Motivation is often the bridge of the gap between you completing a task or deciding to put it off. However, some motivation hacks aren’t as useful in the context of finding long-term efficacy in task completion. Here’s some advice being circulated on the web that could be harming your goal more than helping it:
A clean inbox all the time.
“There is no virtue to being productive towards ends that don’t matter”. – Laura Vanderkram wrote in an excellent critique of the concept of “inbox zero”for Fast Company in April. Most likely the emails you send to clear that email will prompt even more responses.
Don’t use your inbox as a task list.It doesn’t always accurately reflect the items that are on your priority list. Instead, focus on the things that you want to focus on. I know entrepreneurs that only answer email on Tuesday and Thursday – and a requite successful at it. Or, if you require your email to be on point all the time, hire a VA to do it and keep it organized.
Recognize certain tags or certain email addresses that signify a certain task, group, or meaning. Then, sort these into folders that you can check quickly and get back to later if you just don’t have the time.
2.A team cheer/teambuilding exercise
Studies related to Human Resources showed that “team cheer” motivation boosters affected everyone in the group differently, and not all of the effects were positive. Sometimes,if competition is involved, this can actually increase the competitive tension between employees, which could increase work output, but more likely will generate negative feelings and lead to bad employee cooperation.
3.Wasting a day to feel rejuvenated
Don’t waste time, because the act of calling it “wasting” time indicates that it was not valuable to you. Spend time appreciating the things you love, such as reading,hanging out with friends or family,or going to see a movie. Don’t “waste” time doing things that you don’t actually enjoy, for example,spending hours upon hours on social media that isn’t useful to you. Recognize the difference between necessary work and tasks that don’t produce returns on your time investment – in happiness, in relationship improvement, or whatever your metric maybe.
4.Wait for when the time is right.
Waiting for the perfect moment makes us feel like we are in control of the situation.We believe we are doing what is best to put ourselves in the optimal position for success. But are you truly waiting for just the right moment, or are you putting off your goals due to fear?
A lot of this can be remedied simply by dipping your toes in and getting started. For example, on a smaller scale,say you want to work on a project this evening, but are feeling unmotivated. Try working on it for just 5 minutes. A lot of the time it is enough to get you going so you can get“in the zone”. For a workout, commit to getting up and driving to the gym on a day that you feel sore or tired. This is often enough to get you to the”I might as well at this point”.
Goals are never going to feel like they have come at the perfect time. Hard work is sometimes hard because it gets uncomfortable.
5.Visualize your success.
Visualizing success can be incredibly beneficial to finding success. It can make the goal seem more approachable, less impossible, and it can boost yourself-confidence. However, this doesn’t work unless you also understand the tasks in front of you, what you need to do in order to achieve results. Visualize success on the bigger scale as well as the smaller scale. Understand what the next task is for you to accomplish. That way, your mind does not obscure the details while setting unrealistic expectations.
6.Using solely extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation can indeed be a part of your motivational plan, however, if you don’t have any intrinsic propensity to achieve the actions, it is not going to be enough. Rewarding yourself is generally agreed upon across the board as necessary to achieve a goal. Making “micro-goals” and “micro-rewards” makes sure you are at a constant state of motivation. However, this should be coupled with a type of “mantra” that fuels your goal. This mantra should state the reason you want to do this goal, and how the goal is part of you.Here’s a way to frame it.”I’m going to work late this week because I want my presentation to be stellar. At the end of the week, I’m going to treat myself to my favorite Thai restaurant for some takeout.” The combination fulfills extrinsic and intrinsic goals, and ups the likelihood that this goal is going to happen.
It’s time you start motivating yourself with things that actually work. Turns out, a lot of it focuses around the idea of figuring out what you want–whether that’s better relationships, having a great first conference presentation, getting your 25 first clients in your wedding photography business, or feeling less stress; start by finding the next small actions you can take to get you to that goal.
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