Image courtesy of Hacksomia
Ahh, motivation hacks!
If you’re anything like me, you have tried dozens of motivation hacks in your life, with varying degrees of success. (Ever tried the one of spinning a dead cat around your head thirteen times in a graveyard at midnight during full moon? No? Weird, I thought everybody knew that one…)
Thankfully, your search is now over! You have reached Vlad’s Ultimate Motivation Hack Formula! (I was going to throw in a few other fancy words, like “passion” and “synergy”, but if I ever decided to trademark it, the paperwork would kill me.)
I’m not just going to throw a simple technique at you. Oh no. We’re going to dig deeper into the STRATEGY of motivation. And from there, I will help you build the ultimate Motivation Hack that works for YOU personally!
Why do you need a motivation hack anyway?
Let’s face it. If you’re looking for a motivation hack, that means there’s something you feel you HAVE TO do, or SHOULD DO, but you don’t feel like doing it.
Pause for a moment and think about it. It’s so obvious you probably never even considered it. And yet it holds the key to motivation.
When I was a kid I used to jump out of bed at 6 am on the weekend, all excited. Why? Because the morning cartoons were on! And yet during weekdays, I would be hard pressed to drag myself out of bed by 7:30.
Notice something? During the week, I HAD TO get up. On the weekend, I WANTED TO get up!
So if you’re looking for a motivation hack, that means you don’t really WANT TO do something. You logically know you SHOULD be doing it, but your emotions tell you otherwise. You associate pain with doing it.
In a moment, I will share the Ultimate Motivation Hack with you. But first, there’s one more thing you need to understand. It might even shatter your model of reality. I’m going to show you why bribing yourself is directly COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE as far as motivation goes!
Why bribing yourself doesn’t work:
Let’s say you have some writing that you want to get finished. But you don’t feel like doing it. So what would most people immediately do? Bribe themselves! They decide to stick it out, and then reward themselves with a cold beer or a chocolate bar or any other kind of reward.
Nooooo! That absolutely KILLS motivation in the long term!
“But it works!” I hear you say.
Well, yes and no. Bribing yourself might get the task done this time. But it also associates even more pain to doing the task, because you now see it as this annoying painful thing you need to get through to get your reward. The next time you want to do the same task, it will be even harder to get motivated.
Through bribing, you don’t get yourself to the point where you WANT to do something. You only reinforce the notion that it’s something you HAVE TO suffer through to get a reward.
Remember when I told you it’s all about what you WANT TO do vs. what you HAVE TO do? It’s a deep principle. Remember it every time you struggle with motivation.
Okay, now let’s move on to the grand finale! How to build your own motivation hack for every situation!
The Ultimate Motivation Hack
Hold this in mind – you want to get to the point where you WANT TO do the task.
The best way I found was… to make the task itself FUN!
Like this one time, I had to sweep the living room floor. I spent hours procrastinating and thinking up excuses for not doing it. Then I stopped myself! I realized I was procrastinating because sweeping the floor was bloody boring! (i.e. painful). So I thought about how to make it fun for myself, and I came up with a solution! I decided to make it more challenging!
I stood on one leg, lifted the other one up while bending my body forward (forming a T-shape) and swept the floor like that, hopping around on one leg! (I also started talking in weird voices and eventually fell over from laughing at myself.)
Don’t take yourself too seriously :). In fact, making a fool of yourself is a great way to start enjoying the task again.
A couple of months back, I started really strugging with writing. It became a painful chore, and I even thought of quitting blogging. But when I stopped myself and thought deeply about the problem, I realized I simply started taking myself too seriously! I had built up a readership, and I started caring about what they thought. (As in, “What would they think of me if I wrote this silly stuff?”)
Then I realized it doesn’t matter. If somebody doesn’t like my writing style, they’re free to stop reading. Being myself is more important than impressing strangers. And once I realized that, and stop censoring myself, the floodgates opened! Writing became easy again, because I was having FUN while doing it! (Plus, I got a lot more positive responses from readers!)
So if you want to build a motivation hack for yourself, just remember: It’s about making the task FUN.
You can make it more challenging, or more silly, or more ridiculous (I had a friend in high school who hated how formal the essays had to be. One day he decided to instead make it AS FORMAL AS POSSIBLE, using incredibly long convoluted sentences and fancy words, to see if the teacher caught on to the irony. She never did…)
I’m not going to give you “the one hack”. Because no one technique works for every person in every situation.
Instead, I will let YOU create hacks that work for YOU in each particular situation! Based on the principles I shared in this post, you can create your own motivation hack for every situation. And THAT is the Ultimate Motivation Hack.
Vlad Dolezal is a guest blogger for PickTheBrain. Check out Vlad’s blog Fun Life Development for more fun and exciting personal development tips. He’s even got a few posts waiting there especially for you!