Many of us think of motivation as something that’s either present or absent; but in reality, it’s a mental muscle that gets stronger with practice. This month, to mark World Mental Health Day, we share a few strategies to help you break out of your motivational funk, whether you’re feeling drained, uninspired, or just stuck in a rut. motivationtips
When you’re on the verge of burnout…
Have you ever had so much to do that you ended up doing nothing at all? It’s a common reaction to prolonged stress, and the ideal way to cope is, of course, to take some time off. It’s not always possible to go away immediately, though – in this case, try to practise productive procrastination.
This technique is simple: when you feel overwhelmed and want to procrastinate, just do it! Allow your mind to take a break for a set amount of time, but instead of idling away, message a friend, do a short workout
, or read a book
– anything that’s enjoyable and beneficial to your wellbeing. Got a long to-do list? Rather than being stuck on that one big task, do other easier items first for a sense of progress. This way, you can restock your mental energy while building productivity momentum.
Want more tips and advice to help you excel?
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Gamify Your Day
When you’ve lost interest…
If you’re feeling stuck in the same routine and find it hard to stay engaged at work, then it’s time to spice things up. “Gamify” your day to make it more fun and exciting: start by listing out all your tasks for the day, paired with a few small prizes, such as a snack or a short break to watch a bit of your favourite show
. Each time you complete a task, you’ll “unlock” one of these small indulgences as a reward.
There are also gamification apps that can give you a sense of challenge and accomplishment. Habitica
, for instance, are both apps that turn your to-do list into an adventure by letting you design your own avatar and earn upgrades for it by completing real-life tasks.
Lean on Your Social Network
When things don’t go as planned…
It can be discouraging when things don’t happen the way we want them to – perhaps a goal is taking longer to achieve than expected, a promotion falls through despite your best efforts, or a plan changes for reasons beyond your control (something that many of us have experienced this year). You may find it difficult to pick yourself up, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Our social support network is often what keeps us going in times of difficulty. People who care about us – family, friends and co-workers – can become our biggest motivators when we can’t find the strength within ourselves. So, don’t be afraid to tell them what you’re going through – they may or may not be able to offer practical advice, but it’s always helpful to gain a fresh perspective on your situation and, more importantly, to have moral support. If circumstances allow, call your best friend up for a coffee
; otherwise, even a phone or video call can provide that much-needed human connection.
Chunk Down Goals
When you feel intimidated by new challenges…
New technologies bring upon new challenges to the workplace as we try to catch up and adapt. If you feel dazed and frustrated by such changes, there’s a way to overcome the negative emotion and build up confidence – by breaking down the learning process into smaller chunks and celebrating every little win.
Let’s say your challenge is to master complicated software, which seems difficult since there’s so much to learn in so little time. But what if you broke it down into more achievable goals? Instead of trying to figure out everything in one go, just commit 15 minutes a day to learn about the software, whether it’s by watching tutorials online or to practise using it on your own. Write down your target for each of these sessions and don’t forget the power of positive reinforcement – reward yourself for every target achieved. Before you know it, you’ll have already mastered the challenge!
Uncertainty can leave us feeling powerless and unmotivated – see how you can best cope with it based on your personality, here.