How to get motivation boost when you’re not moving forward

Telling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result.

It’s not because depressed people don’t want to get motivated. It’s because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed. Is motivation impossible? Definitely not. You just have to find a process that works for you.

There is a saying: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” But many depressed people can’t get out of bed, much less take a thousand-mile journey. For many sufferers, medication is the first step.

There are those who scoff at the idea of medication as an answer. But for those in a major clinical depression, life is a dark place full of pain, hopelessness and insecurity.

Sometimes the blame can be placed on brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters don’t work right, and brain chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine — your feel-good chemicals — often don’t go where they’re supposed to go. Medications deal with chemical imbalances. Find the right one, and you may feel more like your old self again. Because you feel better, getting motivated becomes a little easier.

A good therapist goes hand in hand with medication. One without the other is kind of a half-solution. By talking to a trained professional, you’ll feel better because you’re talking to someone who knows how to listen.

Good friends listen, sure, but don’t forego a therapist for a friend. Well-meaning friends may tell you to just get over it or to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This results in a vicious cycle. You may feel worthless and stupid because you’re finding it hard to brush your teeth, much less pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This leads to a deepening depression, which leads to more “helpful” remarks, which leads to even more depression. Unfortunately, the thick, ugly scars of depression aren’t outwardly visible, and when your wounds aren’t visible, sympathy from your friends is hard to come by.

There’s a method used in Alcoholics Anonymous that works for some, and that’s acting as if something were already true. For example, every morning when you wake up, pop up with as much vigor as you can muster. Don’t give yourself time to dwell. Get dressed immediately. It can be for the gym or dog-walking or some other form of exercise. Or, get dressed to go to the mall, the bookstore, or the theater.

Just get dressed. Do your hair. Groom yourself attractively, and do it quickly. Don’t give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. In other words, act as if you feel great already and you know for a fact that you’re leaving the house and will have a good time. At the very least, getting dressed and looking decent can go a long way toward giving you a mental boost. It may even give you enough motivation actually to go to the gym and exercise, which is great for alleviating depression.

If you’re not at the gym phase yet, however, walk the dog, or go into the yard and pull weeds for 20 minutes a day (assuming it’s spring or summer). This gives you the added benefit of sunshine. According to research, 20 minutes of sun a day will lift your mood. If it’s winter and you live in a cold climate, invest in a light box, which simulates full-spectrum sunlight.

Even if you can’t find the motivation to do anything, don’t berate yourself for it. You’re up and ready for the day, aren’t you? Do only what you can do, and let go of major expectations. If you brushed your teeth, that’s positive. Don’t be hard on yourself, or getting motivated to do anything becomes another chore to be avoided.

Depression whispers bad things in your ear about your capabilities. We hear, “You can’t do anything right. Look at the mess you’ve made of your life. Why aren’t you further along in your career? Why don’t you have a career at your age?” By consciously replacing the words on these soundtracks with positive words, we’ll be able to change our way of thinking. The brain is able to create new neural pathways. Change your way of thinking over a period of time, and a new neural pathway is created.

Use positive thoughts about yourself to create new neural pathways. Over time, the old, bad, unused pathways wither, die and fall off, much like the branches on an old tree. With some determination to stay on the positive path, you create a new soundtrack, which is filled with hope, giving you more motivation to keep stepping forward.

The same premise applies to self-talk in the mirror. Whenever you see yourself in the mirror, say something positive about yourself. Some people carry flashcards to remind themselves of their good traits when they’re feeling particularly down. This is a behavioral psychology method to get you to replace bad thoughts with good ones. Before long you are reminded of all the wonderful things that you have to offer, and you are motivated enough to take another step in the healing process toward rejoining the world.

Socialization is important. Make a standing appointment to have a friend or family member pick you up to go out. This way you’re held accountable to someone else. If there are no friends or family members available, don’t use that as an excuse. Going to the bookstore and people-watching in the coffeeshop is preferable to sitting home alone. Who knows? You may make a new friend. That is certainly motivating.

Give yourself credit for progress made, even if it seems tiny. Set small goals. Do what you can handle and nothing more. Are there seven loads of laundry to fold? Tell yourself you’ll fold laundry for five minutes, then do it. You’ll be surprised by how accomplishing one thing you said you were going to do can boost your spirits and motivate you.

By the same token, don’t set yourself up to fail by telling yourself you’re going to do something you know you can’t do. Because, when you do fail, your motivation to move forward stops. Try doing only one thing at a time, a little bit at a time. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there — each success makes it easier to stay motivated for the next step in your journey to feeling good about yourself.

Many people struggle with depression; you’re not alone. Take that first step. Find what works for you, and the motivation to continue forward will come. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.

