Sometimes it's hard to get motivated. It's usually much easier to just lay in bed and watch television or surf the internet rather than actually get something productive done. It can be very difficult to actually force yourself to do something helpful and productive when it's much easier to do something mindless and fun. However, time is wasting away and you never want to postpone your tasks for too long or you will find yourself in very big trouble. You might end up putting off some really important or crucial duties that have a quick deadline that needs to be met. If you are having some trouble being productive, try some of these awesome tips:
1. Make a to-do list. So what exactly is it that you need to get done? If you need help figuring this out, just make a to-do list with all of your important tasks on it. Keep this in front of you somewhere where you can always see it. Every time you view it, it will get you motivated and remind you of what still needs to be done. It will force you to make a commitment to your responsibilities.
2. Reward yourself. Sometimes the best incentive for getting something done is a reward. Does this mean that you have to spend extra money on yourself just for getting simple tasks done? Of course not. Try to think of something you really want to do. However, don't engage in that activity until you have finally finished, or at least made good progress on your to-do list. If you have a favorite television show that you want to binge watch, make sure you check off your to-do list first. If you really want to lay in bed and indulge yourself in a video game, do it only after you have done something productive first.
3. Focus on the results. Sometimes the reward you seek is more than just extra time in front of the television. Stephen Covey is famous for the lives he changed with his classic book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, in the second habbit, Stephen suggests that we would all be more effective and motiavted if we would begin with the end in mind. Think about how the fruits of your labor might benefit you sometime in the future. For example, do you want to be a writer for major publications such as Business Insider or The Huffington Post? It all starts with what you do now. Start blogging and submitting your articles and see how far it takes you. Remember that each little step will add up big time eventually.
4. Have a positive attitude. It's very easy to procrastinate when you are in a bad mood. When you are stressed, you don't want to do anything productive. Instead, you would much rather wallow in self-loathing. An easy way to focus on your attitude is to remember that internal motivation is far more powerful than external motivation. Best selling author, Seth Godin says, “the world is more and more aligned in favor of those who find motivation inside, who would do what they do even if it wasn't their job.” Try perking yourself up. Eat healthy, get exercise, and keep your head up.
5. Surround yourself with other performers. Sometimes, your environment can make a huge impact on your own productivity and success. If you do work in an environment where everyone else is working, it will motivate you to do the same. Imagine what it must be like to be playing your tenth game of Hearthstone on your laptop while the people sitting next to you are finishing up their college essay for their International Business class. Being around productive people will make you want to be more productive yourself.
6. Get the hard part out of the way first. Jason Kulpa, CEO of Underground Elephant encourages those around him to prioritize the most important tasks for the day. Jason states, “When you have a lot of things to do, it can be very difficult to get started if one or more of those tasks are tedious or time-consuming. You should get the most difficult task out of the way first. Just focus on how good it would feel to get it out of the way and get the weight off your shoulders. Then, you can breathe a sigh of relief and turn your attention to the other things you have to do.”
7. Don't be too boastful. It can feel good to share your accomplishments and make impressions on other people, but you shouldn't boast until you reach your goal. When people feel very positive about something they are doing, it usually becomes a de-motivator because those people feel like they have already accomplished their goal. For example, if you are looking for a job and feel confident about an interview you just had, don't get your hopes up. You might not get the job you were looking for and therefore need to start applying for jobs all over again. You can boast about your achievements when you finally reach your goal, but hold off until then.
8. Keep track of time. Have you ever went through an entire day and then realized how little you accomplished that day? It's an awful feeling when you realize just how much you could have done with all that extra free time you had. Realize that there are only so many hours in a day and that you should use a good amount of that time doing something productive rather than just lazing around and doing nothing.
9. Be realistic, but positive. Believe it or not, positive thinking isn't always the best thing in the world. One study that was featured in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that people with the most positive thoughts had less energy and motivation to achieve their goals. This was because they set up goals that were far too unrealistic for them. It's nice to shoot for the stars, but start with small steps first. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and only move the goalposts after you have achieved your initial milestones.
10. Learn from your mistakes. Nobody succeeds the first time. Failure is something that, unfortunately, everyone is familiar with it, but the main thing to know is if you can learn from it. Remember the times that you didn't accomplish your goals and ask what you did wrong. Find out what you can do differently next time and actively work on making sure that you don't screw up the second time around. It's good to realize your mistakes, but you should never ruminate on them or you'll just end up making yourself feel miserable.
Getting yourself motivated and ready for success isn't easy, but it's something that everyone needs to do. Start each day by waking yourself up, telling yourself something positive, eating a healthy breakfast, and crossing off the items on your to-do list. These are the habits that turn people into Average Joes into self-made millionaires. With these in mind, you too can achieve incredible success beyond your wildest dreams.