How To Get Motivated

There are many good articles on how to create, prioritize and manage OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyour priorities. But for some, figuring out what to do isn’t the problem.  Sometimes you know exactly what to do, and even how to do it, but you just don’t feel like it. You are “stuck.”  How can you get motivated?

If we can make the task seem less like drudgery, we are more likely to do it. The other day I had a stack of CDs I needed to listen to from a conference I had missed. At the same time, it was a beautiful day and I was resisting working inside. I decided to take a portable player with me to the beach. I listened, took notes on my iPad and was very productive, all because I was sitting in a place I love.  If you can’t move the job to a new location, you can improve the atmosphere by putting on some favorite music, lighting a scented candle, opening a window, pouring yourself a large glass of your favorite (soft) drink, or simply taking off your shoes.


Frequently, having another person around can keep us motivated, while distracting us from the tedium of the task. This is a common technique for implementing an exercise regime. Jogging with a friend seems easier than jogging alone. If you have a task you are dreading, see if you can entice a friend to come alongside and help out.  Offer to return the favor and you will double the benefit.

Many times we put off tasks because we think we won’t have time to finish them. “I can’t possibly clean out the attic because that would take all weekend.” If your project seems large, consider breaking it into very small pieces. Using the attic example, perhaps the first day you simply go buy some empty cardboard boxes for sorting. Then for the next week you spend 10 minutes each day walking through and selecting 5 items to give away. The next week you carry one box a day downstairs and sort through it in front of your favorite movie. Knowing the unpleasantness will end shortly makes a task more palatable.

It’s the old “more bees with honey” idea. We listen to our own voice more than any other, so it is important to keep reminding ourselves of the benefit of staying strong.  For instance, you might take a photo of an item you have been wanting to buy.  Hang it up, and beneath it write, “When I’ve completed __________.” Be sure to follow through on your promise to yourself or this won’t work the next time you need it.

Well, not really a nag, but someone to whom you give permission to ask how you are doing. Accountability (think “deadline”) is very motivating to some. In fact, some people thrive when the pressure is on. If you know that someone will be checking in/coming to visit/calling – someone you’ve asked to perform this service – this may provide the extra push you need to dig in.

Getting motivated to do things we dislike is difficult. When there is no clear deadline or penalty for inaction, it is even harder. However, cultivating techniques to motivate ourselves increases our productivity, builds self esteem, and empowers us to achieve our goals.

For more information on how to achieve your goals, contact The Seana Method on the form above.

10 thoughts on “How To Get Motivated”

  1. I definitely agree with your tip about breaking it down into small pieces. This definitely works for me! When I had to do my 30 page dissertation, it seemed like a lot at first glance, but I promised myself to do three pages per week until it was done! I had two weeks to spare before the due date for editing! Stopping in from SITS!

    1. Exactly! Way to set a goal and work away at it. And congratulations on completing a dissertation – terrific accomplishment! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Even the first step feels unattainable sometimes. I have a child who would love nothing more than to have me turn our garage into a room for her, so she won’t have to share with her sister. But the garage is full, and there’s clutter everywhere… I don’t even know where to start.

    1. It can be so frustrating, can’t it? I usually suggest starting small, in an area you really “hate”, that you have direct control over. If even this seems too difficult, you might want to hire an organizer. Check out my blog on “When to Hire Help” and see what you think. Good luck – and don’t berate yourself, these things aren’t easy:)

  3. These are all such great tips. I know my environment affects the way I work. If I’m not comfortable where I am, I can’t get anything done. And sometimes I just need a change in scenery. The beach is a great idea!

    1. The environment really does matter, doesn’t it? Hope you can find a favorite place, and thanks for stopping by!

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