Guys, honestly, I took me ages to write this article. Because I had zero motivation to write it. There, I said it. Probably not the perfect introduction to an article about motivation-strategies. Haha – yeah. I spend half of my day at uni (I had the most boring lecture today, ever) and the other half was spent randomly working on the blog, just so that I didn’t have to write this article. But now, finally, my fingers are on my keyboard and I’m about to tell you what motivated me to do it!
When I first started this blog, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t have any ideas for topics. My biggest fear were the questions: What am I going to write about? With what am I going to fill this blog? But you know what, this isn’t actually that hard. Once you figured out your niche, tons of topics pop up. I have a list with blog topics laying on my desk but, sometimes, it’s just so hard to bring myself to actually sit down and write. So the biggest problem with motivation, the thing that plagues me is actually pretty simple: finding the motivation to do the work. This is the same for my university papers, my readings or other freelance work I’m doing. However, over the past few years, I figured out how I can stay motivated, how I can motivate myself, and what helps my keep it this way. I’m able to get a lot more done (even when I totally don’t feel like it).
KNOW YOUR PRODUCTIVITY PEAK TIME
I’m completely useless in the afternoon. I’m tired and I’m definitely not functioning at my best. I’m a morning person (yes, I’m one of these rare specimens). If I have some very big tasks to do, I start working on them first thing in the morning. Sometimes I even start before breakfast. I do this because I know that I’m at my peak – and if I don’t use this time of the day effectively, I won’t get anything done. However, over the last few months, I actually started to notice that I can work more creatively in the evening! This is why I’m writing this here at half-past eight in the evening. After I had a good old afternoon nap (does that sound like I’m old?!). Knowing at which time I function best helps me stay motivated and finish my work. Now you probably heard this advice before but I have to say, it works. Figure out when you feel and work your best and then do all the things that take most of your power during those times. During those times when you feel less productive, you can do the easier and less demanding tasks, like answering your emails etc.
KNOW YOUR GOALS
Knowing where you want to be can be very crucial. What do you want to achieve? Is this essay essential for your degree – which will get you the dream job you want? Will this task make you better at something in the long run? Know what your goals are and, then, learn how to formulate the perfect strategy to achieve it.
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CUT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
This is probably one of the hardest things to do. I’m going to say this out loud now but: I’m an Internet junkie. I run a blog AND I study (New) Media, what did you expect? However, I notice that on some days I spend unnecessary time on some Social Media platforms. Especially when I do not start my day with a big task. When I start my day with checking my emails and Social Media channels, the day is already lost. Trust me. Once you’re in this maelstrom of likes and comments and hearts, you’ve lost the game. Social Media isn’t always the best way to stay motivated. Twitter can wait. Promise.
KNOW WHO AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU
Do you want me to tell you my little secret to motivation? Are you sure? Basically, sometimes it helps me to watch YouTube to stay motivated. Now I’m completely contradicting myself with staying of Social Media – I KNOW. However, before I started writing this article, I was watching YouTube. Ohooh, you may think – if I go on YouTube I’ll never get anything done! Well yes, there are those days but sometimes I feel it’s totally inspiring to watch vlogs / blogs of YouTubers. Because they work hard and they sit in front of their channels and cameras for HOURS, editing, filming, doing collabs. I think that’s hugely inspiring. They put a lot of effort in their work and this motivates me to do the same. To sit down and get shit done. So, if you have a favourite YouTuber yourself, or you have a favourite author, screenwriter, actor, etc. etc. remember – they didn’t get where they are without hard and committed work.
I’m one of those people who cannot be not-organised. Like, sometimes, a bit of a chaotic desk can be a good thing for creativity, I get that, and my desk is a mess from time to time. However, try to get all your meetings and tasks scheduled. Be punctual. Try to finish your stuff a few days before a deadline. It’s less stress, believe me, and you can revise your work to get the best results. Buy yourself a notebook. Start writing to-do lists. I’m a huge fan of to-do lists and it’s such a great feeling when you are able to cross something off that list. Try out what works for you and stick to the plan.
JUST DON'T DO ANYTHING TODAY
Let it be. Give up. There are those days and it’s completely fine to just do nothing. If you really can not get yourself to start working, do something else. Go for a walk, go meet up with your friends for a coffee. Get your mind into something else. Once you’re back, you’ll have a fresh view on your project!
This, of course, doesn’t really apply if you work in an office and can’t just take the day off like a student can. However, I still think that sometimes, a bit of fresh air and distance does wonders for a job. If you’re stuck with a task, take a ten minutes break and walk around for a bit. Exercise positively influences your brain activity, so you’ll feel refreshed and can take on the task again.
What are your tips on how to stay motivated when you’re not motivated at all?