Tip #1 – Clear out the clutter.
Few things can make us feel as sluggish and confused as physical clutter can! If you can’t seem to find the motivation to get moving, grab a trash bag and an egg timer and set the timer for 15 minutes. Spend this time tossing out as much junk as you can. Get rid of empty food containers, unneeded notes and paperwork, empty envelopes, empty glasses or bottles, etc. Create a separate pile for anything that needs to be filed or sorted, and move it to another location. Don’t keep it within view unless it looks neat and orderly. After just 15 minutes of doing this, you should feel much more energized and clear-headed, ready to get started on any important tasks.
Tip #2 – Just begin.
It’s the start of any objective that is often the hardest for most of us, because we convince ourselves the task will be unpleasant or boring. However, you can trick yourself into believing that you’re only going to work on it for a few minutes. Grab that egg timer and set it for 15 minutes again. Promise yourself you can stop working after 15 minutes if you want to, but you have to work at least that long. Most often, after the 15 minutes are up, you’re already “in the groove” so you don’t want to stop!
Tip #3 – Push yourself harder.
If you think it will take an hour to finish a particular task or goal, make it your mission to finish it in 30 minutes. If you think you’re capable of a certain amount of productivity, push yourself to increase that output by at least half. Most of us have a terrible habit of coddling and pampering ourselves rather than pushing ourselves to be better and do better. Deciding to take it to the next level can motivate you to keep doing that and blast through any feelings of procrastination.
Tip #4 – Dress to the nines.
We often equate casual dress with more relaxed activities, so if you’re trying to accomplish something – dress up! Put on a business suit or somewhat formal outfit, including shoes and socks (or pantyhose). Do your hair, shave, and put on cologne or perfume – whatever you would normally do for a social or business event. This gets your mind into action mode and clears away any tendency to slack off.
Tip #5 – Visualize the end result.
We usually avoid working hard or pushing ourselves just for the sake of doing so, but if you focus on a positive benefit to completing your tasks you’ll feel more inclined to work on them. Set aside 10 minutes before you begin and imagine how you’ll feel when the job is done. Allow yourself to feel the feelings you’ll experience when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do – whether it’s satisfaction, pride, happiness, excitement, or simple relief. This gets the good feelings flowing and motivates you to do what it takes to create that experience “for real.”
Tip #6 – Give yourself a pep talk.
Sometimes our inner monologue is filled with negativity, which can reduce our desire to do anything. For example, you might have an inner recording telling you that working on your goals is a waste of time because you simply don’t have what it takes to succeed (you might not even be consciously aware of such a recording). If you counter that with a positive pep talk, it can give you the motivation to get moving. Imagine that you had to motivate your best friend. What would you say to him or her? Say those very same things to yourself and let yourself get inspired!
Tip #7 – S-t-r-e-t-c-h.
If you feel tense and irritable, stretching your body can do wonders for your mood. Take just a few minutes to warm up your muscles by marching in place or taking a short walk. Then take your time stretching your muscles very gently, holding each stretch for a few seconds. Start with your face and neck, and work your way down to your toes. As you work each area, imagine all stress and tension leaving your body, and a new sense of peace and happiness flowing in to replace it.