Sometimes it can be so hard to focus on what we’re doing that it would be better if we just left the office or left the task at hand for another day.
When we’re not motivated or concentrated, everything seems to be two and even three times harder.
We stop every two minutes; we sigh and try to regain the strength to go on…
When we want to achieve a goal but we can’t focus, not only do we feel overwhelmed and sad, but our levels of anxiety and stress go up dramatically.
Motivation is the fuel that we need to act, the engine we need to go forward, the missing puzzle piece of what we call our “life project.” It also serves us in making us more productive, creative and even happy.
But instead of this situation turning into a new challenge for us, we see the amount of paperwork of things to do and it’s hard to “rev up our engines” and get to work like we should.
Demotivation tends to be related to a lack of interest towards meeting a goal, or simply to not having understood the objective at hand.
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”
Even though you may feel confident of your goals, it may be that if you dig a little deeper inside, you’ll realize that you’re trembling with fear.
If you have to explore new territory and get out of your “comfort zone” you may have that feeling.
You feel like you’re about to step off a cliff and because of it you don’t want to continue on with the task.
This is a form of demotivation.
To avoid this from happening, you have to understand your fears and design a strategy that will allow you to go step by step, going slowly but surely.
The wrong goals
As we’ve said before, if your goals aren’t clear or you aren’t in alignment with them, it can be harder to do those tasks for others or even for ourselves.
If it gets harder and harder to focus the more you work there, maybe the reason is that you’re not in sync with the precepts of the company or maybe you would prefer to be elsewhere.
Make sure your clear on what your goals are, and in the case of them not being your own, you can always twist them to fit your needs.
Focusing too much on the future
If you’re always worried about what’s happening tomorrow, you’ll never be able to get a grip on the things you’re doing now.
When you’re completing a task, your mind and thoughts should be completely focused on it and nothing else.
If you’re thinking about what you need to buy at the grocery store later, about what you’re doing this weekend, about your chores, about when you’re getting paid, that exam you have to do next week, on the date that your having tonight…
It can be really hard to stay motivated, wouldn’t you agree?
Remember that what you’re doing now needs to serve your greater purpose up ahead.
If you have a ton of work to do, then just sit your butt down and get it done!
As a result, you’ll be able to truly enjoy your free time instead of worrying about everything else you should be doing.
At certain times of the year, it can be hard to concentrate on anything.
More so than just the anxiety of being on the beach, in the mountains or sleeping in late, demotivation rears its ugly head when we’re extremely tired.
We’ve been building up tension for too long!
Sleeping soundly is the best advice in these cases.
Let your brain take a break from the information overload.
You’ll see how easy it is to concentrate and how fast time seems to go by.
Your days off will be here before you know it!
1. Set a goal
We often feel unmotivated because we don’t really know where we want to end up.
Do you know why you’re doing what you do every day?
What do you want to accomplish with your daily actions?
Why do you want to reach these goals?
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can set goals more efficiently.
Having well-established goals and tracking their progress is one of the best ways to increase your self-motivation.
When setting goals, it’s a good idea to make sure that they’re SMART goals.
This means setting specific and measurable goals that are attainable, realistic and time-bound.
But setting goals is not enough, you also need to track them and celebrate your achievements.
Tracking your progress towards your goals can help you stay motivated by helping you see how much progress you’ve already made, as well as reminding you what still needs to be done.
Use a checklist to plan what you need to do and always cross off the items you’ve completed.
You’ll notice that every time you finish a task from your list, you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment and competence.
And don’t forget to reward yourself when you complete a particularly difficult task or achieve an important goal!
2. Change the focus of what you’re thinking
Another way to increase self-motivation is by changing the focus of what you’re thinking.
Free yourself from ideas that can be seen as self-destructive or insulting.
Don’t overwhelm your mind with negative thinking that does nothing but bring you down.
Of course, it is not easy to always think positive, so here are some tips that can help you:
- Look for your own strengths;
- Use positive self-talk. Adopt more positive language in your inner monologue. For example, instead of “I messed up and made another mistake”, you can say “that’s okay, I’ll do better next time!”;
- Keep in touch with people who motivate you and avoid those who bring you down;
- Trust in your ability to perform the tasks that were given to you.
Cultivating positive thinking is essential to staying on track when you’re running low on self-motivation.
Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts in shaping your life.
3. Make different choices whenever necessary
Sometimes a little change is all you need to regain your motivation.
