by dragos on September 25, 2009
in Getting Things Done,Personal Development,Productivity & Effectiveness
Being motivated is a wonderful state of your being. In that state your body leverages huge amounts of energy. Your emotional field is totally balanced, physically you’re able to climb the Everest and mentally you understand the whole Universe in a split of a second. I know you know the feeling. The good news is that you can re-create this state pretty much whenever you want. Here are 33 tips to help you get and stay motivated. By the way, if you’re into long lists, you may also check this one: 100 Ways To Live A Better Life.
1. Ignore The Unimportant
Learning to ignore is a fantastic lesson. Much more rewarding that you think. There must be an art of ignoring and they should teach it in universities. Spanning your focus in so many areas will only weaken you. Ignoring what’s unimportant will free up energy, foster motivation and help you stay focused and productive.
2. Understand What Makes You Bored
And avoid it. Boredom is a nasty place to be. But as any other state of your being can be understood and you can identify the triggers. Once you understand that, you can safely go away from the gray zone. Takes some time but it really worth the effort.
3. Laugh More Often
Watch comedies, read comics. Throw away that ugly seriousness form your face. Laughing is a safety valve for your stress relief mechanism. It actually let it out from your body in bursts. And while you’re laughing you can still learn new stuff, like personal development lessons from Dumbo.
4. Keep A Log Of Your Breakthroughs
Do you remember when you had the first major success of your life? No? I thought so. We tend to overlook this simple habit of writing down our feelings every time we have a major breakthrough in our lives. If you want the shortest path to motivation, just keep a log of your successes. And get inspired by it.
This is one the easiest and simplest way to summon motivation. Just walk out from the office, start doing some pushups or just go for a short run around the house. It will instantly declutter your physical body. Every time you exercise, you produce endorphins. Endorphins are good.
6. Create A Custom Environment
You can’t be motivated if you work in an environment which does not represent you. Make changes, adjust, improve. Doesn’t matter if it’s about your job office or your home. Whatever the space you work in, make it yours somehow, that will lower your unconscious adaptation efforts and you’ll have more time dedicated to the actual tasks.
7. Read Success Stories
Like in other people success stories. Get inspired. Admire them (with caution, but do admire them). Reading about success will make it more available to you and will fuel your efforts towards its achievement. And of course, you can learn how to be successful too.
8. Switch Tasks
You will get bored if you work on the same projects for too long. Boredom kills motivation. Try having several small projects that you can land on whenever you feel you’re on the verge of a burn out. Not to mention that switching tasks will instantly create fresh perspectives, helping you solve problems faster.
9. Assess Your Progress
If you work constantly you will make some progress, that’s a rule. You may have the impression that you’re not going anywhere but that’s because you’re skipping all those little milestones you go through every day. Watching back with satisfaction at what you created will surely boost your energy.
10. Talk About Your Projects
With your friends or family. Let the people know you’re doing stuff. That will often make yourself aware of the fact that you’re actually doing stuff and enjoy doing it. It will also create a certain level of accountability that will most likely push you forward.
11. Avoid Energy Vampires
Naysayers, pessimists, braggers they all are sucking up your energy. Don’t get caught in such power games, avoid at all costs those energy leaks. Even if that means you’ll isolate more often. It’s better to do work in your own secluded realm than to try to resist to a diminisihing environment.
12. Write Clear Goals
Most of the time that translates to actually write down your goals, you already have them clear in your mind. But take them out of your mind, put them in a trusted system and move on. Your mind works better when it knows what it has to do not when it spends time figuring what it has to do.
13. Exercise Satisfaction
Once you finished some task, reward yourself. Give yourself a prize. No need to be a huge one, but just enough to create the habit. Look forward to it while you’re working, wait for it, praise for it. In time you’ll become addicted to this fulfillment satisfaction and you won’t stop until you reach it.
14. Accept Failure
As part of the game. Failure, like success, is just a result of your actions, nothing more. One of the biggest motivation enemies is fear of failure. Fear that your outcome will turn bad. Accept it. It may turn bad, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you’re doing. Give your best and hope for the best.
15. Use Affirmations
Like writing down your intentions, your goals, your current status. Affirmations are a very powerful tool, hugely underrated. People find it awkward to write self-directed messages and read them out loud. News flash: you’re doing this all the time, unconsciously. So why not doing it consciously? Start with a morning phrase.
16. Play Games
Impersonate people. Imitate animals. Pretend you’re Sindbad the Sailor. Playing challenging games will relax your mind and at the same time will gather more resources from secret sources. A good motivation is always blended with joy. You can start with a simple game like how to get from a to b in 5 random steps.
