Have you ever sat in front of your computer or on a job site and felt incredibly distracted or like trying to get yourself to stay focused was like walking through molasses? It’s not an uncommon feeling for most people and there are only so many inspiring podcasts you can listen to before you hit a wall. Humans naturally face opposition when they try to constantly stay on task, but there is a way to work around it and to get your drive pumped back up so you can keep pushing forward when you just don’t feel motivated.
Motivation seems like it’s a one-size-fits-all kind of thing – but motivation can be deeply personal. I am probably not motivated or encouraged the same way that my coworkers are and the things that motivate me are certainly not going to motivate my kids. But there are strategies that work well for most people no matter what they are trying to achieve.
One of the main issues that people face when trying to reach goals are the hard steps that it takes to reach them. This is true to any type of goal. If you want to lose weight, one of your hardest steps could be exercising daily or changing your eating habits. That means that each day you have to make the conscious choice to grab the salad instead of the hamburger, or wake up an hour earlier to fit exercise into your day.
What a chore!! The thoughts on our minds while acting out these steps is not likely how we are going to be able to fit into a size 5 by fall. Our minds are saying “oh my gosh my body really wants the hamburger” or “I was up late with the kids, my body really needs to sleep in today.”
Our brains are hyper-focused on the immediate future and immediate gratification – not the long term benefits.
This major barrier on the road to success can be demolished with a few easy steps.
Every “chore” should be set as a goal. What does that mean? If I want to stick to my diet but have a seriously hard time picking the salad over the cheeseburger, I might make a list of goals each day, one of those goals would be “Make healthy food choices today.”
Studies show that individuals who create daily exercise goals are more likely to increase their fitness levels than those who set one target goal.
If your goal is to gain 100 new clients this year – start with easy and concrete goals like reaching out to 10 potential clients a day or signing on 10 new clients this month.
In the work environment, it could feel less personal. Maybe you have a deadline rather than a “goal.” That doesn’t mean that you can’t use the same tactic. You just need a different perspective. If your deadline is finishing 5 projects by the end of the week – and they are projects you really don’t enjoy doing – your perspective needs to shift.
What would motivate you in this scenario? Do you want to be recognized by your boss? Would you feel personal satisfaction and pride if it was accomplished? Would you benefit from meeting your deadline smoothly rather than cramming it in at the last minute?
We want to be recognized, we want to be proud of ourselves, we do benefit from not procrastinating!
Your perspective needs to shift to create goals that you can find reward in each day.
If you are a compulsive procrastinator and you find yourself rushing to meet deadlines, how would you feel if your projects were complete the day before the deadline? What if you had an hour more to add to your projects and make them better?
Consider waking up an hour earlier each day this week and complete one project a day – if you have extra time, add something of value that you normally wouldn’t have time to add. Imagine how you would feel!
There are days when finding motivation seems like finding a needle in a haystack, but you can pump yourself up by finding that feeling that you want to feel, that feeling that makes you beam, the feeling that you can literally accomplish anything, and working with it to set your daily goals that will line up with your ultimate productivity goals – and you will do more than win!