In a time where Instagram has become the most used app, where people are constantly bragging about their achievements and are only interested in telling the world how successful they are in life, others getting demotivated is a common sight. Motivation is a very important element to achieve anything in life and be happy generally, let’s discuss some ways in which you can always be motivated and avoid all the negativity from your life.
1. Make sure your morning goes well and the rest of the day will follow
It is most definitely true that the way you spend your morning dictates the tone of your day. Hence, it is very important to spend it well. And no by this I don’t mean wake up at 4 am and run a marathon. However, it is important to have some sort of routine to your morning. If you spend your morning feeling motivated, it is pretty hard to fall under the demotivation radar again in the day. Now how do you make sure that happens? Here are a few things you can do in your morning routine:
- Wake up early: Now I understand considering the genre of this blog, most of you here are pretty much night owls. So if you sleep by four in the morning, one can’t possibly expect you to wake up by six. But choose a time that fits your routine, 6 am is a good time to wake up if you are not a night owl. But please make sure that you are at least waking up in the morning and not in the noon. Even for the night owls, waking up at 8 am seems fair. If you are waking up beyond 12 pm, half the day has already gone by, and motivation has left the house for a better purpose. Also, when you wake up, do some light stretching in bed. With time, technologies have also progressed and this led to the discovery of sleep phase alarm clocks which is the new generation of alarm clocks, designed to continuously monitor the sleep period of its owner.
- Take a shower: If your reaction to this point is ‘Are you kidding?’ or ‘Isn’t that obvious? We are not babies’ then congrats, you are still living a pretty sorted life, but there are still people out there to whom taking a shower first thing after waking up is not that obvious. Your body is made up of 60% water, so when water comes in contact with your skin, there is a certain chemical reaction that happens which leaves you feeling fresh and at peace. It’s like a refresh button for your system, so do it.
- Drink water and have a heavy breakfast: If you are a fellow programmer, it is important to know that even though you make virtual machines, you are not one of them. Your body needs some taking care of. Under the pressures of deadlines, or the excitement of completing a project, don’t simply wake up and open your laptop to start working. It is important to hydrate yourself after waking up. And also refill your system with some nutritious food. Don’t settle for Maggi and chai. Get some protein via oats, eggs or muesli.
- Plan your day: When you make a plan for anything at all, your mind surges with some amount of motivation already. So after you take a shower, stretch and eat, pick up a book or your journal and make a rough plan noting the things you wish to achieve for the day. We will discuss this topic in detail in the next point.
2. Make To-Do lists the right way
Making to-do lists are a common productivity habit of successful people. But a lot of people are used to putting too much on their plate while making a to-do list and then getting overwhelmed and losing all the motivation. Tony Robbins the master motivator says “A major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do. If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed.” Here’s how to make a To-do list in a way that motivates you even more to finish those tasks.
- Start by writing the three most important tasks for the day. And then write the other tasks that you want to complete.
- Now, take each one of these major tasks and break them down into smaller steps with checkboxes.
The idea is to finish the most important task in the first half of your day itself, this will provide a big push, to finish the rest of the tasks. The break down of one major task into multiple small tasks will help you to again give you a feeling of accomplishment every time you complete a task which will, in turn, motivate you to go further ahead. Planning your day always helps to get a clearer picture of how you would want to spend your day. And with a plan in hand, you are more likely to achieve it. You can also check different online apps which can help you with planning your tasks.
3. Be conscious of who you choose to surround yourself with
They say you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. This is very true, likewise, your motivation is also affected by the people around you in good or bad ways. Have you noticed, nobody liked to be around people who always complain, or are always lazy. It is a contagious feeling. When you are surrounded by ambitious positive people, you are filled with a surge of motivation too, while if you are surrounded by nagging, demotivated people, you will start to feel the same too. So two things:
- Surround yourself with motivated people, to get even more determined.
- Make sure you put your hundred percent in being in your best energy while interacting with people and always try to motivate others.
In fact, when you find motivated, determined and positive people, make ways to spend more time with them, schedule a study date where you all can meet and study together, or work on a project together, etc.
4. Make a vision board
A vision board is a great tool to use as an instant motivation booster. If you’re not aware of the term then it is basically a board filled with the representation of your dreams and aspirations. To make one, you need to ask yourself what are your ultimate goals in all sectors like work, health, career, hobby, fitness, etc. And then find pictures which represent it on the internet or cut out pictures from magazines. You can also add some quotes that you absolutely live by. The Vision Board is a product of the ‘Law of Attraction’ which states that we attract whatever we put our mind to focus on. Basically, your thoughts become things. Similarly, if you constantly keep these images of your goals in front of you and you visualize it enough with a proper action plan, you will achieve those dreams. Whenever you are feeling down and out, you can just look at your Vision Board and realize what you’re made for.
5. Celebrate small achievements
It is very important to reward yourselves whenever you get a win, no matter how small. Completed a sub-task? Do something that makes you happy and reward yourself. It will motivate you even further on to give in your best without lethargy getting the best of you. There are many psychology-based theories out there to prove the same, like the Operant Conditioning theory by BF Skinner which says that human behavior is motivated by its consequences. According to this principle, behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated. Another theory that supports this is the Incentive Theory of Motivation. This theory states that people are pulled toward behaviors that lead to rewards and pushed away from actions that might lead to negative consequences. So celebrate your small achievements, let your conscious know that you did something great. It will push you to do more of it and double your motivation at the same time.
