It’s easy to get motivated when you have others cheering you on.
Your friends and co-workers can be supportive and encouraging and even pitch in to help when you have projects or tasks to finish.
But how are you on the motivation scale when you’re alone?
How motivated could you keep yourself if you were to be alone for a week?
If you don’t know or know already that you have lost your motivation, then you have some work to do.
These 15 tips will help you stay motivated and give you a new perspective on accomplishing your daily tasks.
If you have any other tips for getting motivated, please share them with us in the comment section below!
Understanding What Causes Lack of Motivation
We all have occasional days of being fully and wonderfully lazy.
After all, we work hard, we play hard, and it’s time to simply veg out when we have some alone time.
This can be wonderfully renewing, so long as it is occasional.
But, if it becomes habitual when no one else is “looking,” you are missing out on accomplishing a lot that could create a better you.
Here’s a bit of a checklist test.
Ask yourself if you do these things every time you are alone
- Spend the day and evening watching TV and/or playing video games
- Stay on Facebook for several hours, commenting on everyone’s posts
- Have long, pointless phone conversations with friends because you are not with them
- Look at projects, think about how you should get to them, but then opt for “some other time”
- Ruminate about things—either from your past or about your future
If you do this often when you are alone, you are unmotivated and a procrastinator unless others are around.
This is a dangerous habit to form because you lose the ability to motivate yourself.
And there will be times when others won’t be around, important tasks will loom before you, and you cannot get started, much less complete them.
So, how do you develop the habits of motivating yourself?
Try these for starters.
1. Think of the end rather than the beginning
Your house/apartment is a mess and pretty dirty, too.
If you can’t get yourself going, walk into each room and see what it will look like when it’s clean and orderly.
Sometimes that vision is all you need.
And here’s a related “trick.”
When you first wake up in the morning, visualize your day from start to finish.
See yourself getting things done.
2. Set up a competition with yourself
This works if you are naturally competitive.
Say to yourself, “I bet you can’t get that one wall painted in 45 minutes.”
Set a timer and go for it.
Turning tasks into a competitive game is both fun and motivating.
You will also enjoy our article on being Fed Up.
3. And what’s a competition without a reward?
You’ve brought some work home, and you just can’t get started.
It’s tedious, and there’s no one there to pitch in.
And you have to meet a deadline.
Plan what you “get” when you get it done—something good, and don’t cheat.
You can go for your favorite burger and a beer or order pizza when you finish it.
4. Tell others what you are going to do
Your yard looks like the forest primeval, and you told everyone at happy hour last night that you would spend the entire day cleaning it up.
Once you have told others, you pretty much “own” it, and you should be able to muster up the motivation so you won’t have to admit that you failed.
5. Get motivated by breaking tasks into smaller chunks
And write each chunk down in order.
Attack just the first chunk.
Then check your email or get on Facebook for 15 minutes.
Set a timer.
Go back and pick up chunk #2 and so on.
6. If the task is physical, get that music on
Upbeat music energizes people.
So, when you get to that project that has been half-finished for the past 3 months, attach it to the music.
Get the last of those Christmas decorations down and put them away; clean out that fridge; go through your closet and drawers and throw stuff away; go into that horrible place, the garage, and clean it.
7. Turn off your phone to get motivated
You can’t turn it back on until you have put in two hours on the tasks you know you have to get finished.
Negative reinforcement sometimes goes a long way to motivate people.
8. Post-it notes with inspirational quotes
Put them where you usually go to veg—like on the TV screen, your game console, or that stuffed chair you sit in and fall asleep.
9. Make a list in advance
Here are a couple of things about lists.
It’s psychologically very rewarding to cross things off as they get done.
Crossing things off motivates us to move on.
The other thing is this: you have to start at #1, and you may not move to any other item on the list until #1 is finished.
If you put the least favorite task as #1 and stick to this “rule,” chances are you will get the rest done.
10. Get motivated by taking a cold shower
This will wake you up and will get your blood flow going.
It’s an adrenaline rush that will prime you to keep the energy up and get other things done.
11. Do not multi-task
This clutters your mind.
There’s a great old saying—“Only one potato at a time.”
You can only plant one potato at a time and harvest one at a time.
The same goes for tasks that require your focus.
12. Let in the light
Something is stimulating about having all the blinds and curtains open, letting in all the light you can.
And if weather permits, open up windows.
Fresh air keeps you alert.
13. Do something aerobic to get motivated
When you feel yourself drifting off and ready to go veg, do some jumping jacks or run in place.
This will restore energy.
14. Get motivated by doing the visible things first
There is something motivating about physically seeing the results of our work that motivates us.
De-cluttering your workspace makes you more emotionally ready to get going; printing out that report or post you just finished, rather than only emailing it off, gives you a physical reminder of what you have accomplished.
15. Talk to yourself as you are working
If you give yourself little pep talks while attacking those tasks, you can motivate yourself to continue.
And do it out loud.
Say things like “C’mon. You can get this done—just a little more to go.”
Be your cheerleader.
No question about it.
It’s tough to motivate yourself when there is nobody around that you feel the need or want to perform.
External praise and encouragement are huge motivators.
But if you can get into the habit of motivating yourself from within, you will have developed a skill that will serve you for a lifetime under any circumstances.
It gives you an independence of action that will serve you well.
How do you get motivated when you are alone?
Do you already do any of these things to pump yourself up while trying to be productive?
What else would you add to this list?
Tell us in the comment section.
We would love to hear from you!