Last medically reviewed on December 22, 2014

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

As a motivational speaker and book author, often after I give a keynote speech, someone in the audience will ask me how to get motivated again, because some people through the ups and downs of life kind of loose their spark, they loose their level of motivation. So here is the big question — how do you get motivated again when you’re not feeling motivated? Here are some quick tips to help you get motivated again particularly when you’re going through the trials and tribulations of life. After all sometimes life is not a bowl of cherries.

1. Go back to your original purpose
When you first started your quest to achieve your dreams, you had a dream and goal in mind, but because you’re tired and you been working so much and so hard, somehow, someway you kind of lost touch with your original purpose. You may have lost your spark, your shine, your enthusiasm. You are no longer a shiny happy person. Being tired will do that to anyone. Take some time and re-review your goals short-term, midterm and long-term to remind yourself why it is you’re working so hard. This may help you rekindle the passion that you had in the very beginning, and remind you of the excitement that you had to start with. I have always believed that one of the ways of being more passionate is to make sure your passion is connected to your purpose.

2. Remember that motivation is a process not an event
I think that many people are under the mistaken assumption that motivation is an event. They think that just by listening to a motivational program on audio, or reading one book is enough to get them motivated and to stay motivated. I don’t believe that to be true, just the same as I don’t believe you maintain your weight by eating right one day and one day only. In order to be motivated you need to concentrate each day on what you need to do to stay motivated for you. Each person’s answer is different but just realize that you have to invest the time and energy each day to continue to feed your mind and your soul motivational ideas and thoughts.

3. Talk to a trusted friend
Sometimes when you have lost your “mojo,” it’s a good idea to have breakfast or lunch with a good friend and ask for their opinions, their thoughts and their advice. Someone who’s outside of your daily life may be able to give you more objective advice, or you just may need someone to give you a boost, a little motivational pep talk, just someone to smile and tell you that “you can do this you know.” One word of caution; make sure that your trusted friend is an optimist not a pessimist, and an encouraging person and not that someone who will tear you down and tell you how ridiculous your ideas are.

4. Seek out your motivational rocket fuel
What the heck is motivational rocket fuel? Well that is up to you to decide. It’s the fuel that gets you fired up. Ask yourself — what are activities that you can do soon that would help you get and stay motivated? It may be watching a motivational movie, it may be going for a hike, it may be reading a motivational book that you haven’t read for years. It may be working in your garden, or getting back to painting your latest masterpiece which you haven’t done for a long time. Look up inspirational and motivational videos on YouTube and watch a few each day. Make a list a few things you can do this week that will help you boost your level of motivation energy and enthusiasm.

5. Try something new Sometimes people are not motivated because they have just gotten a little stale in their life routines. So if you want to boost your level of motivation, reduce your level of stagnation by trying something new. Let’s say for example you always wanted to join a volleyball league- then go sign up for one today. Just the act of trying something brand new will stimulate your thinking and you may be delighted to meet new and different people and it may give you a much-needed change of scenery. So today, think of something you’ve never done and always wanted to do and figure out what the next steps would be in order to make that happen.

6. Think about starting or joining a mastermind group
I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about mastermind groups; it was a term made popular by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich back in the 1940s. The idea is to join a small group of other people, and the sole intent of the group is for every person in the group to support everyone else in the group. Most mastermind groups meet once a month, and ask each other for advice counsel and support. So you have two choices — you could either join an existing mastermind group, or you can start your own. But the idea of being around other motivated energetic people will definitely help raise your own level of motivation and you will get the encouragement and support that you richly deserve.

My challenge to you today is to take some items from this list and start applying them tomorrow. You will find that just the act of stepping forward and taking action will help you get and stay motivated, but it only happens if you take action. When you take action you change your thinking and when you change your thinking you change your life!

. and get where you want to go!

Posted Mar 14, 2016

THE BASICS

  • What Is Motivation?
  • Find a therapist near me

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Staying motivated is key. It gets us going and keeps us going, even when we can’t see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Motivation is that inner sense of “keep going”….. even when we would really like (some days) to pull the covers up over our heads and just stay put!

It takes effort to get from where we are to where we want to be, and many obstacles crop up on our path to success. The truth is that staying motivated is exponentially harder than simply getting fired up, especially when the goal is unclear, distant or difficult to achieve. Additionally, life throws in many surprises that can set us back and make us question our motivation, and ultimately our goals. Do I really have to push myself so much? Is it all worth my time? Do I want it enough to keep going? When doubt creeps in, it’s easy to lose the initial excitement, burn out and give up on the goal.

