In this modern world full of overlapping responsibilities, all-day connectivity, and environmental stressors galore, you may struggle with motivation at work and at home. The latest self-help motto or uplifting meme may give you a boost during the average day, but is not powerful enough to carry you through 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Building and maintaining motivation for everything in your life takes effort and time. The five fast tips listed here can help with everything from a tough day at the office to another late night helping your child with math homework. They combine mental attitude training, physical health, and wellness, managing your surroundings, and social aspects. Get started with one tip or try them all and see how your motivation soars.
Tip #1: Practice a Positive Attitude
A popular adage states that 10% of our lives consists of what happens and 90% consists of how we react. This puts the responsibility firmly in our own hands, which means that we have the power to change our attitudes, emotional responses, and lives. We all feel lazy, careless, or unmotivated sometimes. Flipping the switch to a more positive attitude helps overcome these things.
The power to flip that switch may not come to you overnight. That is why this tip states that you have to practice positivity instead of just doing it. How do you practice?
Get rid of toxic, negative people in your life and surround yourself with ones who support your new, motivated outlook. Congratulate yourself on a job well done no matter how small the task. In the evening, look back on the day and list the good things that happened and the times you made the right choices to move forward. Practice gratitude.
Over time, your newfound positive habit will become ingrained in your psyche, and you will automatically do, say, and think more helpful things. This is the cornerstone of motivation. When you feel good for doing good or working harder, you are more likely to do it again.
Another thing that may help is reciting affirmations in the morning and throughout the day. These are just positive statements that help you train your subconscious to act and react the way you want. You might like saying, “I work hard and get the job done quickly” or “I make good use of all my time throughout the day”. For best results, write the affirmations down, read them out loud to yourself, and repeat.
Tip #2: Compartmentalise Your Problems
An overly busy mind leads to a downfall in motivation simply because you are constantly overwhelmed with what you have to do or remember. A good tip to improve motivation is to divide or compartmentalise your problems or tasks. Motivation drives you to get the job done, whatever the job is, and if you only have one or two things to focus on at any time, getting them done and feeling good about it is easier.
How do you shift your focus to a smaller list of tasks? First, leave family and home issues at home. You cannot do anything about your child’s homework project or your leaky roof while you are at the office. Likewise, leave work at work. While you are helping your child with math, you cannot also finish the project for your boss. In fact, getting motivated to tackle a problem at the wrong place and time is detrimental to productivity overall.
Split things up. Write separate lists or use a different reminder or to-do list apps on your phone. Also, practice telling yourself, “I can’t do anything about that right now. Focus on the job at hand” you will be surprised how much a little pep talk/ reality check will help.
Tip #3 — Protect Your Breaks and Downtime
There is nothing less motivating than unending drudgery or the thought that you will never reach the end of a project or job. Who wants to even start if you cannot foresee a positive outcome?
One problem is that some jobs are seemingly unending. A task you have to do at work every day will continue until you retire or find another job. You cannot just go to the gym one time and expect a new physique or all the health benefits.
Breaks, downtime, and holidays are essential to proper motivation and productivity. If you are the type of person who sinks into a job and goes continuously until it is done, maybe you do not have an issue with motivation after all. If you procrastinate thinking that is the only way to progress, try scheduling regular breaks throughout the day, week, or the life of the project.
Then, protect those breaks. When 10:00 am rolls around and you are ready for a cup of coffee and a stretch, go get them even if someone tries to bug you. You worked hard for the past hour and deserve it. You have been trimming the hedge for an hour and it’s still not done. Luckily, you scheduled an hour-long lunch break to relax and recharge. When you know a break is coming up, it is easier to stay motivated because you know the end is near.
The classic Pomodoro Technique of 25 minutes of hard work and a 5-minute break repeated throughout the day works on the same principle. Almost anyone can stay motivated for 25 minutes at a time and ensuring you take a break regularly will help you avoid exhaustion.
Tips #4 – Practice Positive Mental and Emotional Self-Care
Motivation comes easier when you are in a good headspace, feel positive about yourself, and are able to focus on the end goal throughout a project or task. This is why it’s so important to be aware of, and nurture, your mental and emotional health.
Tip #5 — Eat Healthier and Get Exercise
No one has to turn into a supermodel or bodybuilder to get and stay motivated for work or home tasks. However, making some dietary changes to healthier options gives more energy overall and improves brain and body function. Likewise, regular exercise has been shown to improve cognition and elevate mood.
Take a walk around the office building at lunchtime. Put on a favourite song and do a little dance. Even active hobbies like gardening, yoga, or tai chi can help keep your body and mind in great shape. Laziness and lack of motivation sometimes stem from a general feeling of tiredness or discomfort. The better you take care of your body, the less these things will affect you.
Diet also plays a vital role in physical and mental health. In general, you do not need to make massive changes unless your doctor recommends you do so. Even finding the motivation to adopt a whole new eating plan can feel overwhelming. Make small changes over time and improve day by day. It might start with something as simple as “I’m going to drink more water” or “I’m going to cut back on soft drinks”.
Staying motivated to do what you need to do and work to your full potential at your job and at home means taking care of yourself and making the work simpler and more rewarding. Get healthier, foster a more positive mindset, tackle small jobs at appropriate times, and cherish your breaks and accomplishments to boost your motivation naturally.