So, you want to increase your motivation? Let’s face it, we’ve all been there – times when we know we have a ton of things to do, but we just don’t feel like doing them. You know this feeling. You know that in order to reach your goals, to get the results you want, and to live a better life, you need to do it. But somehow, you just can’t seem to bring yourself to get started.
If this is happening to you, well, it’s normal. It’s just human psychology at work.
Remember, the goals and results that you want are in the distant future. However, when it comes to taking action, we’re talking about doing the work right now – the present moment.
This creates a discrepancy in your mind. You know what you want and you know what you need to do, but you just can’t find the motivation and the energy to do it.
So, what should you do then? Should you procrastinate and put things away until when you have the motivation?
It is true that motivation comes and goes, but you don’t have to fully rely on motivation alone. You do something to change your mood, your energy level, and to increase your motivation when you don’t have much.
In other words, you need to learn to be proactive rather than reactive. You don’t want to allow your state and mood to control you, instead, you want to be the one who control your emotion.
Successful people are like you and me. We all have times when we don’t feel like doing anything at all. We just want to do nothing and relax.
But what separates the successful from the unsuccessful people is that successful people choose to take counter measure when they don’t have the motivation. They do something to increase their motivation rather than letting their motivation destroy their productivity.
Hence, when motivation doesn’t come, it’s okay. You just need to do something to make it come. Do something to drive yourself up before your time runs out.
Here are the 15 ways how you can increase your motivation every day for higher performance:
1. Identify one small task and do it now
Not all tasks are created equal. Some tasks require a huge chunk of your time and energy, while other tasks can be quick and easy to complete. So, when you don’t have the motivation, you can always choose to start with the smaller tasks that are easy to complete first.
The point is that you want to put yourself in motion. You want to build up the momentum by taking action, small actions.
When you have gained momentum and the motivation comes, guess what, you can then focus and do the bigger tasks that you put off in the first place.
It happens to me often. When I’m feeling no motivation to write a blog post, I will choose to finish off my other smaller tasks first, such as updating Facebook page or create Pinterest images.
Once I’m in motion, I slowly build up the momentum. And after I finished the smaller tasks, I’m already in the action mood that allows me to get the bigger tasks done.
If the big task is important to you and you need to get it done right away, but you don’t have the motivation to do it, here’s what you can do – break the task down into much smaller pieces.
The key is to put yourself into action immediately to build up the momentum. So, by disintegrating your bigger task into smaller ones, it lowers your resistance to doing them.
That’s how you can manage your work and tasks. In my case, writing a whole article for my blog is a huge task. I usually break it down into a few smaller tasks such as:
- Creating the article idea,
- Drafting the article with subheadings, and
- Writing the content of the article (if it is a long article, I may break this task into 2).
You can always redesign your work in such a way that it increases your motivation so that you don’t have to struggle to find the energy to do it.
2. Move and stretch your body
Do you know that your motion creates your emotion? Your body language says a lot about your energy level. It affects not just the way you are perceived by other people, but also your psychology.
According to this TED Talk in 2012, Amy Cuddy, a professor from Harvard School of Business explained that non-verbal communication or body language is just as important as verbal communication.
When you change your physiology, you will change your mental state. As what Tony Robbins said in one of the articles on his website:
“Great physiology therefore, leads to great emotions, and that is one of the keys to getting unstuck. Foster a positive mental state and get unstuck by changing your physiology! This can be something as simple as standing up straighter and changing your posture or something more intensive like going on a jog to loosen up.”
In other words, when you are not feeling motivated or when you are in a lousy state, what you need to do to change your mental state is to change your physiology.
Here’s what you can do:
- Stand up and do some simple stretches
- Make a power pose for one or two minutes
- Jump around and breath faster
- Sit up straight and pose like you’re beaming with energy
Therefore, the next time when you feel sleepy or you don’t have the energy to do something, change your mental state by changing your physiology.
3. Take a short break and go do something else
Another good technique to boost your motivation instantly is to take a short break. Yes, you read that right. Just take a short break and come back to the task later.