The reason some people quit pursuing their goals while others successfully reach theirs is the difference in the motivation that drives them. The “right” – or sustainable – motivation comes from the inside out, is supported by well-defined priorities and goals, and provides a strong emotional connection to the desired outcome. Different studies have shown that in the long run, intrinsic motivation is more sustainable than extrinsic; it doesn’t mean that external rewards do not work, we just value our intrinsic drivers more.

Motivation drivers can be classified into a number of categories, but when we talk about sustainable motivation self-interest and concern for others are the ones that are worth mentioning the most, as they relate to “selfish” and “selfless” motivation. Individually both drivers have advantages and downsides, but when they work in synergy the most sustainable motivation and the highest level of performance are possible. For instance, you are most likely to get the promotion you want when not only do you care to improve your standing in the company, but also you want to please your parents or your spouse, or make sure your kids can go to a good school, etc.

Before we jump into some practical strategies for keeping motivation strong on the way to your goals, one thing needs to be mentioned: Just as the house built on a weak foundation will not stand for long, motivation based on unclear goals or a poorly defined desired outcome will flag in no time.

Set your goals according to what your priorities are and have a plan that will help you follow through. Know the answers to your “why”s: Why this is a good or right goal to have, why you need to achieve it, why achieving it is important or desirable for you or those you care for, and so on. Once you set a strong foundation, you can use the following tips to help you sustain your motivation until you succeed.

1. Put it in writing. Identify what you want and put it in writing. Be as clear and specific as possible – include both quantitative (measureable) and qualitative (feeling or experiential) aspects. Once you write it down, keep it somewhere in sight. We make plans and make promises to ourselves to follow through, but if it’s just in our minds we tend to forget both plans and promises as soon as life gets busy. Putting things in writing holds you accountable to your goals; it also serves as a reminder of all the progress that you made.

2. Minimize distractions. When you are disorganized, you cannot make much progress with anything, because your attention is divided between so many things. Procrastination can become a problem because you waste your energy on matters that don’t really matter. Nothing is more distracting and demotivating than a cluttered mind. If you find yourself running in circles, hit “pause” and take a moment to think back to your priorities. When you know your priorities, it is very easy to trim off all the time-eaters and energy-zappers that keep you from moving forward.

3. Be aware of the potential pitfalls. Ask yourself what obstacles you might encounter while making progress towards your goals. It is important to be aware of all potential stumbling blocks, because you can then decide how to deal with these obstacles, and when you actually run into them you will be able to eliminate them without losing your motivation. After you note down your potential obstacles, the next step is to categorize them into three groups:

  • Those that you can control;
  • Those that you can influence; and
  • Those you can neither control nor influence.

Don’t waste your energy on things you cannot fight; instead, focus on what can be done and keep moving forward.

4. Embrace positivity. Practice positive self-talk and do things that make you happy, because when you are happy you feel more energized and motivated. Of course, unexpected and undesirable things can happen and they can negatively affect your attitude and resolve. Remember, negative self-talk and excessive self-criticism will only exacerbate matters and will further weaken your motivation. Positive self-talk, on the other hand, will help you bounce back faster to your usual self, and continue to move forward as if nothing happened.

5. Reward yourself. Everyone likes rewards – they make us feel happy, valued and recognized. Rewards don’t need to be big to have that positive effect on us; sometimes even a scheduled break can serve as a reward. Little rewards here and there for whatever progress that you have made will give your motivation a good boost and allow you to maintain a positive outlook throughout your journey. Occasional rewards provide that instant gratification that we all crave.

Learn How to Motivate Yourself to Achieve Your Business Goals

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Getting and staying motivated is vital, whether you’re striving to reach a business goal, starting a new venture, or managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Lack of motivation can chip away at your confidence and hurt your potential for success. The more motivated you are, the more forward-moving momentum you will create and the easier it will be to tackle ambitious goals and reach higher levels of success in your business.

Follow these tips to get motivated, climb out of the slump, and position yourself so you can reach each and every one of your targets.

1. Entrench Yourself in a Goal

While lack of motivation may not be related to a specific goal, having a goal can often help you get motivated. SMART goal setting is one way to outline your objectives, clarify the importance of the goal, and create an action plan for achieving it. If you are able to break down long-term goals into weekly or even daily action steps, the progress you make every day can help you build momentum and get motivated to keep the process moving.

2. Relive Past Successes

Do you remember what it felt like to reach an accomplishment, hit a significant milestone or make an important decision? Spend some time thinking about the process you went through, the work you put in and the taste of victory. Reliving some of your best moments can get you over the hurdle and into action.

