Do you want to improve your motivation?
Are you continually being distracted from the task at hand? Do you fail to accomplish the things that you want to do? Ask yourself what it is that you are focusing on instead. What is your true goal? What we focus on tends to get done. It is important to know what you want, why you want it and make sure that every day your actions and behaviours take you closer to your true goal. If your objectives are aligned with what matters to you the most, you are more likely to do it. Do something every day to make sure that you move towards your goals. The trick is to keep your motivation up and not to run out of steam before completing your goal. Think of a time when you did complete something that you wanted to achieve, what was it that kept you motivated that time? If you’ve been motivated to stick with something before you can do it again.
Here are some tips that you might find useful to help motivate you at anytime to finish a project or task that you keep putting off.
Ditch the ‘should’ and ‘need’. We tend to use these types of words when talking about something we feel others want us to do and not what we want to do for ourselves. ‘I really should do …’ or ‘I need to do …’ Just ask yourself ‘why’ you will succeed – and get ready to do it!
Belief is what keeps you going when others knock you back, it’s what helps keep you going when you are tired, it’s what helps you to overcome unexpected obstacles and to see challenges as surmountable rather than a reason to quit.
If it’s a boring task it is difficult to get the dopamine going. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to the expectation of pleasurable experiences. When your brain thinks about a boring task there is no dopamine present. However by doing something pleasurable like listening to music, exercise, watching an inspirational video just before or during the task, you get the dopamine flowing, which helps you get your task completed in no time. So taking your work to your favourite café, meeting up with people you like and ordering your favourite drink will all help you to feel more motivated and upbeat and ready to tackle that task.
About your strengths and weaknesses. If you know where your weakest spots are you can plan for them before you get started. If this means delegating some parts of the task to someone else, so be it. If it gets you nearer to your goal it might be worth paying someone else to do something that would take you far longer to do.
Just do it
Research into procrastination has identified a practical way that can help you to overcome the tendency to procrastinate. The single most important technique is called “the 5 minute takeoff”. It consists, simply of starting to do the thing you have been putting off, no matter how little you feel like doing. Procrastinators often believe that to do something they have to want to do it – to be in the right mood, to feel inspired. This is not the case. Usually, to get the job done, it is enough merely to begin doing it – the initial action kick-starts the process and often brings about more action.
Imagine the end
Steve Covey in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People talks about beginning with the end in mind. He calls this the habit of personal leadership - leading yourself that is, towards your aims. By developing the habit of concentrating on relevant activities you will build a platform to avoid distractions and become more productive and successful. Define your mission and goals for life and work towards these on a daily basis.
Sometimes we don’t know where to start with a task. If this is the case just start anywhere, perhaps starting on something that you like first will help you to tackle the rest of the task.
If you feel overwhelmed by a task, simply break it down into small bite sized chunks, the smaller the better. Doing something towards your task is better than not doing anything at all.
If you put as much energy into doing what you want to do, as the energy that goes into not doing it, you will surely achieve your goal.