Imagine yourself with all your dreams fulfilled, sitting back and enjoying all the riches life has to offer. But there’s only one thing standing between you and this scenario: your motivation. Every time you plan something, a lack of motivation and a desire to stay in bed and eat all day conquers you and you waste yet another day. Sound familiar? Then there might be something you are doing wrong. To overcome these motivational killers, Keep reading to get these little tips and tricks to make the most of every work day.
- You wake up with no plan
One of the most powerful motivation killers is the lack of time resulted from not having a schedule. Although you might not be the kind of person who has every second of the day written in an agenda, having a vague idea of what you have to do and how long it will take can improve your productivity greatly.
Fix: To make sure you stop losing track of time, make planning the day your first task early in the morning. Simply take your phone or a piece of paper and write the most important things you have to do and how much time each will require. Then, simply mark the ones you completed. Kind of like a to do list. Pretty simple, huh?
Tip: Make sure you leave a bit of buffer time for your tasks. For example, if it takes you 45 minutes to respond to e-mails each day, put in 60. This is to make sure you don’t panic if something takes longer than expected. Plus, your motivation will grow when you see you’re ahead of schedule.
- You keep your workplace messy
This sounds like what mom used to tell us when we were children, but not being neat can affect your motivation. If everything is within your reach, you can focus on your work without having to stop. Plus, let’s be honest. Losing something important can make you angry or annoyed and ultimately will make you lose motivation.
Fix: Set a time for tidying up every day. It’s better if you do it right after you finish work but if you are tired, you can also leave it for tomorrow morning, but this plan has a flaw. Beginning your day with a mess that needs cleaning might not be ideal.
Tip: Every time you feel like skipping this, remember the amount of time it takes to clean if the dirt has piled up. Sure, it may be annoying to clean up every day but in the long run you will spend significantly less time if you do it regularly than if you do it all at once.
- You don’t take breaks
This may seem counter-productive, but breaks are necessary if you want to keep your motivation levels high. Think back to the times you were in school. You had 50 minutes of class then 10 minutes break. This is ideal, as your brain needs to rest after focusing for a long time.
Fix: The best method to remember breaks is setting an alarm clock. It doesn’t matter what work-break ratio suits you (although a new study suggests 52 minutes of work and a 17 minute break is ideal)*. Alternatively, you can take breaks after completing certain tasks that way you don’t interrupt yourself when you are in the zone.
Tip: Don’t forget to set the alarm for when the break ends. Otherwise, you might end up going into the next extreme and not do any work.
- You don’t sleep enough
This is a no-brainer. If you are sleepy, your motivation levels will drop to the floor. Yawning while imagining yourself back in bed will do you no good. A good nights rest is essential to productivity. Energy levels are renewed and you have the drive to push you towards being productive.
Fix: No trick here. Just go to sleep! If you have problems with your sleep patterns, there are plenty of articles out there specifically for that. Find what suits you better when it comes to sleeping and go get some zzz’s. Your motivation will replenish itself in no time!
- You work too hard then stop
You’ve done this before. You spent hours giving it your best shot because you felt motivated but then used it as an excuse to take a 2-week break. High levels of motivation can make you feel like you can conquer the world all at once. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. After a “high” of productivity you will feel drained for days.
Fix: This goes hand in hand with number 1. Try to plan ahead what you’ll do each day. When you feel very motivated, by all means – work, but try not to overdo it. Chances are, the next day you’ll want to finish what you began – and this time, you’ll have the energy to do it.
Tip: When you feel like you really want to work and get stuff done, begin by dividing the work into 2 parts: today and tomorrow. Resist the urge of doing tomorrow’s work and, this way, you’ll have to find the motivation next day too. You could also begin some tasks and plan on finishing tomorrow. For example, if you have to write an article, write the main body only and leave the introduction and ending for the following day.
- You are afraid of failure
This is possibly the biggest motivation killer. Most of the time we aren’t even aware of it. Being afraid of failing comes from within and feeds that irrational idea we’ve had since childhood: You can’t lose if you don’t play. Well, things aren’t really like that. Not trying will certainly not hurt you, but it won’t change the place you are at right now.
Fix: As the “boss” of motivation killers, this is the hardest to defeat. Countless articles have been written on this subject but, unfortunately, there is no right answer for everyone. You must find the fix yourself.
Tip: One thing that worked for me was self-assurance. I would begin and end the day by telling myself something along the lines of “You are kind. You are smart. You are important” Give it a try.
- You put yourself second
Some of us tend to be people-pleasers and that leads us to doing things we don’t like. If that is the case for you and you end up in a field of work that doesn’t even interest you, there is only one fix.
Fix: Saying no is difficult but it will set you free and give you a new outlook on life. Try finding something you love doing and do that. Change your job or take up a hobby. Find the one thing you love to do more than sitting around and eating all day. Then your motivation will come.
Tip: There are countless books and articles written about finding the perfect profession. If reflection isn’t enough, don’t hesitate to try one of these. Who knows, maybe your dream job is just around the corner!
All in all, there are countless way to find motivation and even more ways to lose it. By trying to eliminate at least some of the habits that keep you back, you will improve the amount of work you do, all while avoiding stress and even deadlines. Your motivation is out there, find it and – most important – don’t lose it! Happy Productivity!
This post was written by Roxana Halati in collaboration with Alicia Bright. Currently studying Mathematics and Computers, Roxana is an 18 year old Romanian who loves travelling and writing about her daily life experience when she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book.
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