3. Find Inspiration in Someone Else

There will always be others who have walked the path before you, faced challenges and emerged victorious. Spend time appreciating the drive and determination of others, and explore how they overcame the challenges they faced on their journeys. This can be motivating, while also giving you some creative ideas for getting through the challenges you’re facing.

4. Try a New Approach

Progress often generates routines; routines can bring boredom; and boredom can cause a loss of motivation. If your routines are causing you to lose your fire, it may be time to shake things up. Try altering the way you do things, when you do them, how you do them and even how you think about them. Start to question your standard processes, and introduce a new way of thinking to get past complacency and renew your motivation.

5. Find an Accountability Partner

Having someone there to encourage you, support you and challenge you can be an effective way to get and stay motivated. When you make a commitment to someone else to do something, you’re no longer struggling along on your own. You have someone else counting on you, and most of us feel increased motivation to act when there is a chance we will disappoint someone other than ourselves.

6. Psych Yourself Up

Ultimately, although some of these methods rely on external sources, motivation comes from within. The best way to get motivated is by figuring out what psychs you up and gets you moving. You can try your favorite music, positive thinking, celebrating success, and creating a personal mantra. When you’ve found an activity that results in a boost in motivation, and makes you excited to take the next step, you have found your own motivational secret to get over the slump.

If these ideas don’t successfully help you get you motivated, spend some time exploring what gets you excited and ready to get the work done. Everyone has a trigger that will push them into productive mode. It may take a little trial and error to find, but it is there if you take the time to look.

“You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” – John C. Maxwell

When it comes to getting results, it takes motivation and ability.

Motivation makes things happen.

Where there’s no will, there’s no way. One of the best ways to improve your personal effectiveness is to master your motivation and find your drive.

If you can master motivation, you can deal with life’s setbacks, as well as inspire yourself to always find a way forward, and create new experiences for yourself, and follow your growth.

In this post, I’ll demystify motivation and give you the motivation tools that really work.

1. Connect to your values.

This is the ultimate secret. If you can connect the work you do to your values, even in small ways, you can change your game.

One of my values is learning and growth.

I find ways to grow my skills in any situation. For example, I don’t just “call back a customer.” I “win a raving fan.” I don’t just “do a task.” I “master my craft.” I don’t just “get something done.” I “learn something new.”

2. Find your WHY.

Figure out a compelling purpose. Turn this into a one-liner.

For example, when I fall off the horse, I remind myself I’m here to “make others great.” This gets me back on track, sharing the best of what I know.

3. Change your WHY.

Sometimes you’re doing things for the wrong reason. Are you doing that task to get it done, or to learn something new? Just shifting your why can light your fire.

4. Change your HOW.

You can instantly find your tasks more enjoyable by shifting from getting them done, to doing them right.

I think of it as mastering your craft. Make it artful.

Sometimes slower is better. Other times, the key is to make it a game and actually speed it up. You can set time limits and race against the clock. Changing your how can get you out of ruts and find new ways to escape the mundane.

5. Remember the feeling.

Flipping through your head movies and scenes is one of the fastest ways to change how you feel.

Remember the feeling. How did you feel during your first kiss? What about laying on the grass on a sunny day?

When you feel good, you find your motivation faster.

6. Shift to past, present or the future.

Sometimes you need to be here, now. Sometimes, the right here, right now sucks. The beauty of shifting tense is you can visualize a more compelling future, or remember a more enjoyable past.

At the same time, if you catch yourself dwelling on a painful past, get back to right here, right now, and find the joy in the moment.

You’ll improve your temporal skills with practice.

7. Find a meaningful metaphor.

Find a metaphor that fuels you. Maybe you’re the “Little Engine that Could.” Maybe you’re “in your element.”

The most powerful thing you can do is find a metaphor that connects to your values. This is why I turn my projects into “epic adventures.”

8. Take action.

Here’s a secret that once you know it, can change your life. Action often comes before motivation.

You simply start doing an activity and then your motivation kicks in. Nike was right with “Just do it.” For example, I don’t always look forward to my workout, but once I start, I find my flow.

9. Link it to good feelings.

Find a way to link things to good feelings. For example, play your favorite song when you’re doing something you don’t like to do.

It has to be a song that makes you feel so great that it overshadows the pain of the task. It’s hard to tell yourself you don’t like something when it feels so good.

A similar approach is to find your theme song.

10. Impress yourself first.

This is how people like Peter Jackson or James Cameron or Stephenie Meyer inspire themselves. They make the movies or write the books that impress themselves first. They connect their passion to the work and they don’t depend on other people setting the bar. Their internal bar becomes their drive.

11. “CHOOSE” to.

If you tell yourself you “HAVE” to do this or you “MUST” do that or you “SHOULD” do this, you can weaken your motivation.

