By definition, motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.
No two people are exactly the same, and motivation affects us all differently. It could be a desire for more money or success, to help people, to learn something new or set an example to a child. Everyone will have different motivations, and everyone will find themselves feeling highly motivated and also struggling with motivation at different times.
Maintaining motivation can be hard around a busy life, when you feel tired, and if you feel a pressure to appear motivated, even when you don’t feel it.
By knowing some of the key factors that impact motivation, you can take action to address them.
Being organised is a big contributor to motivation. If you’re not feeling on top of things and your to do list seems miles long, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, the human reaction is typically to not start, and end up demotivated and struggling. This isn’t helpful to anyone – not to customers and (more importantly) not to yourself and your mind.
You’ll need to find out what works for you, but our tips for this one would be:
- Break the things on your to do list into manageable smaller tasks. If you’ve got a report on there, put on your to do list to write page one of it. The more things you cross off, the more motivated you’ll be to keep crossing off
- Get highlighters (you’re never too old for colourful lists)
- Write out your tasks in priority order, so you can get clarity on which to start first
- Think about any areas that are over-complicated, can they be simplified?
Sometimes feeling demotivated isn’t a case of not wanting to do things. It can be feeling so overwhelmed that you simply can’t work out how to do things. The best thing to do is to take action because often they aren’t as bad as you have built them up to be. Think about how good it will feel when they’re done.
You also need to remember why you started. Whether this be as a business owner, or a personal challenge. Remember why you began the journey you’re on. Here are our tips on how to do this:
- Sit down with no distractions and think for 10 minutes about how excited you were when you began
- Write down how you imagined you would feel at this time (because you can still feel this way)
- Go back to basics and spend some time doing your favourite tasks
If you’re able to, get support for the areas that you find demotivating. If you wanted to spend all of your time creating, but spend most of it doing the accounts, outsource this element and if you can’t do that at this stage, set it as a goal.
You need to set goals. Both a long-term vision, and smaller goals that you will achieve along the way. With reaching the next goal always in sight, you’re more likely to remain motivated.
Make sure you reward yourself too – you deserve it. Take regular breaks and practice self-care. It’s amazing how much more productive you can be if you take a full lunch break or get a bit of fresh air. When you hit your short-term goals or cross a big task off your to do list, treat yourself if this will motivate you.
Seeing how far you’ve come is also a great motivator. Spend a bit of time, just ten minutes or so, every now and again, reflecting on your achievements to date. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day that you don’t stop and realise you’ve actually made a lot more progress than you realise.
Finally, you may have heard a lot of people talk about a morning routine. Again, everyone’s will be different. For some it might be a full hour with a smoothie, a walk and yoga before starting the day. For others it might be 15 minutes to have a coffee and make notes on the first three tasks for the day. Whatever works for you is fine – there is no right or wrong here.
What we love here at Buy-From, is an end of day routine. When the end of the day is nearing, make sure you aren’t leaving your desk in a way that will play on your mind all evening. By this, we do not mean stay super late to finish the task you’re doing (this would not be motivating!), we mean leave your desk feeling organised.
Fifteen minutes before the end of the day tick off the following:
- Have I replied to the emails I needed to today? If yes, great, the others can be done tomorrow.
- Is my current task at a point it can be left? Add a few notes in a different colour to remind yourself where to pick up tomorrow if it’s incomplete.
- Is my to do list up to date? Cross off anything you’ve completed and add anything new to it.
- Do I know what I’m going to be doing when I get back here in the morning? Prioritise your first task of the following day.
By doing this you will feel organised and ready to switch off and enjoy your evening, knowing exactly what you will be doing the next morning.
We hope you find this helpful; we discuss this topic further on our motivation Podcast and would love to hear your tips and tricks for keeping motivated.