8 Tips for Finding Motivation When You’re Stuck in a Rut
When it comes to motivation, we all seem to go through seasons. There are times we kick it into turbo charge and get some serious stuff done, and other times when napping and watching TV are all we seem to able to do. But whether it’s for work or in your personal life, motivation is key. It’s required for accomplishing tasks, big or small. These simple steps will help you next time you are stuck in a rut and motivation is nowhere to be found.
Align your beliefs. If you don’t truly believe in something, finding motivation to do it will feel nearly impossible. Sometimes your key to getting motivated lies in understanding your underlying reasons for wanting to do it. If the purpose behind the task does not deeply resonate with you and isn’t an absolute essential in your life, consider scrapping it or readjusting it to be something you believe in more.
Realize what works for you. There are two different types of motivating factors: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivators are external factors that influence your decision; commission structures and rewards are prime examples. If you’re deeply motivated by pay raises and bonuses, try linking your tasks to these types of extrinsic factors. Intrinsic motivators are internal forces that influence you, like a deep belief in the cause, a feeling of belonging to a particular task, or a strong sense of purpose. Recognizing that intrinsic factors boost your motivation will help you link tasks to beliefs and internal motivators.
Bump the right elbows. One of the best ways to find motivation is by being around people that inspire you. Often just a simple conversation with the right person can ignite a sense of motivation inside you. Unfortunately, a lot of the times when you’re struggling to find motivation and are stuck in a rut, the first thing to go is your social life. Next time you find yourself in this place, remember how important it is to be around inspirational, like-minded individuals.
Take a different angle. Can’t find the motivation to do remedial tasks that you have to do over and over again (think laundry or vacuuming or crafting a work email)? Consider taking a fresh approach to simple tasks. You never know, you might even uncover an easier, more productive way of doing something. Finding new methods often rekindles motivation for the most mundane of tasks.
If/then rewarding. “If I complete ten miles running today, I’ll treat myself to a coffee,” type of reward system is incredibly effective for people who are motivated by extrinsic factors. If you have some tasks to complete and just can’t seem to find the motivation, consider rewarding yourself when it’s finished. It’s important to keep your tasks specific and time-sensitive; don’t reward yourself for finally folding the towels piled on the couch if, say, you get around to it two months from now.
Start small. Some tasks seem insurmountable, often snuffing any motivation we may have mustered. By breaking big tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces, you will be able to more easily find the motivation you need for completing those tasks.
Remember the feeling. There is nothing that kindles future motivation like reflecting upon how great you felt the last time you got motivated and completed some big tasks. Triumph, pride, and confidence are a few amazing feelings that come from checking a task off your to-do list. If you’re lacking motivation, reflect back on these feelings.
Finally, take action. Sometimes you just won’t find motivation, but that doesn’t mean the tasks and projects that need to be completed just go away. The difference is that successful people don’t let a lack of motivation stand in their way. Regardless, they take action and get stuff done. They are more productive and don’t waste time and energy looking for that illusive motivation that may or may not show up. So, if you can’t get motivated, it’s not an excuse. Take action and conquer your tasks anyway!
We hope these tips help you discover that motivation you may be struggling to find, whether you need it for completing tasks at home or at work. Now, get going!