In the fast-paced world we live in, our natural response is to feel overwhelmed by the things we need to get done. Consequently, our ability to be productive—especially when it’s critical—comes under attack. So, what do we do? Our first and immediate instinct is to put more pressure on ourselves to finish a task, achieve perfect results, and move on to the next one like a robot running on a schedule. However, this is a one-way ticket to burning out. Moreover, our desire to yield perfection leads to anxiety, which fuels procrastination.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some healthy methods to stay motivated. While there are tons of innovative ways to boost our motivation, you can give these ten techniques a shot first.
Write down your goals and arrange them priority-wise:
Goals can be of varying importance and urgency. An individual may have lifetime goals—the ones they want to accomplish sometime during their life, often reserved for the distant future. They may also have a host of much smaller, attainable objectives. Obviously, the tasks to be done regularly or instantly will win the priority raffle. Therefore, writing a timeline of all the things you aim to complete is a good starting point. If you feel like none of your tasks have a clearly defined time limit or significance, you can just start with the one you’re currently in the mood for.
Write down why your goals should be achieved:
The human brain works better with an incentive. Maybe you have to reach your goal because it’s a mandatory part of your course or job: an important essay due tomorrow or a project you’re working on. Or maybe it’s a personal goal, one you’d like to see yourself accomplishing. Maybe you’d like to hold your very own landscape painting soon, a testament to your passion and hard work. Whatever it may be, writing down your reasons behind getting a task done strengthens your eagerness for it.
Set personal deadlines for each task:
Now that you know your target, ask yourself how long it will take to get to the finish line. Your task deadlines should be as flexible as possible so that they can account for any misjudgments (for instance, finishing a task too soon or needing extra time). Analyze and arrive at a realistic time frame for each job you’re dealing with; it’s okay to push yourself as long as it doesn’t create stress.
Turn planning a timetable into an art:
Coming up with a schedule doesn’t have to be dull. Writing to-do lists may seem like the most trouble-free route to take, but they may not accommodate scheduling more complex tasks. Therefore, investing in a daily planner (or making one of your own, if you’re into crafts) is a good idea. Make sure to purchase a planner that can make room for all your activities each day.
Give yourself sufficient breaks:
Taking a break stops your concentration from depleting too fast. There are many popular methods followed by students and professionals alike to create a work-break equilibrium. The Pomodoro has been practiced by many. Similarly, some people work for hour-long intervals interspersed by fifteen-minute breaks. You can tailor your break lengths (and what you do in them, like painting or listening to music) according to the kind of responsibilities you have on any given day.
Focus on one thing at a time:
There is no such thing as multitasking when the tasks at hand are complicated. We may quickly switch our attention between our duties, but it is impossible to do them simultaneously. On this account, it is always better to concentrate on one thing before heading to the next.
Give yourself a well-timed pat on the back:
A huge factor behind our grind is the expectation of positive feedback from our boss or peers. But we might be longing for something we may never get. So why not give ourselves the reassurance we deserve? Occasionally praising your progress can effectively fuel your willpower.
Gather the people you would love to work with:
Our mind may be restricted by its scope of thought. This includes the biases we may have when dealing with a particular subject matter. Instead of allowing this to negatively impact our performance, we can meet with people involved in similar tasks (like colleagues or classmates). Especially when solo work gets tiresome, external inputs can make all the difference.
Get some fresh air:
When continuous toil begins getting on your nerves and the walls around you start inducing a sense of claustrophobia, it’s best to counteract them by getting out of the house to take a stroll. A small walk outside to get your share of fresh air between long hours of work is always a good idea. This should be in addition to your fitness routine. If it’s infeasible to go out, walking or stretching at home can do the job just fine.
Watch what you eat:
When you’re neck-deep in work, food and water intake may seem trivial. But it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet as it can play a huge role in staying motivated. Being dehydrated, hungry, or falling short in the nutrients department can interfere with your efforts. This is why making a good schedule is indispensable, as it can include all your snack and water breaks throughout the day.
Self-motivation can be a slow process, so don’t beat yourself up if your attempts don’t pay off immediately. Apart from assignments with time-constraints, keep working on the rest; wake up every day and initiate your chores. Never give up attempting your tasks just because you fail to finish them as desired. After all, just like everything else, self-discipline comes with practice.