The power of choice and simply reframing your language to “CHOOSE” to can be incredibly empowering and exactly the motivating language you need to hear. Choose your words carefully and make them work for you.

12. Pair up.

This is one of my favorite ways to make something fun. One person’s painful task, is another’s pleasure. Pair up with somebody who complements your skill or who can mentor you and get you over the humps.

13. Change your question.

Sometimes you need to change your focus. To change your focus, change the question.

If you ask yourself what’s wrong with this situation, of course you’ll find things to complain about. Ask yourself what’s right about the situation and you can quickly find the positives and get your groove on.

14. Fix time for eating, sleeping and working out.

Sometimes your body or emotions are working against you because you’re not giving them a break or fueling them the right way.

One simple way to improve results here is to find a routine for eating, sleeping, and moving or working out that supports you.

15. Play to your strengths.

Spending too much time in your weaknesses wears you down. Spending more time in your strengths helps you renew your energy and find your flow.

Strengths are the place where you can grow your best. Find the things that you can do all day that you really enjoy and find excuses throughout your day to do more of that. Success builds on itself and this helps you build momentum.

Try out the motivation techniques to see what works for you.

At the end of the day, all motivation really comes down to self-motivation, and you get better at motivation by building your self-awareness.

Learn how to push your own buttons from the inside out.

Join over 210,000 readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

This piece originally appeared on Sources of Insight

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Focus on the task, not how you feel about it.

No matter how generally motivated you are, all of us have some tasks that we don’t want to do. Maybe we find them boring, pointless, draining, time consuming, annoying, or anxiety producing. So how do you get motivated in these types of situations? The first step is to recognize that getting motivated doesn’t mean that you have to experience a particular feeling. You can decide to do something without ever getting excited about it by finding a personally meaningful reason to do it. Next, you have to come up with a strategy. Try involving other people; positive social pressure can provide the impetus to get something done. It’s also helpful to pair unpleasurable activities with pleasurable ones to increase your overall mood.

Focus on the task, not how you feel about it.

No matter how generally motivated you are, all of us have some tasks that we don’t want to do. Maybe we find them boring, pointless, draining, time consuming, annoying, or anxiety producing. So how do you get moving in these types of situations?

The first step is to recognize that getting motivated doesn’t mean that you have to experience a particular feeling, like excitement or anticipation. Instead, motivation is simply one or more reasons you have for acting in a certain way. You can decide to do something without ever getting excited about it by finding a personally meaningful why.

For example, you could choose to do something because it will:

  • Lower your anxiety.
  • Benefit someone who you care about.
  • Lead to financial gain.
  • Avoid a negative consequence.
  • Make you feel good about yourself.
  • Clear your mind.
  • Align with your values.
  • Reduce stress.

These reasons might sound something like this in your day-to-day life:

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I do ________, then I will see a significant financial payoff both now and in the future and will feel good about my choices.”

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I get ________ done, then it will make my boss happy and lower my anxiety every time I have a one-on-one meeting.”

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I make progress on ________, then I will have so much less stress next week and be prepared for ________.”

Even if we never feel particularly motivated by a task, we can find a reason to move forward by looking beyond the task to the results.

The second step for success involves coming up with a strategy for getting tasks done when you have a low to non-existent emotional drive. Depending on the task and your work style, one or more of these strategies may help. You can consider these methods as tools in your toolbox when you’ve come up with a reason to take action on a task but still feel uncertain on how to complete it.

You and Your Team Series

Getting More Work Done

  • How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward
How to Boost Your Team’s Productivity
  • Rebecca Knight
9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity
  • Ron Friedman
How to Beat Procrastination
  • Caroline Webb

One set of action-taking methods includes involving other people in the process. This positive social pressure can provide the impetus to get something done. This could look like delegating part of the task, teaming up with someone else to complete the activity together, getting accountability, or simply being present with other people who are also working. In regard to the last point, for some of my time management coaching clients, this can look like sitting in a library where other people are also getting work done, or even having a virtual session where they work on a task while someone they know is on the other side of Skype also cranking away.

Another set of action-taking methods revolves around how you structure your approach to the work. These types of strategies, each illustrated with an example, can help you to gain momentum when you have low drive to move forward:

  • Put a low-frequency activity ahead of a high-frequency activity. For example, I can’t open my email until I’ve filed my expense report.
  • Give yourself a standard time. Every Friday from 2-3 pm, I have time blocked in my calendar for weekly planning, and I honor that time as sacred for that activity.
  • Limit the time commitment. I need to work for 10 minutes a day on this task and then I can stop if I want to do so.
  • Set the bar low. I just need to take one action step a week on this activity.
  • Get ‘er done. I want to get this entirely off my plate so I’m setting aside a whole day to complete the task.

