Let Me Motivate You!

Posted on November 30, 2011

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This beast lives in our valley's of demotivation

I’ve recently rolled down my metaphorical hill of motivation. It wasn’t fun and I’d go as far in saying, that I’d prefer to roll down a real hill. I know that there are times when I’m so motivated to get something done or achieve an end that things like health, hygiene, my flailing grandmother’s request for help up the stairs, will go completely ignored. However, there are other moments where the valley of motivation is so deep that the mythical Nordic sea monster, Kraken, would feel at home. It is a mountainous struggle to get out of the hole but its something that needs to be done. As much as this is for my numerous followers (!), its also a personal reminder of how to climb out.

In the case where the motivation dive is due to an excess of work, then the trick I find, is just to get going. Set yourself small bite size chunks of work that contribute to the achieving the mountain sized task. Give yourself a to do list and write down 3 or 4 small, achievable and relatively quick tasks to get going. Cross them off as you go. Once you’ve done that, rinse and repeat. (scrap the rinsing, I forget this isn’t shampoo instructions). See my post on productivity for more tips on getting that task list done. The goal here is to erode that over stressed and demotivated feeling as you’re crossing off those items and with enough cycles of that, the task should at least feel more achievable.

A plummet of motivation can often occur as an indirect consequence. For example, my motivation of wanting to climb mount everest subsided as a result of my dear beloved pet mouse, ChiChi passing (Ok, this is a lie but demonstrates a point). Or a more realistic example is a person’s motivation to stay on their weight loss plan because they’ve just had a bad appraisal at work. Its a no brainer, sort out the issue that’s taking your attention or at least make the first actionable steps in dealing with it. In the case of a bad appraisal, ensure the feedback is justified and if not, address it appropriately.

I often get demotivated because I set my goals too high and when I come to measure my performance, I miss by a long shot. Its not like I set myself goals to build Italian cities in an afternoon, but I set them big enough for my expectations to inevitably fall flat on its face. The solution to this is another no brainer. Set achievable goals and if you miss those targets, change what you’re doing and try again.

Just from my experience, getting back on the motivation moped boils down to taking action against it. Whether its a cheap lil trick like giving yourself a cookie for taking a positive step (canine aimed incentives work easily on me) or something deeper like shifting ingrained perceptions, the key thing is to do something about it.

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Posted in: Focus, Productivity