Getting motivated is so much easier said than done.
The latest episode of your show, those hilariously adorable puppy videos, and a Target run can all seem so much more appealing and fun than the task at hand. And don't get me wrong — these are some of my go-to's for when I can finally binge and chill and peruse the aisles of Chip & Jo's latest collection at Target. But when there are tasks to be done and things to be accomplished, focus and motivation are necessary.
While it's totally normal to have an "off" day every once in awhile, feeling out of sorts and lacking self-motivation on a consistent basis can quickly lead you astray from your goals and the work you've done thus far.
Instead of giving into that binge session today, here are three reliable tactics for uncovering your motivation to make things HAPPEN!
1. Start small
Part of the reason you may be experiencing a lack of motivation could be due to the size of the tasks currently on your plate; does every item on your list feel SO big, it’s just easier to avoid it altogether?
To combat this, I like to take a step back and make a list of everything around me that should be getting done, work-related or not. Emails overflowing? Add it to the list. Dirty dishes piling up? Write it down. Outdated apps on phone? (Yes, I know, but the red notifications kill me.) Make a note of it.
Then, start by tackling the itty bitty things on your list first. Once you gain momentum and keep working toward the bigger things, you’ll find yourself conquering your list with more ease. This is a super simple way I trick my brain into getting things done and works like a charm every time.
2. Focus on your "why"
You may have heard me talk about the importance of your "why" before — and that's because it's an evergreen, consistent tactic for staying focused and on track every single day. Your "why" is the purpose behind the work you pursue and the actions you take. It's the sole, powerful reason you do the things you do.
In the case of self motivation, falling back on why you started something or why you want to accomplish something acts as an intimate method for getting motivated to move forward and make progress, no matter how small.
Simon Sinek's work is my absolute favorite resource for diving deeper into the topic of uncovering your own "why," if this is something you're interested in exploring further. His book "Start with Why," and his TED Talk on the topic are great starting points.
3. Change your environment
This is arguably the most impactful way to get motivated and encourage positive habits around productivity; and while you could just relocate to a coffee shop down the street for the afternoon, that's not quite what I'm referring to here.
In his book, "The Personal MBA," Josh Kaufman explores a topic he calls "Guiding Structure." The gist of this term is that your environment is the largest determining factor of your behavior, having either a positive or negative effect on your actions. He goes on to explain, "If you want to successfully change a behavior, don’t try to change the behavior directly. Change the structure that influences or supports the behavior, and the behavior will change as a result."
When it comes to getting and staying motivated, your environment has a direct effect on your success doing so. Something as simple as working at a desk rather than on the couch in front the TV can have a huge impact. Take a quick analysis of your environment and try to identify and eliminate the distractions and negative influences acting as roadblocks for getting things done.
Self motivation doesn't have to be an elusive beast that only shows up every once in awhile in your life; use the tactics above on a regular basis to stay motivated in your work and even daily tasks around your living space. And then, by all means, go take that Target stroll and catch up on that latest episode; you deserve it.