A third set of action-taking methods involves pairing unpleasurable activities with pleasurable ones to boost your overall mood. This could involve giving yourself permission to do a more difficult task, like writing or putting together a presentation, in a location you really like, such as a cozy coffee shop or even a park if the weather’s nice. You can also try layering tasks, such as listening to music or a podcast while organizing your office. Even getting a little physical activity in during the process can help. I may have been known to practice speeches while going on walks. I probably look a little funny, but I get two activities done at once.

When you employ one or more of these strategies, you may not make speedy progress or perfect progress. But you can move tasks forward, slowly but surely, and get the things done that you don’t naturally want to do.

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Most people who have a full-time office job dream about the possibility of working from home or working remotely. And with the latest worldwide changes regarding health, most people are advised to stay at home. And so, more and more companies have introduced the possibility of teleworking, where employees are encouraged to work from home.

But even though these measures were long-waited by most employees, they come with hardships and challenges. Working from home is nice because you don’t have to commute anymore and you can sleep a bit longer. You work from the comfort of your own house and you organize your time however you want, because working from home comes with greater flexibility.

Teleworking also comes with challenges, though, and one of them is to maintain a high level of motivation, especially because your work setting has changed drastically. How can you do this? Firstly, make sure you organize your space at home for maximum productivity. Furthermore, here are some remote working motivation tricks that worked for me and might work for you, too 😉

A Fixed Schedule

You’re a remote worker now 🧑‍💻 The thought that you’re working from home makes you more relaxed. And this relaxation is associated with a longer time spent in bed in the morning.

Isn’t it great that you don’t have to get ready and rush to work?

It’s important to keep in mind that you are already used to a schedule and you should respect it even though you’re working from home. This allows you to be more productive and improve your concentration power. A great way to boost your motivation when working from home is to stick to your old schedule. Wake up at the same hour, take a shower and have breakfast 🍳

Prepare for the day as you would if you were going to work. Avoid delaying the start of your workday because you will be so relaxed and comfy that you will not feel like working.

If you spend more time in bed and let yourself be distracted, your motivation and productivity levels will slowly decrease and working will be a chore.

Change Your Clothes

To maintain your productivity and motivation levels at least as high as at the office, you need to recreate the office conditions at your home. Of course, you will feel more comfy and cozy working from your own place, but some details need to be kept —and changing your clothes is one of them.

Most people who are working from home spend their morning scrolling their social media feed while lounging in bed. Then, they start working in their pajamas and then they expect to be able to focus and be motivated to finish the day’s tasks.

But this is one of the worst things you could do! Our brains make a lot of associations between our activities. And your brain will associate pajamas with sleeping because you wear them when you go to sleep. And like this, you will probably experience a strong desire to go to sleep rather than to focus on work. This is why you need to avoid working in your pajamas. You can still choose comfy clothes, but not those that are used when sleeping.

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Organize Your Working Space

If you have just started to work from home, you might think that your motivation level is high, no matter where you are working from: your bed, a couch, a chair or a bean bag. Well, yes and no.

While some of these objects offer us the coziness we need, they are not always to our advantage. Keep in mind that while working from home you must maximize your motivation and productivity levels. You should not focus solely on how to stay comfortable.

So, the best thing you can do to boost and keep your motivation is to choose and organize a dedicated working space in your home. Choose a place or a corner that you don’t use so much and work from there.

Install your gear there and add different elements that would motivate you to stay focused on your tasks. Maybe you have some quotes that help you stay motivated, a calendar and sticky notes.

If you have the possibility of working outside, you should know that this is encouraged by mental health professionals. You have the opportunity to spend time outside of a building, and you should take advantage of these moments.

Working in the midst of nature makes you more relaxed, focused and motivated.

Keep Away Distractions

One of the biggest motivation killers is distractions. They exist in all forms and they have the power to catch your attention and maintain it for a while, killing your productivity and motivation to finish work. One of the biggest distractions are our mobile phones and all those push notifications we are receiving every minute.

Workers from NSBroker are mostly working remote, especially nowadays, and they have some advice. Put your phone on silent and away from you рџ“і

Simply seeing that you have some notifications will make you want to check them. Also, make sure that you set some ground rules with your roommates or family. It is important to not disturb you when working and to maintain the silence.

Try to have a to-do list for every day. This will urge you to be stronger when avoiding distractions and to stay motivated to accomplish your tasks.

Conclusion

Working from home is nice, but it comes with challenges you have to face. Set a strict schedule and aim to respect it as if you were going to the office. Organize a working space in a corner of your room and be sure you set some ground rules with your family, friends or roommates.

