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20 Motivation Hacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

20 Motivation Hacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

Having the idea to do something is the easy part. However, acting on and continuing forward with those ideas is the hard part. This is where motivation plays a large role. If you lack the motivation to do something, it just won’t get done. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to use a lack of motivation as an excuse. Today, we will take a look at twenty motivation hacks that will jump start your ability to get things done faster and in more of an efficient way. Let us know in the comments below if you have any motivation hacks that we could benefit from as well!

1. Outsource Your Inspiration

One of the biggest motivational tools for many individuals is the inspiration of others to help them out in whatever goal that they may have. I recommend checking out the Pact app for iPhone. Connect your credit card to the app, make a goal and commitment, and if you check in with the app a certain amount of times a day, you will earn money. If not, you will have to pay a set amount. Money is, of course, a huge motivator for many people and Pact proves this is true.

2. Broaden Your Library

Books are a great way for you to motivate yourself to not only do well in what ever endeavor you are attempting to complete, but they can also reveal smart ways to complete such endeavors in a specific amount of time. Amazon is your best bet for having a level of control on how much you pay for the quality of books you want on a specific subject. A great start would be to look into the “…For Dummies” series of books that allow you to learn or complete a certain task in an approachable manner.

3. Goals of Hierarchy

When you have a main goal that you are trying to achieve, it is smart to have backup plans or intentions in case the first one fails. This in no way should be taken as finding an easy way out. Having a back-up plan will allow you to know that if you are unable to proceed with your previous plans, that the endeavor isn’t fully out of the window.

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4. Make Your Goals Known

If other individuals know that you are working to achieve a certain goal, you are more likely to push through the difficult aspects and succeed. However, if you ultimately fail in achieving your goal, it can seem a bit tragic to come to the realization that so many people know your goal. This is why it’s smart to share, but not boast on your new goal intention.

5. Reassess Your Network

Without leaving out positive friends and family, reassess your network and look into adding individuals who have your interests at heart. These will be the individuals who will look to ensure that you are staying on the right track and won’t pressure you to fall off the wagon.

6. Make it a Group Effort

“Competing” with others who have a similar goal as yours will allow you to feel like you aren’t going into the goal alone. Having the motivation of teaming up with others to reach a certain individual or cumulative goal is a smart and healthy way of introducing competition with the main intent of improving the lives of those you care for.

7. Quotes That Go a Long Way

Positive quotes and thoughts of inspiration are one of the most common and best sources of motivation. Having quotes as your computer or mobile phone background, framed in your office, and everywhere else you encounter will push you to think positively and also push through difficult parts of reaching your goal.

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8. Become Realistic

There is a time when you need to come to the realization that certain aspects of your goal must change. In planning any aspect of your goal, it is important to remember that you must be realistic and honest with yourself about your limits and potential. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t give yourself goals that will set yourself up for failure.

9. Chart Your Goals

Make use of checkpoints to ensure that you are on track for your goal and its process. For weight loss, you may want to invest in a dry erase progress chart that you are able to update with the amount of weight you have lost so far. To enhance the progress, you might consider having a reward for meeting thee checkpoints.

10. Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow

There are many individuals who feel that it’s best to schedule their goal for a certain day or time other than the day they intend on going through with their goal. For example, on New Year’s, many individuals say they intend on getting a gym membership next week or in February. Why not start on your goal as soon as possible? It will ensure that you follow through with your goal in the near future.

11. Journal Your Thoughts

There are times when reaching your goal can be hard. There are times when you have the contemplation to quit. If you don’t feel comfortable to share these feelings with someone, write it in a journal. This will allow you to pour out your feelings in a medium, allowing you to pour the rest of your energy into something more productive.

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12. Make Use of Visual Motivators

Being able to see your end goal is one of the greatest ways to have the motivation to move forward. If you have a photo of your goal weight when you were younger, look to this photo as motivation to move forward. If you have an art piece that took you forever to create and you need the motivation to work on your next piece, look to your work of art as motivation.

13. Find Joy In Your Task

The road to your goal can be difficult, but it’s important to not forget to find joy in the road toward achieving your goal. Find joy in the checkpoints that are met in trying to achieve your goal, for example. Finding joy in the minor aspects of achieving your goals will push you to want to continue on with what you want to ultimately achieve in the end.

14. Discern Good Motivation

It’s important to not only discern the motivation you are getting, but also discern the positive motivation you are receiving. There are some individuals that don’t know how to tell you when you are doing amazing, but the worse noise come from those who are unable to tell you when you are falling off the wagon. Invest in honest friends and you will be on your way to your goal.

15. Prepare Yourself for Motivations

If you don’t put yourself in the right mindset to get a goal completed, it will not happen. It is important to get yourself in the right mindset by taking a step back and looking at what you have succeeded in doing so far, what you hope to do in the future, and your final end goal.

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16. Create an Agreement

Having an agreement with your friend as a to what your ultimate goal should be and what happens when you find yourself falling off the wagon. Having this agreement with a friend will allow you to have something written on paper that if you succeed, this will happen and if you fail, you will have to pay the consequences.

17. Initiate Continual Checkups

As you work on your goal, reassess and ensure that the acts that you are doing leading up to your goal are done in a fashion that will ensure that you are completing your goal with the right intentions and passion. If you are working out, make sure you are doing so with the mindset of having your health as number one, not the opinions of others.

18. Optimize Your Precious Time

While you get your goals completed, look into optimizing your time left open. When you wake up in the morning, you may see having a quality breakfast of impeding you from getting work done. However, if your goal is to enhance your productivity, look into possibly knocking out emails during breakfast or fitting in treadmill time while catching up on a business call, for example.

19. Keep a Tally

Keeping some sort of quantitative track of your goal is a great way to visually see your progress in a way that may not have been visible before. If you are losing weight, keep track of the amount of pounds lost. If you are trying to cut back on smoking, keep track of how much money you are saving by not lighting up.

20. Understand Failure Isn’t Okay

Ultimately, we know that failure isn’t okay and isn’t an option. If you fail, you aren’t doing something correctly. This may seem harsh, but it is only harsh because we have the wrong impression of what failure means. If you don’t succeed in your goal, that isn’t failure. If you don’t get any lessons out of not achieving your goal, that in fact is failure.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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