How do you motivate yourself into action when your to-do’s leave you uninspired?
Let’s face it, not all tasks are created equal.
Some duties are fun and give us those coveted quick wins.
Others can be downright loathsome, daunting, tedious, mundane or boring.
One reason for our struggle to get moving is due to a near-sighted approach. We become fixated on the actual doing of the task itself, not on how our condition will be improved once the task is complete. We forget the big picture.
So what can we do to get the ball rolling?
One way is to re-write our to-do’s into big picture statements.
Whatever the task at hand, the trick is to look beyond the immediate next step and find the ultimate goal or outcome, the purpose, the why.
1. Review: Examine each of your current tasks and to-do’s carefully as you ask yourself these questions:
- What goal is the action helping you achieve?
- What is the knock-on effect you’ll experience or accomplish by executing the task?
- What are the ramifications of not taking action?
2. Re-write: Once you’ve identified the heart of the task, re-phrase it as a big picture statement reflecting those bells and whistles.
For example, “organise office” sounds like a chore. Instead, consider:
“Organise my office so I can work easily and productively without mess or chaos in my way, get more done in less time and take business to the next level.”
Instead of “go for run”, consider:
“Go for run to keep training consistent, improve speed and prepare to achieve a personal best on race day.”
Instead of “prepare presentation”, consider:
“Prepare presentation so I have ample time to rehearse, make changes, present with confidence and less stress, and strengthen my credibility.”
Even the most mundane chore can be inspiring when it’s in the right context and perspective.
Doing laundry may be a drag, but the feeling of having clean clothes folded and put away, or fresh sheets on the bed is heavenly. Project yourself beyond the task.
3. Write off: As part of your review, you may have discovered a few to-do’s that aren’t as vital or important as you once thought. Circumstances change. Unless a task is mandatory such as filing taxes and the like, if the outcome isn’t worth the time and energy required write it off and move on.
Need more prodding?
How many times have you finished something you’d put off for ages and realised it took hardly any effort at all?
Remind yourself of these times and apply it to the task du jour.
Finally, select a handful of actions you’ve completed that brought about tremendous relief, triumph or satisfaction. Reflect on the difference it made and remind yourself that all you need to do is get started, keeping the spoils of victory as your beacon to pull you through to the other side.
Action inspires confidence, dignity and self-respect. So infuse your tasks with purpose and motivate yourself into action.
Do it now.
You’ll thank yourself later.
What motivational approach works best for you? Please share!