Wake up early and have your morning routine. Never work in pajamas and keep away distractions. Put your phone in another room on silent and have a to-do list for every day. Keep up the motivation!

About the author

Donna James is a freelance writer, journalist and proofreader from UK. Being interested in everyday development, she writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence everyday.

Motivation is rather elusive, isn’t it? Some days you feel it, and other days you can’t grab a measly corner of it no matter how hard you try. You stare at the computer screen, willing yourself to type, create, develop, and instead you find yourself simply going through the motions, barely caring about the work you’re producing. Needless to say, you’re totally uninspired, and you don’t know how to make yourself feel otherwise.

Quora users have been there, and they have real and practical solutions for digging up that lost motivation and getting a job not just done—but completed with a sense of passion. Read on for seven tips and tricks that’ll get you motivated in no time.

1. Don’t Think About it as Hard Work

There is only one way for me to motivate myself to work hard: I don’t think about it as hard work. I think about it as part of making myself into who I want to be. Once I’ve made the choice to do something, I try not to think so much about how difficult or frustrating or impossible that might be; I just think about how good it must feel to be that, or how proud I might be to have done that. Make hard look easy.

Think about it: If the project you’re faced with isn’t viewed as drudgery, but rather as a piece of the puzzle that’s helping you along your career path, then perhaps the energy required to do it will be easier to come by.

2. Create Small, Bite-Sized Goals

There’s a reason donut holes are so lovable. They’re easy to eat. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a dozen of them. This is how goals should be too. Of course you should have a really big, audacious goal. But make sure you break down that goal into bite-sized, consumable goals. This way you’ll feel like you’re making progress in your journey and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete the smaller goals. A feeling of progress and achievement is a beautiful combination.

You’ve no doubt heard this advice before, but have you applied it to motivation? Completing a large project is daunting when you don’t know where to begin. How can you finish if you don’t even know where you’re starting? So, rather than focusing on a large, scary goal, take one thing at a time, and break the big goal into ideas you can digest one at a time.

3. Read Daily

Make sure you carve out time in your day to read. (I recommend the early mornings before everyone is awake.) Read for at least one hour a day. If that’s too much, start with 20 minutes [a day] and do it for one month (habit). Develop a belief that reading is the quickest way to success. It will make reading a breeze, and extremely fun/rewarding (if you’re driven by success). The most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading a lot of books (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk).

Although it may sound counter-productive to set aside reading time when really what you’re looking for is motivation to work hard, sometimes it’s necessary to do something seemingly unrelated to tackle the task at hand. Developing a daily reading habit is one thing that’s likely to have a long-lasting impact on your thought processes, ultimately inspiring you in all areas of your life.

4. Stop Caring About the Things That Don’t Matter

Doing things that don’t mean anything costs [us] a ton of mental energy. Look at your aggregated to-do list, find things you know that you don’t care about, and get rid of as many of these activities as possible. You will stay more consistently motivated if you’re working on activities that are inherently meaningful or are part of a larger mission.

Look very carefully and closely at your list, and shave off anything that’s both truly demotivating and unnecessary for you to do. It’s not always best to finish what you started if, down the line, you can’t even remember the reason you started something in the first place.

5. Set a Quit Time

Entrepreneurs tend to stray from the typical 8 to 5 workday, and global accessibility through emails and Skype makes it more than easy to have a 24-hour workday. But it’s important to recognize when enough is enough. Set a realistic quitting time for yourself, and stick to it most days of the week. Stop answering emails after 8 PM, or take Sundays off. You’ll feel more refreshed and more productive when you allow yourself some down time.

Raise your hand if you’re motivated 24/7! I didn’t think I’d see any hands. It’s unrealistic to feel energized all the time, to want to plow through tasks all the time. You need to give yourself a rest, and if that means giving yourself a specified set time to unplug or turn away from the demands of your job, then do it. It’s likely to help you perform harder and smarter in the hours that you do allot for work.

6. Just Do It

To get motivated to start doing something, from my own experience, the most effective trick for me is to just do it (sounds trite, but it works). As soon as you think something needs to be done, jump into it, doing it immediately (of course, provided the conditions are feasible). You must not think about anything else, suppressing all other thoughts, keeping your mind blank, acting like a robot. Yes, it sounds weird, but it does work! Otherwise, you will debate whether you should do it now or there were too many issues with doing it, or there are other more pleasurable and exciting things to do over this boring task.

Now here’s some worthwhile advice: Instead of waiting around, willing yourself to feel motivated, what if you just went ahead and started doing the work you know you need to do? Dive into the project and trust that the focus will be what you need.

