Do you need to find ways to boost motivation in order to get your projects finished… or even started?
Picture this: You’ve got a project you need to get started on. You’ve been putting it off for days, or even weeks, and now you’re on a really tight deadline. Sound familiar?
You’d think that the threat of missing your deadline would be enough to get you moving, wouldn’t you? But too often, even knowing the consequences of not finishing on time aren’t enough to motivate you to get to work. It’s just too easy to keep procrastinating instead.
Fortunately, there are ways to boost motivation and get your mojo back when your usual routine isn’t doing it for you.
Here are a 5 things you can try when you need to quickly boost motivation:
Motivation Booster #1 – Get Up and Move
But you told me to get to work!
It may seem counter-intuitive to get up and move when you’re in need of motivation, but the truth is movement can motivate you, or at the very least give you the energy boost you need to get working again.
It’s hard to focus when you’re feeling tired or antsy, so you’re not going to do anything but sit there and be frustrated because you can’t concentrate. Exercise has been shown to increase mental clarity and reduce stress, which is just what you need when you’re facing a deadline. Try taking a walk or doing a bit of yoga… even 5 or 10 minutes can be enough to shake off the cobwebs. If you can get outside to do it, that’s even better.
Motivation Booster #2 – Visualize the End Result
One way to convince your brain that an activity is worth starting is to think about the end result. Think about the money you’ll make a from a freelance gig, the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get from typing “The End” on your latest manuscript, or how you’ll feel when you see your latest painting framed and hanging on the wall.
No matter what the project, visualizing the result of your efforts can improve your focus and motivation. Make a mini-vision board and add actual visual representations like photos, magazine clippings, or even post-it notes to motivate you.
Motivation Booster #3 – Listen to Some Tunes
Sometimes a little music is all it takes to get your creative juices going again. There seems to be a definite connection between music and our brains. I know for myself, if I put on some really upbeat music it’s much easier to get down to work and get things done when I’m drawing or designing. I usually listen to the radio throughout the day when I’m working.
If you need silence in order to focus, you can still use music to boost motivation. Just listen to a few tunes to shift your mood, and then turn them off and get to work.
Motivation Booster #4 – Have a Power Nap
If you’re feeling foggy-headed and unmotivated, a short power nap might do the trick to clear your mind. Try putting your head down on your desk or stretching out on the couch for 20 to 30 minutes and see if that helps. Often when you wake up from a power nap, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to work.
Motivation Booster #5 – Start Small
They say that the first step is the hardest one to take, so make it a small one. Break your project into small steps and tell yourself you only have to get one thing done today. This might not work so well if you’ve left the whole project to the last day (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything), but if you’ve got some time all you have to do is get one thing done. And then do the next thing. It won’t take long until you have the whole project completed, just by taking one small step at a time.
Try one of these quick motivation boosters the next time you need a push to get things done. You might surprise yourself by how much you get done after taking one small action to boost motivation.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re up against a deadline and don’t feel like working? Share your thoughts in the comments below.