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11 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Complete any Task in New Year

11 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Complete any Task in New Year

Motivation

    Motivation is the mental push from you to accomplish an action. People have motives to do many things. Maslow’s Theory, one of the widely discussed theories of motivation debates that physiological needs (such as food, water, sleep etc) are the most basic and fundamental.

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    On the basic needs level, we could visualize how getting fired may lose our ability to buy food and get a good night sleep. However, some of us are capable enough to not worry about these needs. We lose motivation with our projects and tasks. We fail to see how the current task maps to a bigger picture. We need more defined ways to motivate us everyday. Here are some ways to help you in the new year.

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    1. Start with the small bits. Procrastination occurs when the task is too big. Break the project down to smaller chunks that suit your attention span. If you can concentrate for only 40 minutes, break up your task to allow you to complete it within 40 minutes.
    2. Look forward the success after completion. Getting started is good, but completion of the task is the outcome you need. Visualize how completing your current task at hand will satisfy yourself and contribute to your success.
    3. Rewards. Reward yourself after each task is completed. It’s okay to reward yourself by watching 10 minutes of television after the completed 40 minutes of work. You’ve done a good job. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack.
    4. Find your motivational switch. Everyone has a way to switch on their own motivation mode. Some people may be motivated by praising their efforts, others may be motivated by participating into a group discussion. Whatever it is, find out what’s your switch and exploit it. Look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to get some ideas.
      Maslow's hierarchy of needs
      • Map the task into long-term goals. How can your task at hand contribute to your long term goals? Is your long-term goal achieving financial freedom, or social significance? Will working now directly help your long-term goals?
      • Think about how procrastination eats away at your success. If thinking positively does not work for you, then think about what will happen if you do not complete the tasks on time? Thinking negatively gives you stress, and stress may help you get through tough times. It’s depends on the situation and your personality. Pressure may work for you.
      • Give yourself a punishment or consequences. Can competitors overtake you if you are not working right now? Promise yourself not to go golfing before you’ve completed your task. Similar to stress, punishment may work for you to eliminate your lack of motivation.
      • Ask yourself a question: Why work? When you’ve fulfill all your basic needs – you are wealthy and healthy. Why brother to work? You keep working because there is something deep inside that makes you want to continue. Find what it is, so you can remind yourself and motivate yourself on the task level.
      • Looks for bits that you really love to do, and do it. To motivate by passion is my favorite. Find what you love to do and do that part first. When you have started and is in the flow, other tasks in the same project will become easier.
      • Join with other people who are working hard. Has it ever occur to you when you are surrounded by people who work hard, you will be energized and will work hard as well? People motivates each others. If you have friends/colleagues who are working on a similar project, join them, discuss and talk about the project. Participation will motivate you.
      • Kill the repetitions and schedule. Are you being too organized and work on the same schedule for projects and tasks? You may reduce your own motivation by the Hawthorne effect. Work around the clock. Complete the task at another time. Walk away. Do something else for now.

      If you suffer by your lack of motivation this year, try one or more of these tips in 2007. Once you’re motivated, nothing can stop you being successful.

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      Leon Ho

      Founder of Lifehack

      Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas Finding Your Inside Time 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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