Sometimes you need to get started on a project right away. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating for days or even weeks, and now you’re down to the wire on an unforgiving deadline. The threat of not completing the job on time should be enough to motivate you to get moving, right? Wrong. Often, even knowing the consequences that exist for not completing a task aren’t enough to push us forward. Fortunately, there are some tangible steps you can take in order to give yourself a boost when your usual routine isn’t working.
In this post, I will show you some of the best ways to improve your motivation fast. Adding even a few of these to your bag of tricks may help you to overcome that slump when you need a motivational jumpstart.
5Ways to Improve Your Motivation Fast
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One way to convince your brain that an activity is worth starting is to look ahead to the end result. Think about the money you’ll make a from a freelance gig, the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get from completing your portion of the monthly report at work or the freedom to begin your two-week semester break when your last paper is submitted.
No matter what the project, visualizing the result of your efforts can improve your focus and motivation. Then consider adding an actual visual such as a photo, magazine clipping or go all out and create a vision board to motivate you.
If you’re feeling sleepy or even restless, focusing on that pressing task will be pretty much impossible. A solution can be to move your body.
Exercise has been shown to increase mental clarity and decrease stress, just the combination for working on a complex project with a looming deadline. Taking a brisk walk or heading to the gym for a quick workout or run on your lunch hour can be just enough of a jolt to get you in prime thinking mode.
Be careful not to overdo it or you’ll be too exhausted to do much of anything.
Get Some Rest
Rest or a quick nap can clear your head and restore your thinking. If you find yourself with brain fog or cloudy thoughts, a short nap might be a better option than exercise.
Put your head down on your desk or stretch out on the sofa for 10 or 20 minutes. When you wake up from this power nap, you should feel rejuvenated and ready to work.
Listen to Music
Upbeat tunes might be a solution that leads you to start tapping your toes and feeling more alert. If you are able to work with background noise, keep the music going. I actually find I can focus more with music as my motivation.
But if you are distracted easily try changing to a mellower playlist or instrumental songs which might be a better option than fast beats. If you require silence in order to concentrate, put on just a few of your favorites to shift your mood, to get you into the right mindset to get to work.
A method that is often successful in tricking the mind to move on a task is to start with a small portion of the whole. Using the above example of the monthly report, you might begin by gathering your data and other supplies necessary for completing the job. This small action can put you in the right mindset to keep working on the rest. Getting started truly is half the battle.
These suggestions can, and should, be tailored to fit your personality, preferences, and lifestyle. Experiment a bit. Use the ones that work for you, and throw out the rest. You’ll likely be surprised by the significant effect a simple action can have on your productivity.
What are the ways you get yourself motivated? I personally use music and find it gets me in the right mood to tackle work. I would love to hear your suggestions for other ways to motivate yourself in the comments below.