It doesn’t have to be a big change, sometimes you only need a slight adjustment in what you already do to keep yourself motivated.
Just because you’ve put time and effort into becoming qualified for something, it doesn’t mean you need to spend the rest of your life doing it.
The new and unknown can be scary, but if you never try you’ll never know what could have been.
For example, in the digital market, especially when it comes to online courses, people choose niches related to what they love.
They are devoted to learning more about their audience and their market.
But with time they might not feel as passionate about their niche, and may become stagnant.
Because they’ve spent a long time studying and working in a particular area, many people don’t have the courage to change.
They believe that trying something new from scratch is a setback.
They don’t realize that insisting on something they don’t like anymore is the real setback.
Having started out in one area doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best area for you.
Life is full of choices and you always have the choice to move on to something you enjoy more.
Even if you’ve dedicated a long time to something you don’t do anymore, your experience won’t go to waste.
Everything we learn helps us in some way in the future.
Our experiences and histories are part of what makes each of us unique.
It’s OK to want to change your routine, goals or career path, and sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is all you need to get excited about your goals again.
4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Nobody wants to make mistakes, but we all do. Mistakes happen whether we want them to or not.
And that’s fine!
Making mistakes is healthy.
As an inevitable part of life, what matters most is how we deal with mistakes.
They can get you down or they can be an opportunity to learn and improve.
They’re how we’re able to figure out different ways to perform our tasks more efficiently.
Ultimately, mistakes help us grow as people.
But to grow, you need to learn from your mistakes and embrace them!
Don’t punish yourself when you encounter setbacks.
Use them to readjust what you’ve been doing as opposed to making you feel less motivated.
Framing your mistakes in this way can turn what are normally negative experiences into a source of self-motivation.
And as an exercise not to make the same mistakes again, you can dedicate more time to your studies, which leads us to the fifth way to motivate yourself!
5. Learn something every day
Desire and initiative are two essential characteristics of self-motivation.
You need to wish to be motivated again and you need to try to change when you’re thinking about giving up.
Learning something every day is a great tool to be self-motivated whenever it is necessary.
The more information and knowledge we have about a topic, the more authority, and self-confidence we have.
This makes that we truly believe in our potential and what we’re doing.
Invest in yourself and especially invest in your knowledge!
Set educational goals and try to accomplish them by studying a lot and exchanging information.
If you learn something every day, you’ll be more prepared for the possible problems you might face.
Never let the ball drop and use learning to motivate yourself at all times.
6. Stay positive
Have you ever heard the theory that good thoughts lead to good results?
So, free yourself from the ideas that can be seen as self-destructive or insulating.
Don’t overcharge your mind with negative thinking that does nothing but cheers you down.
Of course, it is not easy to always think positive but there are some steps you can take that help you when you’re feeling demotivated:
- Look for your own strengths;
- Repeat to your inner self positive information. For example: “I can”, “I am able to”, “this is possible”;
- Keep in touch with people who motivate you and avoid the ones who focus only on your mistakes;
- Trust your ability to perform the tasks that were attributed to you;
- If necessary, look for an expert to talk to who can help you understand your virtues.
Seeing the world and, especially, your attitudes in a positive light help you have great energy and motivation.
7. Invest in different hobbies
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
It is very important to disconnect from your professional life at some point in your day.
One of the reasons many people languish is because they are not able to set aside some time for themselves outside their professional lives.
You need to set a time to rest, regardless of where your place of work is.
Remember to solve professional problems during work hours and not during your leisure time.
When you’re not working, try to rest your mind.
There are many options to relax when you’re not working, such as:
- Listening to music;
- Reading books;
- Going to the theater;
- Watching movies/series;
- Traveling, even if it’s just a short weekend trip;
- Practicing sports;
- Meeting up with friends.
Even when there are problems at work, it’s important to make sure you enjoy your personal life.
This will help keep things in perspective and remind you why you work in the first place.
Having a good work-life balance is essential, not only to increase your self-motivation but also to stay healthy and prevent burnout.
8. Use coaching techniques
Do you know what coaching is?
It is a technique that aims to provide support so that people can improve as individuals and, from there they change and evolve.
Also known as self-awareness techniques, coaching can help you find your potential.
Knowing yourself better allows you to set a course of action to move towards your goals.
And that’s self-motivation.
So, if you think it is necessary, look for these professionals to help you find a reason that helps you move forward.
