Getting motivated and staying focused can be ridiculously tough in our always-on, texting, connected world today.
Demands for our attention are everywhere and constant. Which means distractions are at an all-time high. How do you get motivated to start and stick with your projects to completion? How do you maintain that focus?
These are a few of my favorite ways to keep myself on the path to Total World Domination:
1. Move Around
Get up. Go for a walk. Stretch. Especially if it’s mid-day and my mind starts to wander. Or worse, I have email overload and feel like I can’t stick with anything, I move around. It immediately gets me motivated and boosts my energy. Another way to get me motivated first thing in the morning is to ride my bike to work. I’m immediately motivated when I arrive to office, wind in my hair and my heart pumping. If biking and walking aren’t an option for you, do some jumping jacks or stretching. Whatever you need to do to get the blood pumping. Oxygen to your brain is an important part of jump starting your motivation.
2. Phone a Friend
Reach out to someone who motivates you. Even leaving them a message is a way to pump you up and get you ready to tackle your project. Saying it out loud is a great way to remind yourself of the task at hand and walk yourself through what needs to get done. We all have super-motivating people in our lives, seek them out, get your “Atta Girl” and get started! They may even check in on you to hold you accountable, which is an awesome motivator to get your stuff done.
3. Watch a Ted Talk
I love to watch a TED talk on a subject I’m trying to tackle. If you have to get motivated to jump into a presentation, a pitch, or a proposal, watch a TED talk, any TED talk, and you will certainly be motivated to act on your work. Discover the presenters and topics that pump you up and go to them for inspiration. It takes a few minutes and can give you just what you need to move forward.
Eye of The Tiger!! What is your mental mix tape? We all have songs that make us sit up and get pumped. Find these for yourself and make them part of your motivation management plan. Throw some unexpected tracks in to surprise and delight. A little Pat Benetar goes a long way to get me moving. “Love is a Battlefield” you guys.
5. Treat Yo Self
When all else fails, I tell myself to get my project to a certain point, maybe the first three paragraphs of an article, or capture the highlight points of a meeting, and then stop and give myself a treat. It’s totally Pavlov knock-off stuff, but it works. A coffee drink, a soda, some of my colleague’s candy stash, a walk to the gas station for a fountain drink, whatever it is that feels like a reward for you, make that happen. Treat yo self when you make progress. Then get back to it and get your Total World Domination done!
It turns out that my favorite motivation tactics aren’t completely in left field. Check out this article from real scientists that supports some of my theories on getting motivated and what works and why it works.