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8 Tips to Create a Day to Recharge Your Motivation

8 Tips to Create a Day to Recharge Your Motivation

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    It’s easy to recognize when you’re physically tired. You haven’t slept normally in days or even weeks. You can’t remember the last time you saw the inside of a gym. And enough caffeine is racing through your bloodstream to keep a small elephant alert.

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    When your motivation is down, the effects can be worse than physical tiredness. You can’t concentrate, you procrastinate and become as lazy as possible. What’s worse, it is hard to tell that a motivation recharge is what you need.

    Why You Might Need a Motivation Boost

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    I think at this point it is important to distinguish between needing an occasional motivating boost, and constantly needing to motivate yourself. If constant motivation is necessary for you to complete anything, you probably lack the intrinsic motivation of satisfying work. Recharging your enthusiasm can’t make up for a lousy job.

    But even the most energetic and inspired people can go through a dry patch where their motivation falters. Here’s just a few potential reasons:

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    1. Negative feedback. I’d be lying if I felt the same after reading a piece of harsh criticism than glowing praise. I’m sure you probably feel the same. A few harsh blows to your ego can cause waning motivation in all but the most stoic and enlightened human beings.
    2. Disappointment and failures. We can be our own worst critics. Just as a big win can fill you with enthusiasm, a big mistake can dampen your motivation.
    3. Routines, habits and missing goals. Spending weeks doing the same things repeatedly can make it easy to lose sight of why you started doing them in the first place. Zig Ziglar once said that motivating was like bathing. It isn’t permanent, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t insist upon doing it.
    4. Stress and frustration. I know people who were excellent students but did horribly on tests right after a break-up. Sometimes an upset in one area can reduce your motivation in another area, even if it is otherwise enjoyable.

    Creating a Motivation Recharge Minute, Hour or Day

    The headline of this article suggests creating a motivation recharge day. I find this can be useful to take time going over all of your goals, reviewing your progress and planning for the future. The effect on your motivation can be incredible. But the times you feel the least motivated are often the times you have the most pressing commitments. An entire day might not be possible.

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    I’ve found you can inject a bit of motivation into a few minutes or an hour. The effect won’t be as powerful as taking an entire day to recharge, but it can still be helpful. Here are some tips for how to recharge your motivation:

    1. Dissect Solvable Problems – Is your motivation waning because of a problem in another area of life? If that is the case, ask yourself whether the problem has a fast solution. If it does, the best way to fix your motivation is to fix the problem. This could be talking to a friend you had a fight with or sorting out a disorganized room.
    2. Avoid Impossible Problems – There are some problems that can’t be solved, or aren’t worth the effort to do so. Losing your wallet, making a bad first impression or messing up a presentation can’t be fixed, so trying to solve them will probably have the opposite effect.
    3. Listen to Audio Tapes – Are a lot of self-help tapes nothing but common sense wrapped up in an emotionally satisfying package? Probably. But that emotionally satisfying package can still be useful if it helps build your enthusiasm. Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and many others have motivational tapes which can get your ideas going again. Hopefully reading this post can get your ideas going.
    4. Read “Lifehack” Blogs – There are plenty of blogs dedicated to self-improvement, including lifehack.org. Getting a few snippets of good ideas can get your motivation flowing again.
    5. Review Your Goals – Go over all of your goals. Go over how you plan to achieve them and spend time thinking about what they consist of. It is easy to lose sight of your overall direction when you’re caught up with a daily routine. This is also the time to make corrections and plan new goals if your old direction doesn’t suit you anymore.
    6. Get an Energy Donation – Spend time with people that make you feel motivated and good about yourself. I don’t suggest spending all your time with a personal cheerleading team. That might lead to missing important information that might be negative. But being around people who are positive and can get your ideas flowing again can boost you out of a motivation deficit.
    7. Avoid Energy Vampires – Brad from 30sleeps calls people who drain your motivation, “energy vampires”. Avoid these people like the plague. Having people who can deliver bad news is important, but otherwise don’t spend time with these people. If you are forced to be with these vampires because of a work or school environment, then at least dedicate a few days to avoid them while you recover your motivation.
    8. Have a Project-Kill Day – Sometimes the best way to recharge your motivation is to accomplish something meaningful. I’ve found setting aside a day to accomplish more than usual (waking up early, getting done several major tasks right in the morning, etc.) can rebuild the faith you have in your abilities.

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    Scott H Young

    Scott is obsessed with personal development. For the last ten years, he's been experimenting to find out how to learn and think better.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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