7. Celebrate Wins

Start acknowledging all the good you are doing. Don’t discount the little things. I mean, how many times do you scold yourself for doing something small that wasn’t perfect? How often do you think the good things such as being on time, or signing a new client is simply how it’s meant to be? They need celebrating. You need more wins in your life. This will motivate you, encourage you, and help you see how brilliant you truly are.

If you’re constantly waiting for a long-term payoff, you forget how crucial all the little wins are. And it can be challenging to stay motivated and on top of things if there’s no reward in sight. Treat yourself with small things and don’t underestimate how gratifying it can feel to recognize tiny advancements.

What other motivation tips work for you? Let me know on Twitter!

How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward

Focus on the task, not how you feel about it.

No matter how generally motivated you are, all of us have some tasks that we don’t want to do. Maybe we find them boring, pointless, draining, time consuming, annoying, or anxiety producing. So how do you get motivated in these types of situations? The first step is to recognize that getting motivated doesn’t mean that you have to experience a particular feeling. You can decide to do something without ever getting excited about it by finding a personally meaningful reason to do it. Next, you have to come up with a strategy. Try involving other people; positive social pressure can provide the impetus to get something done. It’s also helpful to pair unpleasurable activities with pleasurable ones to increase your overall mood.

Focus on the task, not how you feel about it.

No matter how generally motivated you are, all of us have some tasks that we don’t want to do. Maybe we find them boring, pointless, draining, time consuming, annoying, or anxiety producing. So how do you get moving in these types of situations?

The first step is to recognize that getting motivated doesn’t mean that you have to experience a particular feeling, like excitement or anticipation. Instead, motivation is simply one or more reasons you have for acting in a certain way. You can decide to do something without ever getting excited about it by finding a personally meaningful why.

For example, you could choose to do something because it will:

  • Lower your anxiety.
  • Benefit someone who you care about.
  • Lead to financial gain.
  • Avoid a negative consequence.
  • Make you feel good about yourself.
  • Clear your mind.
  • Align with your values.
  • Reduce stress.

These reasons might sound something like this in your day-to-day life:

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I do ________, then I will see a significant financial payoff both now and in the future and will feel good about my choices.”

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I get ________ done, then it will make my boss happy and lower my anxiety every time I have a one-on-one meeting.”

“I don’t want to do _______. But if I make progress on ________, then I will have so much less stress next week and be prepared for ________.”

Even if we never feel particularly motivated by a task, we can find a reason to move forward by looking beyond the task to the results.

The second step for success involves coming up with a strategy for getting tasks done when you have a low to non-existent emotional drive. Depending on the task and your work style, one or more of these strategies may help. You can consider these methods as tools in your toolbox when you’ve come up with a reason to take action on a task but still feel uncertain on how to complete it.

You and Your Team Series

Getting More Work Done

  • How to get motivation boost when you're not moving forward
How to Boost Your Team’s Productivity
  • Rebecca Knight
9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity
  • Ron Friedman
How to Beat Procrastination
  • Caroline Webb

One set of action-taking methods includes involving other people in the process. This positive social pressure can provide the impetus to get something done. This could look like delegating part of the task, teaming up with someone else to complete the activity together, getting accountability, or simply being present with other people who are also working. In regard to the last point, for some of my time management coaching clients, this can look like sitting in a library where other people are also getting work done, or even having a virtual session where they work on a task while someone they know is on the other side of Skype also cranking away.

Another set of action-taking methods revolves around how you structure your approach to the work. These types of strategies, each illustrated with an example, can help you to gain momentum when you have low drive to move forward:

  • Put a low-frequency activity ahead of a high-frequency activity. For example, I can’t open my email until I’ve filed my expense report.
  • Give yourself a standard time. Every Friday from 2-3 pm, I have time blocked in my calendar for weekly planning, and I honor that time as sacred for that activity.
  • Limit the time commitment. I need to work for 10 minutes a day on this task and then I can stop if I want to do so.
  • Set the bar low. I just need to take one action step a week on this activity.
  • Get ‘er done. I want to get this entirely off my plate so I’m setting aside a whole day to complete the task.

A third set of action-taking methods involves pairing unpleasurable activities with pleasurable ones to boost your overall mood. This could involve giving yourself permission to do a more difficult task, like writing or putting together a presentation, in a location you really like, such as a cozy coffee shop or even a park if the weather’s nice. You can also try layering tasks, such as listening to music or a podcast while organizing your office. Even getting a little physical activity in during the process can help. I may have been known to practice speeches while going on walks. I probably look a little funny, but I get two activities done at once.

When you employ one or more of these strategies, you may not make speedy progress or perfect progress. But you can move tasks forward, slowly but surely, and get the things done that you don’t naturally want to do.