It’s only human nature to feel mentally exhausted every once in a while. There are a lot of responsibilities one has to encounter, whether you are in school, at home, at work, or even if you don’t have anything going on at the moment. While it is easy to gain momentum and passion, it is also really easy to let it go, putting you in a demotivated slump. Getting and losing motivation are two simple extremes, but gaining back lost motivation is a slippery slope that might not always be easy to balance. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help stay motivated, especially if you are stressed:
Don’t Break the Chain!
If you are a perfectionist, then this is the ideal strategy for you. When learning or developing a new skill, practicing it daily is essential. However, if you feel yourself starting to lose steam midway, start marking your daily progress on a calendar. Each block of the calendar can be treated as a grid to draw in. Draw in a little bit every day so that the entire calendar will form a picture. This way, if you manage to practice the skill every day, all the grids can be filled to form a complete picture.
The picture itself does not have to be complicated, but the goal is to make it a whole. However, if you lose motivation and miss a day or two, your final “calendar drawing” will have a few spaces empty. It might just be every perfectionist’s nightmare to leave a task unfinished, so not only will you be able to practice or work at whatever is causing you to lose motivation, but you might also have a pretty picture by the end of it!
Blackmail Bullet List
Most days, you have to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. However, there are a few days where you have to be your own tormentor and assign yourself some strict guidelines.
If you’re afraid of starting activity because you might lose motivation halfway, this technique might set you straight a little bolder than the other ones. First, think of your favorite social cause or charity. Then, find them online and set an automatic donation of a fixed amount of money at the end of every month. Blackmail yourself: if you manage to complete your work on time by the end of the month, you get to keep the money. Otherwise, the money goes from your account to whatever charity you’ve chosen to donate. This is a win-win; either you finish that pesky project or charity profits from your contributions.
This technique only works if you’re willing to gamble your money, however, so participate at your own risk. And, if you’re feeling kind enough after finishing that task, make sure to donate anyway!
Break it Up!
Rome was not built in a day. Most projects take consistent work and effort over a long time period to complete. You can use this to your advantage to find motivation and stay motivated. Instead of trying to finish all your pending objectives in one day, group them on a priority basis and break them up.
If you have a week to finish something, try to complete around 25% of it each day. This way, you not only reduce your workload per day, but you also have 2 extra days that you can use however you like – whether it be as a “cheat” day where you don’t have to work or a break day where you simply don’t feel like it. Organizing your work into chunks is one of the most scientifically and psychologically sound methods that have been repeatedly proven to work.
Build Your Rewards
One of the most common pieces of advice is to reward yourself to boost motivation. However, rewards work better when you increase them incrementally, as you increase your workload. Give yourself more rewards, with every increased amount of work you put in. However, the important thing to remember is that once the rewards are either monotonous or too much in number, you might lose motivation again.
Keep a Diary of Achievements
During a dry spell of productivity, it might be beneficial to look back at some of your older achievements and recognize the potential you are capable of when you are at your peak. It might also be helpful to record the circumstances and environment around you when you achieved something, so that the next time you feel demotivated, you can try to replicate those circumstances and induce success.
The more you introspect about your work process and your creativity, the more you learn about how to retain them and overcome any obstacles that might prevent you from achieving what you were meant to achieve. The diary isn’t a representation of the gulf between what you are and what you once were but a guideline for what you are and what you could be, if you really put your heart into it.
Understand Your Limitations
Most often, we are under the impression that we are obligated to finish every task we begin. There’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with trying to “cross the finish line.” We are very incessant on the idea of never giving up and never quitting, to such an extent that we might do a task even if it makes us unhappy – just because we never learned how to quit.
Understanding your limitations means having the maturity to understand that you are not obligated to finish every task you start. Unless it is necessary – like schoolwork or work obligations – you do not have to push yourself to finish something that you lost interest in halfway.
Not every activity is a matter of motivation; sometimes, you might realize that a certain project you began doesn’t hold your interest like it once used to. At that time, it’s better to let go of it entirely rather than hold on to the task, let it grow stale and unproductive and eventually, become resentful of yourself for starting it in the first place. Knowing when to quit is as essential as knowing how to continue. You never know, you might gain interest again later along the way!
Do you have any tips and tricks to stay motivated? Let us know in the comments below!