9. Meet successful people
Have you ever noticed how inspiring it is to talk to people who have accomplished their goals?
It’s very important to have good references, especially if you’re starting out a new project.
Getting to know successful people and establishing a relationship with them are good ways to generate self-motivation.
Keeping in touch with someone who has already succeeded can make you want to study more and try harder.
It can be a source of inspiration in your daily life.
If possible, connect with people who have accomplished the same things you’re currently trying to achieve.
It can be very powerful to see someone in a position you yourself hope to be in one day!
Besides, as we’ve said before, it is good to be around people with positive-thinking who are willing to help you.
10. Believe in yourself
Quite a few people don’t believe that they are good enough at what they do and this is an important factor that generates demotivation.
So, one way to motivate yourself is to work on your self-confidence.
If you have a role in a company, it is probably because you are good at your job, so start thinking about what you do that makes you proud.
Talk to people and understand what they see in your work.
Gradually, you will begin to have more confidence and it will help you to feel more motivated to do the day’s tasks, even if they seem very difficult at first.
11. Treat yourself
This is a tip that can be misinterpreted sometimes.
When we talk about rewarding yourself, we don’t mean that you need to get a chocolate or a day off every time you complete a task.
Much less do you need a new reward every minute or hour that you are able to finish or start an activity.
This can actually be counterproductive, as doing so will get your brain to expect something in return for completing a task.
However, occasionally, you should think about giving yourself a perk when you complete a particularly difficult task.
For example, you can take a Friday off after finishing a successful 3-month project, or maybe even travel to celebrate acquiring a new customer.
The important thing is to allow yourself to celebrate when you meet a goal you set.
12. Don’t compare yourself to others
It might be a little cliché, but it’s always worth remembering: you’re not like anyone else!
And comparing yourself to others will have the opposite effect of increasing your self-motivation.
Even if you perform the same activities as your coworkers, your results will probably never be the same.
Everyone has their own set of abilities and different talents.
We’re each on a different path, we have different life stories, different genetic makeups, and live in different environments, so comparing yourself to others doesn’t make any sense.
It’s unreasonable to expect the same results as someone else when you’re living a completely different life.
Be inspired by other people, but don’t let their success and results be how you judge yourself.
Your journey is not the same as anyone else’s, it’s yours alone.
13. Help other people
Have you ever imagined that one way to boost your self-motivation is by helping others?
It may seem strange, but when you see another person’s problem and have empathy towards them, you end up feeling more motivated to do something.
Let’s take a look at an example to make it clearer.
Imagine you have an online gluten-free cooking course.
At some point, you may lose motivation to edit the course, as you are not a videomaker and this is a lengthy step.
However, your motivation may come back when you think about how you’ll help people with celiac disease to eat better.
And of course, this is just one example among thousands.
In a traditional work environment, knowing that what you do positively impacts the lives of your colleagues may be just what you needed to motivate yourself.
14. Practice a hobby
We’ve already mentioned that one way to self-motivate is to have a hobby, and exercising can be your choice.
But even if you’re not a big fan of sports, not exercising can make you even more unmotivated.
So, try to get moving.
It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, but a walk in the park on Sunday mornings or even dancing once a week can be a stimulus for your body and a distraction for your mind.
15. Measure your results
Finally, one way to motivate yourself is to constantly measure your results.
This may seem demotivating at first, especially if you are not doing what you planned.
But with the goals set and making use of our previous tips, you’ll start to feel more energized towards reaching your ultimate goals and measuring your results will make you realize that all the effort was worth it.
And we are not just talking about professional KPIs.
You can, for example, set personal performance indicators to make sure you are on the right track.
16. Get moving
Exercise has numerous benefits: it increases your energy, helps reduce stress, improves your general well-being, among others.
In addition to improving your self-motivation and mood, performing daily physical activity will also help you live longer.
And it doesn’t need to be anything over the top.
You can go for a walk or join a fitness class.
The key is to find something you enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
You can spread short bouts of exercise throughout your workday (this is especially important if you spend a long time sitting in front of your computer).
For example, every once in a while, get up from your chair, go for a quick walk or maybe do some light stretching.
A little exercise can go a long way in helping you feel good and stay motivated.
Physical activity can also be a way to disconnect from your work, which is the next item on our list
Seek professional help if you think it is getting too much.
At Trijog, we will be more than glad to help you achieve your goals.