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6 Questions That Help You Break Out of A Motivational Slump

6 Questions That Help You Break Out of A Motivational Slump

Even the best, most ambitious people find it hard to get things done sometimes. Motivation doesn’t exactly greet us every morning or even make attempts to show up at the front door and ring the bell. Many days can be a struggle to reach goals and meet deadlines. Occasionally, the motivation just isn’t there and we let the “slumpiness” take over our usually powerful and productive selves.

Well, there’s help. The first step to getting out of a slump is to discover why you’re in one, in the first place. To do that, you must ask yourself the right questions. Here are some questions to consider when you’re in a slump:

1. Are you tired?

Many times, when you’re lacking food, exercise, sleep, or proper nutrition, you will feel sick and tired. You need to work, but you can’t do so effectively until you take care of your body on a regular basis. And regular means being consistent.

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You can’t eat healthy for a week and then eat junk for the next three weeks. Your body will respond better to consistent care, than it will to sporadic treatments.

2. Are you in the middle of something?

Some say, beginning a project is the hardest. That may be true for many, but I tend to disagree. Continuing a project for any length of time is the hardest part.

Usually, you’re excited at the start and then there’s a mad dash when you get close to the end. In the middle, is where most of us lose it. It isn’t so much as packing for a trip or arriving at the destination, that concerns most of us; it’s how long the journey in between is, that causes us to quit or never even begin.

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3. What are you focused on?

Focusing on too many projects at once can ruin your motivation. You may think you are, but you’re not an acrobat. At least, I’m not. You only have so much time and so much energy to dedicate to any one thing.

If you focus on one thing and get it done before moving on to the next thing, you will feel better about each task and each one has the potential of being more successful. Multitasking is, quite honestly, a curse.

4. Who are you focused on?

Often, when you don’t know where to start or how to start, it can be a good idea to ask someone else, if they need help. A focus on one’s self can be draining. A focus on the needs of others or on someone else’s project may be just the impetus and fuel you need to refresh yourself and begin working on your own.

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5. Are you procrastinating?

Procrastination will throw you into a slump faster than you think. If you’re dreading something you know you should complete, you’re not really helping yourself by just thinking about it. After the dread is gone, the project will still be there.

If the dread stays around longer than it should, the project will still be there. The only way to “un-dread” yourself is to stop procrastinating and get to work. You will find that once you get into the project, the dread was all for nothing.

6. What is your confidence level?

Usually, when we’re in a slump, our confidence levels are very low. When you lack conviction, you usually don’t know when to move or what direction to move into.

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You’re scared to do anything because this will usually eject you from your comfort zone. The way to raise your level of confidence is to step out and do something. Appreciate your own abilities and believe that you can do the thing you set your mind to.

In the act of overcoming our “slumpiness”, we find ourselves, move past our limits, gain a little more ground each day, and become our own personal heroes.

“As you begin to live according to your own guidance and your own daring everything changes completely.” – Leonard Willoughby

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Daniella Whyte

Psychology Researcher

You Can If You Think You Can: 4 Ways to Build Self-Efficacy A Letter To My 50-Year-Old Self: On Grace and Getting Older Never Be the One Who Waits to Give Flowers 6 Questions That Help You Break Out of A Motivational Slump 6 Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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