We’ve all been there at one point or another. There is a project or task we need to get going on, but we just don’t feel like doing it. There is that phone call we need to make but we are dreading it. There is a networking event we should attend, but we’d rather curl up on the couch with ice-cream and a good book.
Don’t worry, it’s a common problem that happens to the best of us. There are so many factors that contribute to our motivation and willingness to do something that sometimes, these factors aren’t in line and we can’t get into the mood to be productive.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can jumpstart your motivation to get into the groove of taking action and get going even if you initially don’t feel like it.
Here are our TOP 10 tips to overcome a lack of motivation.
#1 Set Your Ultimate Goal
If you don’t feel like taking action and you lack motivation ask yourself: What do you want to accomplish? What’s your ultimate goal? Where do you want to end up? It’s easy to lose track of your direction and destination if you’re just working and don’t take time to reflect and when you can’t see the destination it’s easy to lose your motivation. However, if you have a clear goal in mind, it’s easy to get going, even if you don’t like a particular task, because you know that it will bring you one step closer to reaching your dreams.
#2 Localize the Problem
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to do what you are supposed to you, take a step back and try to uncover what it is exactly that’s making you want to avoid doing a certain something. It may be because the task at hand is boring or it’s not fun or it’s something you generally dread doing. It could be that you were initially excited about this project, but now it’s become work and the enthusiasm has fizzled out a bit. When you are stuck somewhere in the middle of a project and you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s easy to not feel like taking action, but keep in mind, every step you take is a step forward to the next stage of your life and when you can find the enjoyment in the process, you will be able to truly appreciate reaching your goal at the end.
#3 Make a To-Do List
Have a smart to-do list where you write down exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goal. This will keep you focused and will act as your plan of action. Don’t write more than 3 to 5 items on your to-do list because long lists only make you feel overwhelmed rather than motivate you. Make sure to break down the steps you need to take in order to finish each task and tick it off as you do so. This will create momentum and makes you more eager to keep going.
#4 Set Deadlines
Setting realistic deadlines will be very helpful in pushing you to get going and make sure you complete your project. If you don’t have a deadline it is much more likely you won’t ever work on your task and it will be something that you keep pushing from one side of your desk to the other. Having a deadline will make sure that you have a reason – even if you don’t feel like it – that you dedicate some time for working on your task and prevents you from mindlessly looking for distractions. Deadlines will force you to get started and finish what you started, because it feels like there will be some sort of punishment if the date comes and goes without having met the deadline.
#5 Expect Obstacles
As with everything, there will always be challenges and obstacles on your way. Instead of letting them throw you off, expect them and figure out a creative way to overcome them. Obstacles aren’t failure, it’s all about your perception. Most people believe that making a mistake is a bad thing while in reality the opposite is true. Mistakes are the opportunity to learn and grow and a stepping stone towards success.
#6 Find Motivation
This may seem counterintuitive, because we just established that we lack motivation and want to know how to get through this phase. What we mean is to study someone who inspires you and use this inspiration to spark your own motivation and desire to take action. Read auto-biographies of highly successful people, start your day with positive affirmations, watch motivational movies. Anything empowering and motivating you can find that builds excitement within you and gets you going.
#7 Start Small
If you don’t feel like taking action, it might be helpful to think about the smallest, tiniest step you can get away with. Once you start taking that first small step, just focus on the next and then the next and so on. If you are willing to move forward despite all the excuses your mind produces, you will slowly but surely start to create momentum that is so strong that you will never want to stop moving forward.
#8 Ask for Help
Don’t underestimate the power of the support of others. Sometimes it’s just impossible to pick yourself up again after you’ve hit an obstacle or challenge. You’ll be surprised how many people are actually willing to help you, especially when they know what your ultimate goal is. Asking for help is never a weakness, it’s actually the smart thing to do.
#9 Get an Accountability Partner
A great way to make yourself take action even if you don’t feel like it is to have an accountability partner who checks up on you and the progress you’ve done. This way you have someone who holds you accountable because you promised to get something done. The accountability partner can be anyone as long as they are accessible enough to keep checking in on your progress.
#10 Change Your Environment
Sometimes all you need to kick into gear and start taking action is a change of scenery. If you work in the same office day in and day out your spirit may quickly dampen and your motivation will dwindle in no time. While changing offices may not always be a feasible option, freshen it up with new pictures or a potted plant, rearrange your office, or sit on the other side of your desk. Maybe you can work in the conference room for a day or if it’s possible, work in the park, a coffee shop or even a hotel lobby. Anything that changes up your routine gives you new inspiration and a boost to your motivation. It’s amazing how little changes help to give you a new perspective and you start to be more productive and focused.
Most people simply give up in frustration when they need to take action even though they don’t feel like it. But while this is a normal response, it isn’t actually helpful in creating the life of your dreams that makes you happy and satisfies you. With a little internal inspection and developing self-discipline you can overcome that lack of motivation and take action even if you don’t feel like it so you can create anything your heart desires.
TAKING ACTION IS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN SETTING GOALS AND ACHIEVING THEM
Joschi & Monika