We all have off days when we feel like being lazy and accomplishing nothing – but sometimes it’s far too easy to constantly tell yourself, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. If you are a serial procrastinator or just find it difficult to find motivation, you might need some inspiration. When you just don’t feel like doing anything, try the 6 following tips to motivate yourself:
As simple as it sounds, this concept suggests that one of the best ways to motivate yourself is just to start. You don’t have to be motivated to begin a task – simply start it, even if you feel like you’re really dragging your heels, and often you’ll find your motivation catches up with you once you’re a few minutes in.
Adopt the five-minute rule
Related to the concept of just starting, even some of the worst procrastinators have found success when abiding by this rule. Essentially, if your task will take less than five minutes, you should just do it. You’ll save yourself hours of having it lurking in the back of your mind, and sometimes completing one task can help to get you moving.
Write a daily to-do list
There’s something inherently satisfying about checking items off a list, even if they’re fairly mundane. Every day, write yourself a to-do list and try your best to get through it. Don’t worry if you can’t finish everything when you first try this method – once you get into the habit of finishing your list every day, you’ll likely find that you’re able to complete it quite easily.
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Eat well, especially in the mornings
Unhealthy food is one of the major contributors to lack of energy and subsequent lack of motivation. You should always try to eat a healthy breakfast with the protein and nutrients your body needs, as eating well in the morning will set the tone for your day. If you start your day off with unhealthy foods, you will not only crash by 11am but may also decide to write the day off and continue to eat unhealthy food for lunch and dinner. Treat your body and mind well in the morning and give yourself the best chance you can to have a productive, healthy day.
Reduce your stress
Stress can be a vicious cycle. The more stressed we get, the easier it is to procrastinate and forget our problems, which eventually leads to more stress. If you suspect that stress is causing your motivation issues, focus on eliminating it before you do anything else. You might like to start meditation or gardening – or if you prefer to be more active, try vigorous exercise like trampolining. Banishing your stress will help you focus on your tasks with a clearer mind.
Consider the big picture
If you believe your individual goals are unimportant, is it any wonder you don’t feel motivated to complete them? Instead, consider what your small goals will lead to. For example, perhaps you’re trying to run for twenty minutes a day, with the bigger goal of being able to tackle a marathon. It’s easy to put off the daily run if you forget your long-term goals, so remember to keep them in mind. It might help to write your goals down and keep them in a prominent place in your home so you can remind yourself why motivating yourself is important.
Motivation can be difficult to come across and will remain elusive unless you work hard at it. Push yourself to find motivation, so you can reach your goals and make yourself proud.
Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. She is highly organized and enjoys creating to-do lists as she believes they give her day more focus and structure. She spends her quiet time on meditation or yoga. Find more of her work here.