d crash and burn. If you’re feeling unmotivated, it may be that your body and brain are telling you that it’s time to slow down and take a step back. But sometimes that’s just not possible. Work still needs to get done. But when you can recognize that motivation comes and goes for everyone, it’s easier to forgive yourself for not getting things done.
2. Just Do It.
Take a hint from Nike and just do it. The work needs to get done one way or the other. Now that you’ve acknowledged the problem, it’s time to step up and take responsibility for yourself. The hardest part of getting motivated is starting. So in order to get motivated when you don’t feel like it, just do it anyway. You’ll feel much better once you dive in.
3. Don’t multitask.
This is often my downfall. I try to convince myself that if I can do a bunch of things at once, I’ll feel much better. But this causes a whole bunch of problems. First, it leads to sloppy work. You make more mistakes when you’re trying to juggle lots of different tasks. It’s also easier to burn out. Getting things done gives an extra boost of motivation, so having multiple unfinished tasks is counter-intuitive. Slow down and do things one at a time. You’ll feel like you’re getting more done in the long run.Stop trying to multitask. Get one thing done at a time to feel accomplished and motivated. Click To Tweet
4. Find a style that works for you.
People work in different ways. For me, my work style is to write down a list of tasks to do each morning, check them off as I finish them, and reward myself for my hard work. These rewards can be as simple as going and getting a snack to as exciting as giving myself permission to go out and do something fun. Experiment with lots of different ideas to find what helps you find motivation.
5. Make it fun!
I remember when my sister and I were little, we’d have a hard time getting motivated to clean our rooms. So we made a game out of it. So how can you make your work fun? Compete with yourself to get things done within a certain amount of time. Use fun colored pens. Heck, I’ve zoned out and replayed movies in my head when I worked at Target and had a lot of repetitive busy work to do. In order to get motivated when you don’t feel like it, you’ve gotta give yourself a reason to do it, no matter how small.In order to get motivated when you don't feel like it, you've gotta give yourself a reason. Click To Tweet
6. Plan in breaks.
Like I’ve mentioned before, if you’re expecting yourself to go 24/7, you’re going to burn out. Quickly. So make sure you plan in breaks. It can be incredibly motivating to say “If I can work hard for 20 minutes, then I can take a coffee break.” Nobody can stay motivated all the time. Learn how to work within your limits and give yourself a break or two.
7. Team up with a friend.
Two is better than one! If you can team up with someone to keep you accountable, you’re way more likely to get motivated when you don’t feel like it. Reporting back to someone else about your progress makes you more likely to accomplish your goals, because let’s face it. It really sucks to tell someone you didn’t do something. So let someone know what you need to get done and when you hope to accomplish it. Ask them to check in with you to monitor your progress.
8. Set yourself up for success.
I feel most motivated to work when I’m feeling great in general. When I’m wearing comfortable clothes, have a good meal in my belly, and feel well-rested, that’s when I feel the most motivated. So when you’re trying get motivated when you don’t feel like it, start with the basics. Are you hungry? Do you have to use the bathroom? I’m not kidding. Sometimes we get so caught up in the business that we forget to tend to our most basic needs! Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success in order to find motivation.
What tips and tricks do you have to get motivated when you don’t feel like it? Let me know in the comments!
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