Motivation can be defined as “the desire to achieve a goal, combined with the energy to work towards it”. I am constantly trying to find ways to help myself as well as my clients stay motivated to get things done. When doing research for this article I found that most tips on motivation had to do with big goals like losing weight or finding a job. I couldn’t seem to find any motivational strategies for accomplishing the little things in life like doing the laundry or paying your bills. So, I decided to create my own. Below are some motivational strategies that I think will help you get the little things done as well as the big things.
Connect with the “desire”
Why is it important to get this done? Even if you have a goal that is seemingly undesirable, like doing laundry or paying bills, it’s a lot more motivating to focus on the outcome instead of the act. The goal of paying your bills on time may be to establish and maintain a good credit score. Doing your laundry and having clean clothes will help you look and feel better about yourself, thus getting you that new position at work or meeting mister or miss “right”.
Remember you have a choice
Don’t let the need to rebel stop you. It’s important to remember that you do have a choice. Often times we are not motivated to do things we think we “have” to do. True, there are things we “should” do in order to avoid unpleasant consequences, but the choice is still ours. So, instead of saying, “I have to finish that report tonight” why not motivate yourself by saying, “I choose to finish the report tonight because I value a sense of completion”.
Develop a sense of curiosity
Get curious about something. Formulate a question about what you are doing and work to find answers. Let a sense of wonder motivate you – “I wonder what would happen if I was early for work every day, how much work I could get done?” Challenge yourself to find an answer.
Make your goal hard to ignore
Set reminders up so that they are constantly in front of you. For example, if your goal is to do one load of laundry everyday, make sure you put the basket of dirty laundry in the middle of the doorway so that you bump into it every time you walk out of the room. Posting visual cues and setting alarms are essential to staying focused and motivated.
Use a body double
A body double is simply someone who sits in the same room with you as you work. Sometimes you just need the presence of another person to motivate you to work on an undesirable task. Consider having a friend come over to keep you company while you pay your bills or sort through clutter.
Break it down
I have been procrastinating on cleaning out my computer files for months so I decided to break the task into doable pieces. Everyday I delete or file at least 10 documents. The strange thing is - by giving myself permission to only do 10 , sometimes I feel motivated to do more!
Before you start working on your goal, try closing your eyes and visualizing yourself doing and completing each step. For example, I have already visualized how relieved and satisfied I will be when I get this issue out.
Talk to yourself
Let’s admit it – we all talk to ourselves every once in a while. Unfortunately, it’s usually to give ourselves negative messages. The next time you are feeling stuck try talking yourself through the process and giving yourself positive feedback. Talking yourself through the process will help to keep you focused on exactly what you are doing and what comes next and giving yourself positive feedback will motivate you to continue on.
Make it worth your while to complete a task. When you have something to look forward to after the job is done, it will make it a lot more doable. After I finish writing this – I’m going out to rent a movie!
Sometimes what it takes to get motivated and inspired is to simply change your environment. If you are inside – take your work outdoors or move to another room. Going to the library or a coffee shop can really make a difference. I’ve been known to go and work in my car in order to finish a project.
Make it fun!
Find ways to make it whatever your task is – fun. Play music you enjoy or watch a funny show while you work. Do unpleasant tasks with friends who can keep you company and cheer you on. Dancing and singing while you do housework should also make for a fun time or at the very least – a good laugh!
Kim Collins is an AD/HD Coach specializing in Career Transition & Workplace Productivity. She is dedicated to providing Personal and Professional Life Management Solutions for individuals struggling with Attention and Organizational difficulties. If you or someone you know is searching for help with their ADHD, career issues, or productivty. . . Get A Coach! Log on to http://www.organizedkaos.com for more information. Please don't forget to read my blog at http://www.coachkim.blogspot.com