Can’t Get Motivated? 5 Tricks to Get You Going!

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Once in a while (okay, maybe more often than once in a while), I can’t seem to get motivated.  I have plenty to do and I pretty much know what I need to do but I just can’t make myself do it.  When that happens, I have several strategies to choose from that usually get me going.  For example:

1.       Figure out why.  Occasionally I have a good reason for not being motivated.  It could be illness, fatigue, boredom, no list, etc.  Figuring out why sometimes solves the problem simply by knowing what’s going on.

2.       Set a timer for 15 minutes and do something.  I can’t tell you the number of times setting the timer has fixed the problem.  Once I get going, I’m off and running.

3.       Make a list of 5 really easy things and mark each of them off as I do them.  Then make a list of 5 more.

4.       Offer myself a reward if I do something.  For example, clean the bathroom and then I can read for 15 minutes.

5.       If I need to clean the bathroom, for example, but I don’t want to, I’ll break it down into smaller steps:

  • Sink
  • Toilet
  • Tub/Shower
  • Refill toilet paper
  • Dump Trash
  • Mirror & Window
  • Shake rug
  • Mop

Then I pick one or two and do those and then go do something else.  Usually I end up finishing the whole room once I get started but knowing I only have to do one thing makes it easier to get started.

If none of those strategies work to get me motivated, most likely nothing will and I may as well call it a day and sit on the couch and read.

What do you do to get motivated?

Comments

  1. This post was timely since motivation is exactly what I am struggling with this morning! I usually start with your timer trick to get myself moving but it doesn’t always work like you point out. Sometimes I try to reverse my list or give myself a break first…so set the timer for 15 minutes to keep “playing” and then, I have to start working.
    Jean recently posted…Follow Through Friday, January 10My Profile

  2. Wow. Such great ideas to implement… much more regularly than I have been lately! So happy to be visiting via SITS Saturday sharefest. I pinned your post, too. Happy Weekend!
    Julie Jordan Scott recently posted…Compassion + Action = Joyful Productivity & Increased BoldnessMy Profile

  3. When I started setting a timer (I actually found a really cool app for that) it really helped me to get focused and get things done. Great tip!!
    Fantastic piece :) New friend visiting from SITS.

  4. Some simple but clever tips :)
    Kate recently posted…A New YearMy Profile

  5. These all work, Patty – I use them frequently. It’s true that the smaller tasks help move things along. And I like how if I cross of two or three of those bathroom items, for example, and don’t get to the rest right away, I still feel like I’ve accomplished things. It’s a great trick. The fifteen minutes is how I’m conquering my clutter this month – and I nearly always meet the fifteen and then some. It’s the same concept – make it small, don’t obligate yourself to the overwhelming whole, and you are off and running!

  6. Those are all good tricks and I’ve used several of them. It’s amazing how resistant we can be to doing the little things we need to do. One of my coaches says to start a habit off in the beginning, you have to start super small. You don’t make a resolution to clean up a whole room or exercise for an hour or whatever, instead you make a resolution to do just ONE small thing, or just do 5 minutes of exercise and then you reward yourself as much as if you’d done the whole hour. After a couple of weeks, you can gradually start bumping up the limit because your brain is focused on the reward rather than the temporary discomfort of doing the behavior you are trying to avoid. I’ve been trying it for a week or so and so far it’s working pretty well for me. #SITSSharefest
    Adrian recently posted…Clutterbugs: Time to Undecorate?My Profile

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