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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 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques Fifty Essential Topics on Economics

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

      Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

      Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

      This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

      The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

      The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

      Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

      Curiosity

      Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

      People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

      Patience

      Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

      When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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      Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

      A Feeling for Connectedness

      This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

      A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

      The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

      How to Self-Taught Effectively

      With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

      1. Research

      Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

      Learning the Basics

      Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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      Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

      What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

      Hitting the Books

      Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

      Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

      Long-Term Reference

      While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

      My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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      2. Practice

      Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

      A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

      Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

      Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

      3. Network

      One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

      These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

      Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

      Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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      4. Schedule

      For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

      Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

      Final Thoughts

      In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

      If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

      At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

      More About Self-Learning

      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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