It’s no secret that living a productive life is hard work. The world can be daunting, but realistically, things need to get done. While we all know that our daily lives require action and motivation to take this action, the hardest part is finding a place to begin and get motivated to be productive. With these five easy steps to motivate yourself to productivity, that overwhelming feeling of procrastination will be a thing of the past.
Number Five: Start Out Small. Overcoming the struggle to getting things done starts with one small chore. You have to create momentum, and then your body will be physically and emotionally prepared to take on more. Start out small, say by simply doing the dishes, or doing some research for a bigger project, and you are more likely to stay in that productive mindset. From this point on, a bigger task will seem less intimidating, and you are ready to go. However, once you stop to take a break, your momentum will be broken and it will be harder to bounce back into doing what you need to do.
Number Four: Listen to Energetic Music. For many of us, what stands in the way of our productivity is the desire to procrastinate due to a lack of energy and apathetic attitude. We keep putting off the task at hand simply because, well, we just don’t want to do it. To fix this problem, it can be beneficial to listen to energetic music; something that makes you want to sing along and dance should do the trick. Doing this will lift up your mood, and with more energy flowing through your veins you will be ready to take on your day. I find that listening to fun music while making breakfast sets the mood for an accomplished and fun day.
Number Three: Consider the Alternative. Keep in mind that whatever you have to get done is for a better tomorrow, and it simply has to get done. John Wayne said it best with “A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do.” Often, the best motivation to get things over and done with is to remind yourself of the necessity to do them. Consider the alternative if you were to procrastinate, which usually involves terrible repercussions. For example, if a student is applying to college with an approaching deadline, what would happen if they were to just let it go another day? Another day turns into a week, often much longer, and it doesn’t get done. Then, the deadline has passed, they can’t get into that school for another semester, and his or her life is set back three or four months. Although we like to think that one more day of relaxation and procrastination can’t hurt us, it leads to a downward spiral of unproductivity and has substantial consequences.
Numbers Two: Reward Yourself. The fact of the matter is, as humans, we are much more likely to do something if we get something we want from it, or are excited about the outcome. So for tasks that must be accomplished that have more abstract benefits, such as household chores or a paper that needs to be written, try working out a self-reward program. It can be a piece of candy for every task, maybe splurging on buying an item you would normally hold back from, or an extra timeframe set aside for relaxation. I find that it is especially effective to have a long-term goal, such as a vacation or shopping spree, that can be worked up towards. Simply make a chart of an acceptable number of tasks you must complete to achieve your reward, and fill up your chart with one “X” for each task you complete. When it’s full, enjoy the fruits of your success!
Number One: Don’t Get in Your Own Way. Often, we let our doubts and our emotions get in the way of our successes. It’s only human; our feelings are inevitable and we can’t just turn them off like we’d like to. Rather, we have to work through them, or learn to change them. It may seem an impossible feat to simply switch from one mood to another, but it is amazing what a little positivity can do for your mind and your motivation. Our thoughts control our whole body and our emotions as well. So in order to get motivated, you must think your way into positivity. Getting started is the hardest part, but after that it is a chain reaction and you will feel much more able to complete the tasks that your daily life demands of you.