How to Get and Stay Motivated
Motivation stands behind every step we take towards performing any task. Without motivation, we delay finishing the task we started, can’t finish it or can’t even start doing it in the first place. Finding the motivation to do things depends on several factors depending on us and also external factors. In this article, we will list some tips that can help you get motivated to complete a task you can’t figure out how to start and, at the same time, offer techniques that can be beneficial in staying motivated to complete it.
1. Think about your goals
It might sound cliche, but every task we try to complete is towards some goal we have. In that sense, we should not just think about the task we have to do now. We should think about how completing that task will take us closer to reaching our goal. In other words, the task we are trying to complete isn’t our goal, it is a step towards that goal.
2. Divide up complex tasks into manageable portions
One of the reasons we can’t find the motivation to start the task is the overwhelming volume of tasks we have to complete. We think of a task as unachievable as a whole, but if we think about doing it in smaller portions, it gets much easier. It brings us to the next point.
3. Sometimes there isn’t a shortcut
You may look for a way to complete a task in a shorter period of time, but in most cases, it can yield the opposite result. For instance, let’s say you have to write an academic essay for a course and you have to read 20 journal articles in order to do that. You may think of an easy way to “read” those articles, like reading only abstracts, introductions and conclusions, but in most cases, it won’t give you what you want and you will get demotivated. On that account, it’s better to read or skim through all those articles and take notes where necessary. Sometimes the longest way is also the “shortest”.
4. Deadlines are important
Another technique many people use in dealing with tasks is setting deadlines for them. As we already mentioned above, you may have a task that would require you to complete it in smaller portions. In this case, the best practice is to set deadlines for each of these portions. These deadlines may not be official deadlines set by your institution or company, but they help you stay on course.
5. Ask for help
If you are stuck with a task and can’t find the motivation to complete it, asking your colleagues, friends or family members for help may help reduce the complexity of the task for you. There’s a reason why some tasks are completed in groups rather than individually because it usually yields better results as everyone in the groups puts their effort together. Since task difficulty is one of the primary causes of demotivation, asking for help may make the activity less complicated.
6. Take a break
If you don’t have the motivation to do something and spend hours and hours trying to complete it, you’ll just procrastinate. Knowing when to take a break is the key to success in this case. Doing physical activities, spending time with family and friends, and getting enough sleep may help you get a new perspective on the issue.
7. Change the setting
The place or office you are trying to complete a task in may not be the ideal setting for it. You may have no other choice if you work in a company, but if it is up to you to decide the workplace, then you should try a few different settings to find the one that suits you. Your surroundings may definitely affect your ability to complete a task. There’s a reason why some people can’t work at home, while others prefer sitting in coffee shops and working.
8. Begin again
It may sound counter-productive, but sometimes you have to do the task again from scratch as you may not be doing something right if you are constantly unmotivated. It helps you to see your mistakes and correct them.