Well, you certainly don’t have to take the entire day off. I’m suggesting you take like a 5 to 15 minutes break. Sometimes it is hard to find the energy when you’re stuck in the rut.
Hence, what you want to do then is to take a quick, short break to do something else that is not related to the work that you’re not motivated to do.
You want to fully disconnect your mind from the work so that you can feel fresh and come back with higher energy.
One good way to take a break is to look at the green. According to this article from Buffer.com, colors make us think of certain things. Like why all sales signs are red. This is because red color tends to entice people to react faster and it creates attention.
And you know what color can boost your motivation and energy? Green.
Besides that, taking a walk is also a good way for a break. Do you know that walking not only improve and maintain your overall health, but it can also lower your tension and boost your muscle strength and endurance?
Steve Jobs was famous for his walking-meeting. When you walk, your left brain is engaged. And that leaves a lot of time for your right brain to think and come up with creative ideas.
And after the walk, you will feel lighter, in a better mood, and you’re more ready to take on whatever work that you have at hand.
What if you don’t like to walk or look at the green? Just pick a book and read.
4. Eat some chocolate, take a mint, or drink a cup of coffee
Here’s another quick way how you can increase your motivation when you need to – eat some chocolates, mints, or drink a cup of coffee.
Take chocolate as an example, not only that it is delicious, it can also positively affect your brain. Eating chocolate increases the level of serotonin that promotes calm and it releases dopamine that elevates your mood.
The same can happen when you take a mint. Mint oil is often used in toothpaste. You feel fresh and clean after you brush your teeth, right? So, taking a mint has a similar effect. When you take a mint sweet, it refreshes you and your mind.
I bet you already know about coffee. The caffeine makes you alert and feels more energetic. Coffee can increase your motivation as well as your productivity.
However, make sure you don’t over-eat the chocolate and the mint. And don’t over-drink coffee too.
Moderation is key. A little coffee and chocolate make you motivated and happy. Too much of coffee and chocolate can damage your health. The same goes for everything in your life. Too much of anything can be bad.
5. Build up your commitment and accountability
When you have no other options but to do it, you will do it. This is what usually happens to tasks with deadlines. You often find yourself having no motivation to do it until the last minute when you have no choice but to do it, you’ll do it.
Hence, create a commitment device to build up your accountability for the task.
For example, if when you don’t have the motivation to study or to exercise in the gym, invite a friend and do it together.
Make your friend your accountability partner. When someone is waiting for you in the gym, there is a higher chance you will show up and work out.
Making a public commitment can be a good move to boost your motivation too.
The next time when you don’t feel like writing the article or working on a project, call or email a friend. Tell him or her that you’re going to complete the task and by when. More importantly, tell your friend that you will send a copy of the completed work with him or her.
This way, you increase your commitment by putting your reputation on the line.
You can also make the commitment more powerful by making it difficult to break away. For example, give your friend $50. And if you complete the task, you can get it back, but if you don’t, you lose that $50 to your friend.
If you want to learn more about creating your own commitment devices, read this article from Selfication.
6. Change your environment
Do you know that your environment plays a vital role in determining your energy and motivation?
When you work in a favorable environment, you tend to have higher energy and productivity. But if the environment is not favorable, you will find it hard to concentrate and you don’t feel like working at all.
Imagine if you want to read a book, but the environment is not suitable because it is too noisy. You will find it hard to focus on reading the book. You will want to do something else instead.
Working in a dark room or where the seat or the table is not comfortable will lower your drive too.
This is why the environment is important. Let me give you my example. Sometimes, when I’m feeling tired and no motivation due to facing my laptop for long hours in my office, I’ll switch the environment.
I will take my laptop and work in a nearby café in a more open and spacious area. The shift in the environment changes my mood.
You can do the same too. Whenever you feel no motivation, change your environment. Find a favorable environment that supports you and your work.
