It gets worse when you have a truckload of files to clear off your table, a report you need to forward that is almost past the deadline, or even a client you need to attend to immediately. With all these staring you in the face, you don’t feel like “it” at all. You aren’t motivated to do anything productive, and you wish someone would help you clear the tasks facing you.
We’ve all felt like that at one time or the other. It isn’t abnormal or out of place to feel unmotivated. If anything, it makes you more human than a robot.
But, if you’re looking at how to be motivated and productive, you’ve got to read this post. This is not to stamp the steel to your temple, but you’ll be glad you did.
Here are 10 tips for staying motivated to keep yourself productive.
1. Make a List of What You Want to Do
Do you know the biggest reason why we lose motivation to do stuff? Overwhelm! I’m sure you’d agree with me on this.
When we have so much to do, and we get so confused about where to start, we get overwhelmed by the volume of tasks. I struggled with this during my early working days.
I remember when I used to get to the office, and I’ll leave it as soon as I came in to spend a couple of hours in the coffee room. A few of my colleagues thought I liked to take an early coffee break before I got to work. The truth was, I always got overwhelmed when I imagined all that I was to do each day.
When I decided to put all my tasks into a list, it helped me get a singular perspective of things. I see them as a single task that I need to take in chunks. I saw how simple they were and how easy I could achieve them.
With time, I noticed that I was always eager to get to the office every day. My motivation to do stuff shot to the roof. The result was a spike in my productivity.
You should try this if you have many things you need to do within a timeframe.
2. Celebrate Little Achievements
We’ve been programmed to throw a big party when we close a huge deal, sign a multiple figures contract, or gain promotion on the job. These feats call for massive celebrations, and you should throw a party if you want to.
But, there are little things you do that deserve a pat on the back. You don’t necessarily have to get it from others. You can be your encouragement and motivation.
For instance, you lose your motivation because of the scattered books on the shelf. As a result, you find it difficult to read the library of books you have there.
If you’re able to come out of your overwhelm and arrange the book on the shelf, you need to appreciate that little effort you put in. It may not mean much, but you’ve taken your motivation level some notches higher.
That you were able to arrange the books on the shelf means you can be motivated to start reading the books. You consequently become productive in that sense. It applies to every other area where you need to stay motivated to be productive.
3. Take Breaks In-Between Work
For the records, you are not Clark Kent! You aren’t one alien that fell from out of space with superhuman abilities. Even if you were, you’ve got the limits you can roll at a stretch.
Many people lose motivation to work because they overwork themselves. They get so busy at stuff that it becomes boring. When boredom sets in, motivation evaporates into thin air.
Let’s say you’re a geek that likes coding all through the night. It can be tiring if you don’t take time to stretch out and ease off. You can’t sit by your computer all day and night running codes.
If you don’t take a break, you’ll break down eventually. It’s not a motivational quote; it’s a reality that you need to take seriously. A study shows that people who structure their workday and take breaks are far more productive than those who don’t.
I’m sure you get the drill. Structuring your day gives you the motivation to become productive at work.
4. Avoid Addictive Time-Wasting Habits
I love to play Scrabble, and I could stay up all night playing it, even if I have to play it on my phone. I’m sure you have an activity that keeps you distracted from the productive stuff you need to do. If it becomes addictive, then you may never be motivated to do anything productive.
Nothing sucks up time these days like social media, texting and smartphone games. It can be very addictive and overwhelming. It takes your focus away from the things you need to do at the time you need to do them.
You need to take a break from mental work by doing some fun stuff. However, it becomes unproductive when you get carried away.
Identify those addictive habits that do not help you to be motivated and stay away from them. Your productivity depends on it.
5. Adopt the Early Bird Strategy
You must know when your peak productive hours are because that’s when you’re most motivated to do anything productive. However, getting on with tasks first thing in the morning has a way of keeping you motivated throughout the day.
Mornings come with new strength, vigor, and morale. Your body has regained all the lost energy from the previous day’s work. You’re all fired up to get the ball rolling to make tangible progress in the stuff you have to do.
One of the things I’ve found that I could do first thing in the morning is to go for a run. It helps me clear my head and fires up my motivation for the day’s tasks.
As I said earlier, you
need to know the routine that works for you and makes you more productive. For
me, it’s getting on with my tasks first thing in the morning.
6. Start With the Tough Stuff
I’m going to paint a scenario I feel you’d relate to quickly.
If you have to do some grocery shopping and tend to the garden, which would you like to do first?
Whichever one you choose to do first is fine. However, you have to consider the one that’d take more from you. That’s the one to do first.
If I’m faced with these two tasks, I will start with grocery shopping. I’ll tell you why.
Grocery shopping takes me further out of the house than I would go tending the garden in my backyard. I would do the shopping, come back, rest awhile, and have enough motivation to tend the garden.
On the flip side, if I tend the garden first, I might be too tired and less motivated to leave the house for grocery shopping.
The bottom line is this: do the tough stuff when you’re fresh with the strength of the morning. Other less tedious things can come after.
7. Always Take Your Breakfast
Sounds hilarious, right?
Have you ever imagined what would happen if you don’t warm your car engine up before getting it out on the road? That’s a setup for a day riddled with disaster.
Breakfast is like the morning fuel that fires you up to get to work – it gives you the energy to tackle your daily activities. I feel awkward any day I miss taking my breakfast.
I know you have a lot you want to strike out from your to-do list. However, you need to get started on the right note. What is a better way to start your day than a good breakfast?
It is not to say you get yourself too loaded with breakfast to do anything. A rule of thumb is to eat enough breakfast to carry you till afternoon and not so much that your body shuts down.
8. Water is a Lifesaver
A cup of water is essential to keep the juices flowing. It lubricates your tracts and body – and dare I say, your brain. That’s right.
You don’t want to get so deep in work, and the next thing you feel is dehydration. It can mess up your motivation and sap you of the zeal you need to get some more job done.
You don’t have to drown yourself with water. Only take enough to keep you hydrated and motivated.
9. Never Rely on Caffeine
Everyone and their mother like a great shot of coffee to get the juices flowing in the morning. It’ll be evil of me to tell you to break a relationship you’ve had all your working life. However, you need to watch the intake.
I don’t know about you, I’ve had my day messed up as a result of taking coffee more than necessary. I’ve also heard a couple of my folks share their not-so-good experience with coffee.
If you want to stay motivated and be productive, you’ve got to watch the coffee intake.
10. Take a Nap, If You Feel Like It
One of the things I’ve learned not to do is fight with my body chemistry. Our body is like a computer program. Sometimes, it begs for rest, and you have to grant the request.
A beautiful snap after working a while gets your motivation back up. It gives you added strength to become productive for the remainder of the day. Never underestimate the power of a little nap.
Everyone loses motivation now and then. However, we can’t let it stop us from getting stuff done. With the tips I’ve shared, you’re sure to stay motivated and productive.