- Ways to Stay Motivated
Motivation is the greatest paradox of our time. Never in time have we had so many motivational books and yet demotivation still plagues us like a pandemic. What is motivation? How do I find it? How do I stay motivated? These are but some of the most searched questions on search engines daily. This tells us the very real and dire need for motivation in our time.
All of us have at one point struggled with not feeling motivated. We see children struggle with finding motivation for school in the mornings and homework in the evening. Adults struggle with the motivation to work and in severe cases even the motivation or will to live. None of us, age or occupation notwithstanding is immune to this struggle.
What is motivation? Do I really need it? Can I get by without it? How do I stay motivated? These are all questions delved into in this article. We will get to the root of why you are not motivated and how to get your motivation back on and maintain it!
The Importance of Motivation
In order to fully understand the importance of motivation, we first have to understand what happens when we are not motivated. A lot of struggle both in the personal and professional world stems directly from being demotivated. When we are not motivated, we will not take care of our personal health. This includes simple self-care acts such as showering, brushing teeth and dressing well. We will allow our minds to wonder and feed us negative thoughts. We will not take care of our families and eventually, this cycle can and may lead to depression.
In a corporate setting, demotivated employees will not meet goals, will not show up, will not deliver and ultimately the bottom line of the company may not be achieved. Motivation, or simply put, “the why” has such an integral role in our lives as a whole that we simply cannot afford to ignore it.
The advantages of motivation are:
- Motivation allows us to change behaviors.
Motivation will allow you to stick to that good habit for 21 days. It will help the recovering addict stick to all the ten steps and will help you meet that deadline and avoid procrastination.
- Motivation allows us to be competent in our various fields.
Motivation will help a student be the best and ace tests, motivation will make you a better entrepreneur and motivation will make you a better mom. Regardless of what your field is, being motivated will make you the best there can be.
Ways to Stay Motivated
State The Why
In order to be motivated at anything, it is important to first identify why you are doing it. A student needs to first identify why they are studying, what are their end goals and why they are in school in the first place. As an employee the why could be something like, “I am working on this project because I love what I do, because I am meeting my clients’ needs and because it gives me a chance to have a roof over my head”.
A shift in perspective will automatically make you grateful even for tasks that you may not be fond of. Once the why is established, motivation will follow suit.
Set SMART goals
The SMART model of goal setting applies to motivation as well. Smart stands for ;
These types of goals allow you to see them as achievable. Let’s use the example of spring cleaning. A SMART goal would be; “I will clean the garage shelves by evening on Saturday.” This view is achievable, realistic and time bound. This is a much better approach than saying for example “I will clean the garage this weekend.” It is scientifically proven that the brain processes data in clumps. Breaking down tasks and goals into SMART bundles allows your brain to view them as achievable which will serve to motivate you.
Failing to plan is planning to failBenjamin Franklin
The best way to fail at something is simply not to plan at all. Planning is simply setting a schedule of how and when. With the pandemic and many jobs moving remotely, days may be spent doing everything but actually working.
Plan your day the night before. Plan your meals ahead of time and it makes even more sense to plan your breaks as well. Planning keeps you on your toes and to be honest nothing beats the adrenaline surge of ticking off tasks off a planner.
Recognize and Starve Your Distractions
There are many distractions in the present world. Some of these could be our phones, TVs playing in the background, family noise in the background or the sound of moving cars outside the window. In order to be fully motivated, you have to find ways to stay focused on the task at hand.
Some practical tips are switching off your phone, sound proofing your workspace, working from a quiet café or simply using noise cancelling earphones.
Celebrate Your Wins, Big and Small
The operant condition system in the brain works in such a way that when we do something that we feel is good, the brain rewards us by releasing “dopamine” which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. The next action is then to do more in order to get the upsurge of the dopamine. Using this system goes a long way in keeping us motivated.
Find ways to celebrate small wins. Simple treats can include a cup of tea, a salad, a break. We train our bodies to appreciate our achievements and in return we get to do more. Find ways to incorporate this to children and staff as well. The results will be worth it.
Shun Multitasking at All Costs
The saying jack of all trades and master of none applies to motivation as well. The more you handle at the same time the more likely you are to half-ass all of them. In order to stay motivated, focus on one task at a time. Finish each task before moving to the next and you will be motivated to keep going.
Taking on too many tasks at a time will discourage you because each task will only be completed at a smaller rate. FOCUS is your greatest asset.
Breaks! Breaks! Breaks!
As we grow older, our minds get distracted even faster than they did as children. It therefore makes much more sense that breaks should be embraced especially in light of productivity. One of the most common break schedules is the 45:15. Focus on work or studying for a straight 45 minutes, undistracted and allow yourself a 15-minute break to refocus. This system works great in many ways and allows you to cover more productive ground without compromising on rest. You can adjust the minutes depending on your concentration span which varies from person to person.
Avoid Procrastination Like The Plague
There is a saying that says “the best time to start is now!”
This applies to all facets of a life. Starting an entrepreneur journey, applying for that job, starting that project. There will always be a reason not to start or to do something. Start where you are, start afraid, start anyway!
Embrace A Support System
Nothing keeps a human in check as much as a support system. Recognize who your support is, is it family? Is it your colleagues, Is it your children?
Your support system can keep you accountable when you start losing the slack, your support system may remind you why you started in the first place. Your support system may also be the best encouragement for you to keep going. Finally, when it gets boring, company may lift your spirits. All these are invaluable ways to stay motivated.
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Be Nice To Yourself
Even with all motivation tips followed to the latter, sometimes life happens. It is ok to remember and acknowledge that you have done your best. Encourage yourself because you have ultimately done your best. Take a break every so often to re-group and re-strategize.
Self-care is also an invaluable part of motivation. Fill up the bathtub and drink your wine. Indulge in skin care. Take a break from social media once in a while.
The best way to stay motivated is to acknowledge that you may not always be motivated and that is ok. Take a break and come back stronger!
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Read this short blog if you’re motivated to get bigger biceps!
To sum it all up, remember:
Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill