However, studies show that while external rewards have their place, we usually value our internal drivers more, so we’ve developed a few hacks below to help you draw on your inner motivation – but don’t forget to build in a few small external rewards to your daily routine too, to keep you focused and enable you to reach your true potential.
Keep your eye on the bigger pictureRather than think about the task in hand, concentrate on the ways in which completing that task will take your closer to achieving your goals or realising your dreams. The secret to staying motivated is to link what you are doing back to your real value drivers. Always take the time to remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing.
Set an achievable to-do listNothing is more off-putting than a huge list of tasks and not enough time to complete them. By setting an achievable to-do list and managing people’s expectations about what you can do and by when, you can keep motivated enough to complete the things that need to be done. Unrealistic expectations – set by yourself, or by others – are the main reason for failure. Be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success.
Visualise what you’ll feel like when you’ve done itYou’ll feel great, right? Like a weight has been lifted and this will leave you feeling more positive and motivated than before. Visualisation is a tried and tested practice that helps us rewire our thinking. Our brain can be tricked into thinking we’ve done things which makes it easier for us to complete the tasks we been putting off. When we think about the positive feelings we’ll have when we’ve completed a task we will be more willing to actually do them. Think successful to be successful.
Just do it – in small bursts if needs beThere is nothing more motivating than being fully present and totally focused on one task at a time – and having a tight timescale in which to complete the task you’ve been set can really focus the mind. Have you ever been amazed at how much shopping you can fit in your basket when they announce the shop will close in ten minutes? Or how many emails you can get through when you have a meeting to get to shortly? Start putting a timescale against tasks for completion to keep the motivation turned up and the procrastination dialled down to a low. Don’t go over the time you have set yourself and if you haven’t finished what you set out to do, simply schedule in another session later in the day/week. See how much more productive you are.
Reward your own productivity to keep the motivation juices flowingHaving something to look forward to is a great motivator. Make a deal with yourself – if you can do what you need to accomplish in the morning you’ll take a lunchtime walk in the sunshine to clear your head; if you get through the afternoon’s tasks you’ll take a long bath and set some time aside to make a start on that new book.
There are some great articles about both internal and external motivators, like the ones below. Just remember to do whatever works best for you – not for others.