How to keep oneself motivated
We’ve all had days when we just can’t get out of bed or talk to anyone when getting even the basics of tasks feels like a truckload of work. But quite contrary to this, we’ve even had days when we just wake up so energetic that there’s no stopping! These differences exist due to the kind of motivation we have for that particular day. This ‘motivation’ comes from the events or tasks we are looking forward to. Sometimes, even the slightest of tasks can ignite this and sometimes even major events fail to do so.
Staying motivated constantly is difficult. It is not a phenomenon that stays throughout, rather, it is more of a come and goes process which makes it really important for us to utilize it in the best way possible. It can be really difficult for us to motivate ourselves and one can end up procrastinating more than needed instead of motivating oneself to get the task done.
It seems easy to set a timetable for yourself, but by giving your priorities a time and a place to live, it places your decision-making on autopilot. It makes it more likely that, regardless of your level of motivation, you can follow through. And there are plenty of empirical studies to back up the argument on willpower and motivation.
Stop waiting for it to approach you with encouragement or inspiration and set a timetable for your behaviors. This is the contrast between amateurs and professionals. Professionals set and adhere to a plan. Amateurs wait until they feel motivated or inspired.
The work of top artists does not rely on inspiration or inspiration, but rather on a constant pattern and routine. Here are some examples of how you can be inspired to apply ritual and routine:
- More regularly exercise: In the gym, use the same warm-up routine.
- Become more artistic: Before you begin writing or painting or singing, observe a creative ritual.
- Start stress-free every day: Build a five-minute morning routine of meditation.
- Sleep better: Before bed, adopt a “power down” routine.
A ritual’s strength is that it provides a mindless way to initiate your actions. It makes it easier to start your routines and that means it’s easy to follow through on a regular basis.
The secret to any successful ritual is that the need to make a decision is eliminated. To be quick and automatic, you want to initiate a behavior so that you have the power to complete it when it becomes complicated and demanding.
The Goldilocks Rule for Motivation
Tasks that are substantially below your current skills are boring. Tasks that are substantially beyond your established skills are discouraging. Yet our human brains are extremely inspired by tasks that are right on the border between success and failure. Just beyond our current horizon, we want nothing more than to master a talent.
This phenomenon we can call The Goldilocks Rule. The Goldilocks Rule notes that when operating on projects that are right on the edge of their present capacity, humans experience peak motivation. Not too difficult. It’s not too easy. Right. Just right.
One of the keys to retaining long-term motivation is focusing on projects that conform to the Goldilocks Law. It is mostly because it has drifted into an area of boredom or been shoved into an area of great difficulty if you find yourself unmotivated to work on a mission. You need to find a way to pull your assignments back to the limits of your skills where you feel challenged, yet willing.
Steps helpful in motivating oneself
Pointless, as it must be, to talk about how difficult it can be, let’s rather talk about ways that are actually scientifically proven and that can help us in times of need. Motivation is described by scientists as your general readiness to do something. It is the collection of forces of psychology that compel you to take action. In the first place, we will break down the science behind how to get motivated and how to stay motivated for the long-term. By following these simple steps, you may be able to motivate yourself enough to get working on your ‘to do’ list as well as you might even become a motivator for others.
- Start Early: Many people struggle to find the motivation they need to achieve the goals they want because they are wasting too much time and energy on other parts of the process. If you want to make it easy to find motivation and get started, then it helps to automate the early stages of your behavior.
- Identify: The first and foremost thing is to identify the things that motivate you. It can be a particular task or any song for that matter. Find your belonging and keep that in mind whenever starting out on any task.
- Pacts made to self: When you promise yourself that you will do a certain task, you tend to work on it with more sincerity. This not only helps in getting the task done but rather it also helps in gaining trust over oneself.
- Chunking: Also known as grouping, it means breaking down the required work in smaller groups and working towards them. This way, the focus shifts from the end goal, and the daily goals become the priority. It is like taking one step at a time to reach the top of the ladder.
- Reinforcement: The type of reinforcement given can also motivate you. Positive reinforcement acts as a motivator as it makes you want the reward more. This reward is usually a thing that you like. Once you complete a small goal or a short term target, you can give yourself a little reward for achieving the same. This reward would motivate you to complete more targets in order to receive more rewards and will eventually help you achieve your end goal.
- Visualization: Visualizing the task at hand makes us look into different aspects of it. By doing this, one is able to evaluate different ways of performing the given task as well as it will make you choose the desired path. This would motivate you to do the task in your own way.
- Self Talk: Self-talk helps us be open with ourselves and discuss our problems freely without being afraid of getting judged. Talking to oneself can either motivate or demotivate you. This depends on the tone one uses. A calming and motivating tone will push you towards doing the task whereas a strict and harsh tone would end up demotivating you to the extent that you might even feel low. Therefore, it is important to keep our tone in check while talking to ourselves or anyone else as well.
- Plan using a Calendar: Listing down tasks in a calendar not only helps you maintain a schedule and keep a track of your deadlines, but it also helps in motivating you. When you cross out the tasks that have already been performed, it motivates you as you can see that you are working towards fulfilling your goals.
- Social Support: Having good social support helps in keeping you motivated. This does not mean having people who constantly push you but rather it means having people who can help you whenever needed, who can motivate you whenever required. They are not there to keep a track of your progress but are there to pump you up when you feel low.
- Avoid Distractions: Distractions are what cause the most hindrance and therefore it is advisable to keep the minimum. This can be done by setting a time for the task that needs to be done and putting all other things away while doing the task. For example, if your phone is what distracts you from the task you are doing, keep it at a distance from your work desk while you are working.
Misconceptions about Motivation
One of the motivation’s most interesting aspects is that it mostly comes after beginning a new behavior, not before. We have this widespread belief that as a consequence of passively consuming a motivating video or reading an encouraging novel, inspiration arrives. Active motivation, however, may be a much more effective motivator.
Motivation, not the cause of it, is often the result of the action. Even in very small ways, getting started is a type of active motivation that naturally produces momentum.
We refer to this phenomenon as Productivity Physics since this is essentially the First Law of Newton applied to habit formation: objects in motion appear to remain in motion. When a mission has begun, pushing it forward is easier than to proceed.
Once you’ve begun a habit, you do not need much encouragement. Almost all of the stress in a mission is at the beginning. Progress happens more naturally after you start. In other words, completing a job is always simpler than beginning it.
It might be difficult to always stay motivated and therefore it is okay to take breaks whenever needed, but not at the cost of sacrificing your work. Short breaks in between tasks can be refreshing as well. But you yourself play a major role in motivating yourself and getting your tasks done at the desired time.