Staying motivated and focused might feel like a daily battle. We have so many things and people in our lives that create distractions and drama. They move us farther away from what we want to accomplish and the life we desire to lead. Then add obstacles we create for ourselves and our mindset that make it even harder to stay motivated. Here are seven actions you may consider taking if you're finding it hard to stay motivated. Take a few minutes to look over them and then find at least 10 minutes to implement one suggestion to turn the day around.
1. Turn OFF the TV
You can turn off your TV in seconds. It’s the time you take to decide to do it that may take the remainder of the 10 minutes. As someone who frequently works from home, I have found that having the TV on will naturally make me less productive, but it also demotivates me in another way based on what is playing. News in general can be depressive and demotivate me. I’ve recently taken a break from starting my day with a news program – I’m in the fourth week of not turning on my TV in the morning and have passed on watching news in the evening most days, as well. Before those of you who drink news programs in (as if they are as important as your recommended daily water intake) find this decision irresponsible, let me confirm that I still get news alerts on my phone so I don’t miss anything important and receive emails summarizing the day’s highlights if I want to know more. The key is that I have improved how I start my day and now decide how much and when I take in the news. The decision to Turn OFF or rather Not Turn On the TV has helped my motivation.
2. Laugh on Purpose
Have you ever tried to laugh on purpose? If you haven’t, I recommend you do. If you need something to stimulate laughing you could probably find something on YouTube within minutes that would provide the desired response – if you choose this option, you may have to find your willpower to get back on task. I suggest that you simply force the laugh on purpose. Finding a way to laugh spontaneously will promote several positive physical responses. According to the Mayo Clinic laughter can increase endorphins, relaxes you and reduces stress. As a result of these physical responses you will be more excited about what the day holds for you.
3. Dance Around the Room to YOUR Personal Theme Song
You may laugh at the mental image of this, but I promise it works. Music in general can get you motivated and give you the energy to face a challenge. What I encourage you to do is take it one step farther by finding your personal theme song. When a song that speaks to your heart is playing you do more than just enjoy it – you have an emotional response. Figure out what that song is and go for it. Dance, Dance, Dance or Boogie, Oogie, Oogie whatever works for YOU!
4. List the Reasons Why
Do you know what you’re working for? Do you know Why? Set a timer for 10 minutes and list out your personal reasons why you want to achieve a certain goal or a dream. Don’t be tempted to stop before the timer goes off, keep going. What you will find is that each reason gets deeper and deeper until you get to Your Real Why. The result is that you have made a deep enough connection with Your Why that it motivates you into action.
5. Listen to a Guilty Pleasure
What can you listen to that will stop the list of things you need to do from swirling around in your head? I make sure that my time in a car is “productive”, but so many times I don’t give myself the break that I need from the constant quest of self-development. Replacing the self-improvement book with a mystery or even a biography creates a shift. I’m no longer thinking about myself and what I need to do. Sometimes that’s all we need. If you do the same, you might even find a needed laugh. The bonus is that when you spend time listening to something different you open your mind to not only receive that new information, but it also makes room for you to receive a creative prompt that produces a big idea. Don’t feel guilty! What you get in a few minutes might just help you move farther faster.
6. Take 10 & Pick YOUR Priorities
Most of us have that “to do” list in front of us and it can be long and overwhelming and really, really demotivating. If we take just a few minutes to whittle it down to the top 1 to 3 things we can regain our focus. To do the “whittling” I ask myself what the time priority is and what will move me forward the most. The items that are both important and need to be accomplished as a priority present the clear focus for the day. I like to transfer just those few things to a sticky note. By knowing that I can find enough time to accomplish those few things I am motivated to get going after it. Then I get the personal joy and satisfaction of checking those off. If I choose to keep it, the sticky note can be easily placed in my “old school” planner.
7. Help Someone
Another way to create a bit of a mindset shift is to find a way to help another in need. This could be an action you take to help someone solve a problem or it could be short note of encouragement. What I have found is that when I help someone, I get a renewed sense of the value I have to offer. The moment I see or feel that my efforts are helping someone I get back into the zone of my purpose. Feeling a little sluggish after lunch? Walk around the office and find a way to help someone. The feeling that you did good will carry you through the afternoon all the way until you are singing your theme song on the way home.
I would love to know your thoughts on my 7 suggestions. Do you have something you do that never fails to quickly motivate you back into action? Please share as a comment. The day will come when we need a little motivation. Having a list of what works handy could make all the difference as to whether this day becomes a masterpiece or not.