How To… Find Your Motivation

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It’s really hard to find the motivation to do anything: whether that’s work or play. It’s always easier to be lazy, and procrastination is better, right? Because that means you have more time to yourself and then you’re also better under pressure, right? Not necessarily. So how do you break this cycle and be self-motivating so you might be able to get more projects done? Here’s how you do it…

First: control your environment. Free yourself from distractions and get your goal in sight. If you can keep focused, you’ll be surprised how much you can get done in a small amount of time. So put on those noise canceling headphones, play some soothing (or epic!) tunes—like these—and get down to business.

Second: structure your time. If you have a deadline, this is made easier. You can say “the whole project is due by then, so how can I break this down into increments in order to get this finished in time”. If you don’t have a deadline and you have a project, set yourself a deadline. Don’t bend over backward and kill yourself to reach it, but keep it as a firmly designated date and/or time to get the project completed.

Third: depending upon the project, one might choose a certain type of music. Pandora is good, 8tracks can be fun too! If you’re writing an epic scene for your next novel, there are soundtracks out there to help you! Try this one or this one.

Four: change your location/your computer wallpaper. Sometimes a minor change (when you’re faced with a desktop computer, like mine, that you aren’t able to lug around to coffee shops or parks) like changing your wallpaper can help to motivate you. What would be motivational? Some people find their favourite celebrities telling them to work or write to be motivation enough. Others need a serene background, while others would rather feel badass for completing something and seeing their wallpaper again. Mostly, it’s whatever makes you happy. Sometimes location can be changed though—just make sure you aren’t too distracted by it!

Five: goals and rewards. Once you’ve met a certain goal (getting a thousand words done, writing an article, cleaning a room, etc.), make sure you reward yourself. It doesn’t matter whether that’s some time with other people; getting a healthy, sweet snack; or just doing something else of your choosing for a little while, you should always be able to take a break and relax. This will actually keep you more focused and let you get more stuff done.

These five tips don’t necessarily cover all your bases, but they certainly get you started. Mostly it has to do with your inner thoughts—those need to be positive and relaxed. Once you have a goal and are working toward it, you can take a few breathers and know that you are both on schedule and motivated to keep doing what you can to complete the project. Motivation is tricky and it’s hard to keep it up non-stop. It’s okay to let it lapse a bit here and there, but don’t let this lack of motivation take over your life.

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