7. Driven by the pleasure
Do you know that you can change your level of motivation by changing your focus? What you focus on, expands.
In other words, you can leverage this by focusing on pleasures. Think about all the rewards, successes, and the good things that you will get if you work on the task. This will make you feel good and raise your motivation.
If you don’t have the drive to write an article, think about why you must do it. Perhaps, you want to build a successful blog that earns you 6 figures a month. So, think about having the money and enjoying the passive income from your blog, it will boost your motivation.
You want to focus on the pleasures and on the good things. Think about all the pleasures you will receive when you achieve all your goals and accomplish all your tasks.
Let the good feeling pulls you. Let your vision drives you.
8. Driven by the pain
Similarly, you can get driven by the pains too. What will happen if you don’t do the work right now? And magnify the effect by fast-forwarding it to the next 5 years.
Do you want to live the same year again next year? Do you want to stay where you are and live a mediocre life while others are working hard to make their dreams a reality?
Let the pain of not taking action scares you into taking action. If you don’t exercise now, you can become fat and lack of energy. And in the future, people may laugh at you and you can’t fit into most of your clothes.
What if you don’t write the blog post right now? Well, it may seem like a small issue at this moment, but do you want your blog to stay the same next year? Do you want your blog to fail and you’re still getting nowhere?
Use the pain of not taking action to push you into taking action. Let your desperation drives you.
9. Listen to motivational music
Here’s an interesting study from Asian Efficiency. According to one of their articles, a study was conducted by McGinn in 1995 which compared the performance of athletes who listened to the Rocky theme before a race to those who waited in silence.
Here’s what the study discovered:
“Although both groups had run the same time in the past, their results showed that the group that listened to Rocky music ran faster, had a quicker heartbeat, tense muscles, and lower anxiety levels than the runners who didn’t listen to any music.”
That means, your level of motivation can be affected by the music you listen to. Thus, if you want to raise your motivation, just play some motivational songs.
Of course, you may not like the Rocky theme, but that’s okay because there are a lot of motivational music out there. You can find a lot of these music from Spotify and YouTube.
Finding motivational music that can inspire you is not that difficult. Just find a tune that you personally find stimulating, energizing, and activating.
Well, if the Rocky theme is not your taste, how about Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” or Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”?
For me, when I’m writing and doing creative work, I prefer to listen to non-lyrical music such as the one from Two Steps from Hell and Audiomachine.
So, what is your preferred inspirational music? Share with me in the comment below.
10. Act like you are motivated
You have heard the phrase, “fake it until you make it”, and I’m here to tell you that it works.
Sometimes, you really just need to fake like you have all the motivation and the drive you need, and then just plunge into your work. And the motivation will come.
A very good method that can help you do so is through affirmation. You chant the phrase like “I’m motivated and I forged ahead and ultimately, succeed!”
Keep repeating this phrase with energy for as many times as you need. You will discover that the energy will come.
After all, where you put your focus is where the energy goes. So when you repeat your affirmations, you are focusing your energy there. It makes you motivated.
In fact, affirmations work just like a pep-talk. You notice that before basketball or football players start a game, the players gather around and do their routine pep-talk, right? It boosts their confidence and motivation to win.
And affirmations have the same effect. What you think is what you become. So if you constantly think about taking action and success, guess what you will do and what you can achieve.
Thus, next time when you lack motivation, repeat your affirmations and fake it until you make it.
Read my previous article:
11. Celebrate your progress no matter how small it is
Yes, if you really want to increase your motivation, learn to celebrate your progress. Remember, as long as you made the progress, no matter how small it is, you should celebrate.
- Once you successfully write an article title, feel good about it.
- Once you exercise for just 5 minutes, give yourself a pat at the back.
- Once you make just one call to a prospect, celebrate your progress.
The key is to celebrate and make yourself feel good. The better you feel, the more actions you’re going to take.
Most people don’t celebrate their progress, and they wonder why they don’t have the motivation to do it.
I like this quote from Oprah:
“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Hence, make yourself feeling good by celebrating your progress and all your victories.
