Best selling author and business coach Steve McNicholas will agree with you that motivation is a tricky thing. As he puts it in his regular blogs, “whether you’re an entrepreneur, a student, a stay-at-home parent, or a worker bee in a large corporation, you know that motivation comes in a schedule of fleeting, unplanned waves. At some point, caffeine simply doesn’t cut it.”
Steve says we have to look beyond ourselves or a role model boss to thrive. But, it’s important to think deeper than just these two overarching categories. “Simply identifying the type of motivation present during a certain task can help keep you on schedule.”
He are Steve’s tips to help your motivation and hell we need it in these sweltering days when we’d rather be at the beach or in one of our favourite watering holes in Liverpool, Lunya (cocktails pictured at Lunya/Lunyalita).
1. Attach reason to the task.
Let’s be very clear: Getting motivated about a task doesn’t mean you have to be happy or excited about it. Sometimes you must ask yourself: Why is this task important? What will it bring about in my life? The answer could be as simple as I won’t get fired. The key thing to remember here is that motivation is nebulous. The motivation for answering your inbox full of client complaints is going to be starkly different than your motivation to get up at 5 a.m. so you can spend time with your daughter before her first day of school.
2. Assess your unwillingness to get started.
Have you ever had a looming deadline on a big project only to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning out your refrigerator or detailing your car? Maybe you’re afraid of failing at the upcoming task. Maybe this is an ongoing trait that you need to address on a deeper level. If you struggle to get started on a project until it’s crunch time, you might have an unhealthy relationship with stress.
A 20-year stress study by the University of London found that stress can release dopamine—the feel-good chemical—which encourages repeat behavior. Simply put, people can be just as addicted to stress as they are to likes on their social media posts. More importantly, the study found that those with unmanaged stress levels were at higher risks for cancer and heart disease than smokers or those with poor diets.
3. Use the 15-minute rule.
You might not have issues keeping up with your career tasks because those pay the bills and come with a pretty clear level of accountability. But what about the mundane daily tasks at home? After a long day at the office, the last thing we want to do is put away the clean dishes or organize last month’s receipts in preparation for tax season.
Use the 15-minute rule, advises Gretchen Rubin in her book, Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life. You can accomplish quite a bit in just 15 minutes, and yet most of us fritter away that time on our phones in between meetings or during a commute. Commit to working on a put-off task for 15 minutes without interruption. Stop at 15 minutes. Don’t allow yourself to work any longer. Do this every day for a week and mark your progress.