Are you having one of those days where you just aren’t feeling it?
Hey, I hear ya.
Everyone feels like that at times.
The problem comes when a lack of motivation starts affecting your work and you start avoiding certain tasks, or situations.
So what do you do about it?
There are a couple of tricks I’m going to share with you about how to feel more motivated and inspired, but before we get there it is really important to establish why it is that you aren’t feeling the love for what you are supposed to be doing today and how to spot a lack of motivation early on.
How to spot your lack of motivation
There are a few signs that show you are feeling less motivated about something and they can be easy to spot. They all point to your best efforts at avoidance;
· You are acting restless and easily distracted.
· You start tasks not on your to do list.
· You get a little sharp tongued if pushed about a certain topic, or task.
· You suffer a creative block and can’t seem to start a task.
· You feel a bit overwhelmed, or confused.
These are all perfectly normal feelings and you aren’t alone in feeling them, but they are negative feelings and this is where you need a change.
You need just a spark of inspiration to get that positive feeling of motivation back.
Explore WHAT makes you feel unmotivated
Understanding why you are feeling particularly unmotivated stems from a deeper understanding of what it is that is upsetting you the most.
Look at what you had to do today – can you spot a task, or a situation that you didn’t really want to do? Something that might have been holding you back from completing a task… How did you feel about that?
WHY you feel unmotivated
There are a couple of things that are making you feel a lack of motivation for that task or situation you are avoiding.
Fear. You feel you are incapable or uncomfortable about your task today. Something is making you feel unable to perform at your best and when we feel like this it is natural to try and avoid it.
You didn’t set yourself this goal, or you didn’t have a clear goal today. Sometimes we feel a better sense of productivity when we are working towards goals we set ourselves. This is because we get a sense of pleasure from achieving a target we set for ourselves.
You aren’t clear on why you need to do what you are tasked to do today. Occasionally we don’t fully understand why we are supposed to be doing something, even though we are told it will be good for us, and so we get a little mentally stuck, or feel a bit petulant about it.
All of these pain points leave you with a negative mind-set and this is what is really stopping you.
You need to change that feeling into something more positive. From that point you should feel naturally more inclined to have a go at what you have been avoiding.
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10 things to do to feel more motivated
1. Set better goals – if you have a set of clear, actionable goals then you will feel naturally more inclined to work on them, because you understand what you need to be doing and when. More than that, breaking down your goals into manageable tasks gives you an easier checklist to tick off. The feeling of being successful at something is a very positive thing.
2. Understand your ‘why’ – sit down and think about the bigger picture of why you need to be doing something. When you are clear on your why, you will feel happier to work towards it.
3. Do a bit of research – sometimes you will get stuck because you just can’t figure out the best way to approach a task. That can be an easy fix if you spend a little time doing some research and once that light bulb comes on in your head, you will find it easy to get to work.
4. Ask for help – if you are really feeling unconfident about doing something then ask for a little help. There is no shame in that and everyone needs it. If you have a friend or family member who can walk with you to that big meeting, or go through your task breakdown with you over coffee, then do that. If you have an on-line connection who is great at helping keep you accountable for projects, then ask them to help you through your block. You will find that they can be incredibly useful at showing you in the nicest way that you CAN do this.
5. The 10 minute tidy up – this sounds like such a little thing, but believe me it really helps. Just start with your work desk and do a bit of filing. In no time at all you will be feeling on top of things again.
6. Take a break and recharge – however you choose to take a break, make sure it is a break from everything. Switch off your phone, go for a walk, go sit in the park, go do some laps of the local pool. Whatever it is, it needs to be a clear break from your working environment and a break from the things you find most distracting. You will come back to your tasks with a sense of refreshment and that positive feeling will show in your productivity.
7. Get a 10 minute fix of HAPPY – What could you do right now for 10 minutes that will make you feel happier? Could you put on some head phones and listen to your favourite upbeat record? Could you go make yourself a cup of coffee and sit for a bit? Whatever your ‘happy’ is go and do it… mine is dancing around the living room to a good dance track, like no-one can see me… Arms everywhere and singing at the top of my voice!
8. Knowing when you are feeling naturally motivated – Sometimes it’s all about timing. If you are more of a morning person, then move all of the more difficult tasks to the beginning of the day. If you are someone who likes the sense of productivity then pepper your bigger, heavier tasks with small, quick-step tasks. By utilising your time in a way that works of you, you will naturally feel more motivation to get things done.
9. Rewards – This seems like a frivolous thing, or maybe even something slightly childish to do for yourself, but it really isn’t. The fact is that people do respond to incentives. Now I’m not suggesting that you go shopping after you tick something off of your to do list… oh my I’d be in trouble with my credit card if I did that! What I am saying is that sometimes we should reward a job well done. Rewards can be simple and cost no money at all. They can be working hard all week on a big task so that you can finish work early on a Friday. They can be treating yourself to a slice of cake from the deli if you get through some of your least favourite parts of the job. I eat a slice of cake while I’m filing… I’m not going to lie… it’s become an institution in my business!
10. Walk away – If all else fails then ask yourself if you really want to do what you have tasked yourself to do. For example, if you feel like you should be hosting a podcast on YouTube because you realise that it might be a great time to get into video marketing for your business, but you just can’t sit down and get your act together for filming… then maybe YouTube videos aren’t for you? Maybe what you are asking of yourself is an unnatural task for you. Maybe you need to think of another way to market your business that is much more natural to you. Or maybe you should send your products off to the best YouTubers for review, instead of putting yourself in front of the camera? There could be a way around your block that helps you achieve a desired goal in a much healthier and positive way. So while I’m saying walk away, I guess what I really mean is re-evaluate and look for an alternative.