12. Give yourself an irresistible reward
Why do you think you don’t have the motivation to get the work done? Perhaps, it is because you don’t have an irresistible reward.
Everything we do has a reason. People go into business because they want to make more money. People work because they want to pay the bills. People eat because they are hungry.
So, why do you want to take action and make your goals come true? If your reason is not exciting enough, you will never have the drive to do it. If you don’t look forward to doing something, it is hard to motivate yourself into doing it.
This is why you need to include an irresistible reward. What do you get out if you accomplish the tasks or achieve your goals? Give yourself an exciting reward so that you will look forward to doing it.
Here are some examples of the rewards you can give yourself once you accomplish your task or goal:
- Take an hour or two off to play games or to watch your favorite drama.
- Buy yourself something you really like.
- Pamper yourself and enjoy fine dining.
- Go for a spa.
- Give yourself a one-day off if you accomplish your goal.
Read my previous article to understand more about creating a suitable reward that motivates you:
13. Seek help and talk to someone positive
Energy is contagious and it can affect one another. Therefore, when you talk to someone who has higher positive energy, you will feel more positive too after the conversation.
Thus, don’t keep everything to yourself. You need help and support from others. If you look at the successful businesses in the world today, you will notice that none of them started alone.
Steve Jobs started Apple with his close friend, Steve Wozniak. Elon Musk started Zip2 with his brother Kimbal Musk, which later sold to Compaq for about $300 million in 1999. Same went for Bill Gates. Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, his childhood friend.
When you’re doing everything yourself, you have no one to support you and it will be less enjoyable because you are all by yourself.
However, if you have someone to go along, you can encourage, help, and support each other. This is why getting help is important. It greatly increases not just your motivation, but your chances of success too.
Thus, seek help and support from someone. Whenever you’re down or you feel like you’re not moving ahead, talk to someone who can help you.
14. Reconnect yourself with the purpose that drives you
Remember I said that we all do things for a reason? You must recharge yourself with that reason. If your reason – purpose – is not strong and emotional enough, you will find it difficult to have the motivation to do it.
A lot of people say that they want to be financially successful, but most of them are not truly committed to it because they don’t have a strong purpose to achieve it.
After all, they are doing fine even if they don’t achieve their financial goal. They can still survive and have enough to pay the bills. And this is what makes them lack the drive to act on their goals.
You have to reconnect yourself with your purpose on a regular basis. Review your goals every day, track and measure your progress, and remind yourself on why you want to do it in the first place.
The stronger your purpose, the more committed you are and the more driven you will be.
I strongly suggest you read this article to help you build a stronger and more empowering purpose in life:
15. Read an inspirational book
When was the last time you read? For most people, they don’t read after they graduated from school. They thought that they have learned all they can and they don’t read another book anymore.
What you need to understand is that reading doesn’t just increase your knowledge, it can increase your motivation too.
This is especially true if you read a book where you can relate your current circumstances with what you read.
For example, if you run a business and you read the success stories of how ordinary people go on to produce extraordinary results in their business and change their lives, you will be inspired by the story.
Every time I read stories about how a regular person can build a successful blog, it inspires me to do so too. I often tell myself, “If they can do it, so can I.”
And this is one of the reasons I choose to read too. Besides gaining new insights from the information in the book, reading keep my motivated.
You can do the same too. Just pick some good books and start reading. If you have no idea what books to read, here is a list to get you started.
We are all humans. And being human means we are susceptible to our moods. When we feel tired and no motivation, we want to procrastinate and skip work.
But it doesn’t have to be this way always. You can take control of your life and do something to overcome this situation. You don’t have to always rely on your motivation to do things.
Follow the 15 ways above and increase your motivation as soon as possible so that you will have the drive to get things done.
If you want to be successful, you can’t allow yourself to be affected by your mood and state all the time. You need to take charge of them.
Use the techniques above and do the work even when you don’t feel like doing them. That’s how you can achieve your goals and create the results you want.