6. Get on some productivity apps
To cut out all distractions is a great idea when you’re trying to be motivated. But you can also be on your phones and laptops for the right reasons. There are a lot of apps out there which can help you not just to get motivated but also increase your productivity. These apps are like some extra motivation gears for your productivity cycle. I shall list a few examples here:
- Google Keep: It’s like online sticky notes, but way more organized. It really supports the ‘Making To-do lists’ point from above. You can write paragraphs, you can create checklists and also add sub-tasks, you can color coordinate them. Plus, it’s free. If you’re not using it already, do it.
- Mind Meister: You know when you have a brilliant idea, but you don’t know where to start from. This app will help you create mind maps for your projects, you will be able to jot down ideas, organise them, and turn them into a plan.
- Your Hour: This is an android app which helps you keep a track of your social media usage, gives you reports on how many times you unlocked your phone in a day, which app you spent the most time on, etc. You can also allow the app to lock certain apps if you exceed the time that you said you will use it for. It is a great app to be more aware of your social media usage and avoiding distractions.
- Curiosity: Another app in the play store which has a plethora of good articles about topics that interest you. Instead of watching videos, this is a good alternative to fill your brain with some knowledge.
- Google Calendar: The most simple and efficient time management app there is. This will help you add two do lists, plan your day, set timers for your tasks, etc. It is the most underrated tool out there, once you figure out how to use it, it becomes very efficient.
7. Sometimes it’s important to step out of your routine
Of course, organizing your time, limiting distractions and having a set routine is all important. But sometimes, the cause for losing motivation in the first place is also, doing the same routine for ages. Sometimes, it is important to switch things up a bit. If you are used to working late at night, try working in the morning for a change. If you go to the gym as a part of your exercise routine, maybe go for a swim or a run some days. If you work in your room most of the time, go to some nice cafe and try working there. A refreshing change in the routine can act as an important step to regain your motivation.
8. Move and be conscious of what you’re eating
Health and fitness are the key factors which determine your motivation productivity levels. So whenever you are feeling low in energy or demotivated, those places are the first things you check for. No matter what occupation you have exercising preferably every day and eating healthy is very important. You don’t have to spend two hours in the gym every day, it can be as small as taking a brisk evening walk or going for a swim. But moving your body is important to get those endorphins flowing in your body which also handle the motivation department. Currently, there are also several fitness mobile applications which you can use for motivation and tracking your fitness level.
Eating right is also key to keep your mood happy and your motivation soaring. Eating healthy food is not rocket science, all you have to do is make sure whatever you eat is the closest to its original form, not too fried, not processed, not too old, etc. Avoid eating junk food and also too much sugar in your diet, it slows you down in the longer run. Too much of everything is harmful, so if you are currently co-dependant on caffeine, avoid it. Meanwhile, you can also read the tips for Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance in today’s fast-paced world.
9. Create weekly block scheduling
This is a weekly plan that you can create to boost your productivity. When we live every moment as it comes, days go by very quickly. But when you design a plan for all your goals, you yourself feel very motivated to stick to the plan and complete all tasks. A daily plan is good too, but a weekly plan gives you a wider overview of your progress and makes you feel motivated to complete a big project by the end of the week. The idea of a block system is to book 2-hour slots once or twice a day on your preferred time and do only a particular task at that time. This will help you prioritize what you want to focus on and because these blocks are spread throughout the week, you feel motivated to keep working on the end goal. You can also work on multiple projects throughout the week with this scheduling system.
10. Always run behind a goal in life
A big reason behind feeling unmotivated and lost can also be living an aimless life. If you are just passing every day for the heck of it with no particular goal in mind then you are bound to feel lost in life. Motivation stems from setting goals and fulfilling milestones. So always have a big goal in life that you are striving to achieve. When you are setting your goals, you need to make them clear and measurable. Then create a master plan with milestones to achieve and start working! This should give you a boost of motivation.
Another effective way to feel motivated is by visualizing your goals. If you want to come first in school, visualize how it would feel like to be on stage in the prize ceremony and to receive that award. Think that you have already won it. Feel how you would feel when you get that award. Based on the law of attraction this is a proven method to get closer to your goals than you already are while also motivating you to work harder.
Also from time to time, revisit the reasons why you want to achieve a certain thing in life. What makes you want it so bad. Doing this again will motivate you towards working harder.
The Do-Nots’ of Staying Motivated
Now that we have discussed all the different ways you can always stay motivated, here are some things you may do to hamper your motivation and put all your efforts to waste.
Do not Procrastinate
It is pretty obvious, right? If you want to stay motivated to do something, you need to not procrastinate. There are ways with which you can avoid procrastination, for eg, the 5-minute rule, which says that if there is a task which you can finish in under 5 minutes then do it right away. This helps you avoid creating a huge backlog in the long run. Or the 15-minute rule, where you need to turn off your phone, cut out all distractions and do something productive continuously for 15 minutes. You will end up feeling motivated and continuing the activity even after the time gets over.
Don’t watch motivation
When you are feeling demotivated, turning to youtube for help can get tempting. And at that time it is very easy to convince yourself that it will help, but trust me, it will move you more towards lethargy. One ted talk or a podcast once in a while is totally fine, but don’t go to it as a solution to your demotivation.
Don’t spend half your energy on planning
Planning definitely boosts you but set your boundaries right. Don’t exhaust all your energy in just that planning, such that you have no energy left to execute the plan.
Having said all this, know that true motivation comes from within. If your goal really drives you, and if you want it enough, you will turn the world upside down to make it happen, without any excuses. Just trust this ability in you and you should be in complete control of your life. Happy Hustling folks!
Lastly, if you are the one who feels distracted from your work or personal life then there are numerous online tutorials which you can take to become more efficient. One such select tutorial is “Modern Productivity – Superhuman Focus In A Distracted World“ which will help you to develop your productivity by teaching the correct way of planning, decision making, execution, balance and so much more.