Motivation seems like a difficult nut to crack.
Somedays it comes in truckloads. So much more than you want. Pity, you can’t store it up. Because on the other days it just refuses to come at all. You leave all the important work to wait for it to show up and yet it doesn’t.
It is for days like these that the following tips will help you. These tips will make the wait shorter and more exciting.
#1: Give up.
The first step in this difficult to crack problem is to accept your lack of desire to work. Tell yourself it is okay even when it is not. In other words, give up.
And observe if you are able to stop at that. Notice if you can move on to the next task.
You will if your reason for doing the task in the first place wasn’t crystal clear. Otherwise, you will get a lot more clarity on your “why” and this clarity will drag motivation right behind it.
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” ~ Thomas Merton
#2: Don’t take any action. Now.
This may sound absurd. Counterintuitive.
But you know what? It works. Because anticipation is great. Especially when you are starting out. Anticipation will help culminate the idea. Not only will you get excited about it but you will also find clarity on your purpose.
Plus you will get time to make a plan. And making a plan helps increase your odds of success multifold.
Defer action. But not forever.
If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. ~ Leo Babauta
#3: Give yourself permission.
“If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” ~ Anonymous
I will ask you a question. You are presented with the task of writing a book review on a book. You have two options – two famous books, one that is an easy read and the other one which is an extremely complicated read. Which one will you choose?
The answer is inconsequential.
Because you will end up doing the review on the one that is the easy read. Even if you decide to do the complicated one in the beginning, you will be all set and pumped up for it until the time you have to start. Then, your motivation will suddenly vanish. After a few days, the deadline will loom closer and you will suddenly find yourself doing the easy one. Even though you intended to do the complicated one.
Unless you have a clear sense of why you wanted to read that complicated book.
Quite often a lack of motivation leads to procrastination.
And one major reason for this procrastination is the fact that you don’t give yourself permission, not permission to succeed (because you feel you are not worth it), nor the permission to fail.
Once you accept the imperfect outcomes, you are set. It is like giving an invite to motivation for dinner with Gandhi, it can’t help but come.
Because as it turns out, imperfect is the only action there is. ~ Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend
#4: Break up.
This means breaking your goals into smaller ones so that the resistance level that you face concerning the task comes down.
Low resistance = High motivation
A rational person will always choose a task that involves lower effort because he (like all of us) wants to save his energy. (And have more time left for fun.)
Cut down the tasks into manageable portions. Small chunks. Tiny bits. That’s simple but effective.
Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them. ~ Lee Haney
#5: Give yourself a break.
Do other tasks. Help others. Make dinner. Water your plants. Read the newspaper. Watch the latest cat video.
Or do nothing.
Forget about doing the task-that-must-not-be-named at that moment. Just go with the flow.
Rest. Let your batteries charge. Give yourself some time off.
So that when you are back, you are back with a bang.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock, The Use Of Life
What do you do to get motivated?
Priya writes about self-development focused on science and zen principles. To get her free year-long course on self-development, which includes productive mornings, relationships, motivation and stress management, sign up here.