17. Say “No”
Say “no” to distractions, to trolls, to depression. Exercising “no”’s is liberating. Too often too many commitments are making your life a continuous chore. Limit your promises and only get into things you really want to finish. Once you do that, go to a mirror, smile and start to politely exercise your “no”‘s.
18. Look For Positive People
Sadness, whining and complaining doesn’t play well with motivation. On the contrary. But positive, optimistic, energetic people will always shift your vibration in the right direction. Search them, find them and become their friend. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is to be surrounded by shiny happy people.
19. Difficulty Is Part Of The Game
Learn to work under pressure. Some things are more difficult than other. Accept that fact and focus on doing what you have to do not on your feelings of dissatisfaction. Difficulty is often what makes things worth doing. No sweat, no glory. Whenever I feel something is going to be tough, I’m usually more motivated to do it. The reward will be higher.
20. Create Personal Challenges
Personal challenges are short term goals, usually from 15 to 90 days. Like starting to exercise, or creating a habit from scratch in 15 days. Using personal challenges strengthen your inner power the same way exercising is strengthening your muscles. The more you do, the more motivated you feel to do even more.
21. Chose Positive Motivation
Whenever you lock in your motivation, do your best to keep it on the positive side, which is rooted in service. As opposed to the negative motivation, which is basically rooted in fear. Negative motivation works just the same, only it lasts significantly less than positive motivation.
22. Release Your Guardians
You do have guardians and some of them are pretty nasty. They won’t let you do your stuff. The bad thing about your guardians is that most of the time they’re working at the unconscious level, really difficult to interact with. Just accept, acknowledge and let them go. You will be much better off.
23. Enforce Your Personal Mission
You gotta have a personal mission. If you don’t, go find one fast. Reinforcing your personal mission at certain intervals is surely one of the greatest motivators of all. It’s like looking on a map and seeing at any moment where you are, how much do you have to go and which path you have to chose.
24. Spend Time Outside
If you can do something creative, like gardening or landscaping, even better. But it’s ok even if you don’t. Spending time outside of your box will clear the air inside. When you get back, everything will be fresher and shinier. And something fresher is always a nice motivator.
25. Keep A Clean Inbox
That’s one of the few GTD concepts I still use and it proves to be a great motivator. A clean inbox helps a smooth thoughts flow. A smooth thoughts flow let me be in the moment without any hidden burdens. Being in the moment is usually all I need to actually start doing things.
26. Don’t Aim For Perfection
It will soon drain you out. Aiming to be better is the real game. Perfection is a dead end, nothing really happens after you reached to it. Accepting that you can be better instead of perfect leaves some room for growth. And that means you have a reason to do more. And that’s what we usually call motivation, right?
27. Do One Thing At A Time
Multitasking is a myth. Even computers processors aren’t really doing multi-tasking, that’s what we perceive. Instead they have a single frequency and several parallel buses managing information, faking a multi-tasking activity. Multitasking is creating internal conflicts, both in humans and in computers. You end up spending more time solving those conflicts than actually working.
28. Keep A Source Of Inspiring Readings
You’re not always completely down, most of the time you’re just averagish, just one sentence away from your best shape. Be sure to keep around a list of inspiring readings. Quotes, blog posts, ebooks, whatever works for you. You can start with 100 ways to live a better life, for instance.
29. Put On Some Good Music
Just let it there, floating around, don’t turn the volume knob. Just enough to recreate a pleasant atmosphere. Music speaks to areas you can’t control with logical tools, yet is so powerful that can completely shift your mood in a second. The only thing better than silence is good music.
30. Don’t Fall Into The Productivity Trap
It’s not how much you do, but how much of it really matters. Doing stuff just for filling up notebooks with tasks won’t make you feel motivated. On the other side, whenever you’re doing something that matters, your planing and organizing activities will just flow.
31. Keep Your Life Lenses Clean
Your camera objective may be blurred but you don’t know. This is why you get the same picture again and again, this is why feel stuck and can’t seem to see any progress. Sometimes all you have to do is to clean up your lenses. It takes a little bit of courage but it’s worth the trouble.
32. Clean Up Your House
I know you need motivation for that too, but believe me, it’s a fantastic way to clean up your internal garbage. Cleaning up your house is not a chore, it’s a necessity. Your action paths may be clogged the same way your floor is sticky. And most of the time unsticking the floor will open your mind again.
33. Stop Reading This And Get To Work
It was fun reading it, I’m sure. But it won’t get things done in your place. Inspiration is a good motivator, but don’t abuse it. Now, that you are all energized, it’s time for you to get back to work. Of course, you can bookmark this post for future motivation sessions, but for now, just go back to work.
(Oh, but if it happens to still have some free time – and a hard time getting up in the morning – you can try this one: 33 Ways to Start your Day. )