It is very wonderful when we start our day so energized and motivated that each of our tasks seems to be done without much effort. However, there are days that we don’t get the vibes we need to align our feelings with our goals. We can blame the fluctuations in motivation on mood. When the mood is good, motivation is more likely to be high. And when our mood is bad, motivation is very likely to be low.
We cannot afford to let the ebbs and flows of mood and motivation get in the way of achieving our goals. To stay productive and be able to achieve our goals on schedule, we must be ready to do what is necessary, whether our motivation ebbs or flows. To keep our productivity high even in times when motivation is low takes courage and discipline.
Below are five ways to help you stay productive irrespective of what your motivation level is.
1. Plan ahead for days when you don’t feel motivated
Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You should first understand that you can either navigate your goals by mood or by desire. Our mood fluctuates a lot. So if we must stay productive, we should not work based on mood.
Desires, on the other hand, are our lasting feelings of accomplishment and self-worth that we hope to experience once we can finish our tasks and accomplish our goals. Navigating work by desire surely helps us stay productive even when motivation is low.
For instance, you aim to wake up an hour earlier for three months so that you can complete an essential online course. For the first few days, you may naturally feel motivated to get up in time because your mood is in alignment. Two weeks into the course, and you find it hard to get out of bed. Of course, you can follow your mood and skip the course for that day and other days that your mood gets in your way. Another approach is to recognize mood and yet defy it by thinking about the benefits of completing the course. Once you can let your desires dominate your mood, you can be sure to accomplish much more.
Strategize for those days when your mood is not allowing you to be productive. Some people find learning and chanting powerful quotes, mission statements, and mantras effective. Some others can get themselves moving by merely thinking of the gains of staying productive. Another group believes writing their thoughts on paper and processing those helps. The key here is to find what works for you and use it.
2. Work with a team if possible
There is strength in unity. At times you feel very low, that’s when positive energy is coursing through the veins of your friends in the workplace. Rather than feel detached, get closer. Join motivated individuals in what they do. Eventually, their motivation can energize or even rub on you.
Sometimes talking about your mood to someone else can help. Discuss with your team leader or a trusted partner. You can also use accountability to your advantage. A friend shared how he was able to stick to his to-do list by involving his fiancée. He’ll mail her a copy of his to-do list after preparing it the night before. After each workday, when she calls and asks in the evening how many tasks are left undone, he tells her. A penalty of $20 was attached to any task that was not completed on the list. The friend dragged himself to stick to his to-do list rather than enrich his fiancée. He said, “Paying a fine of $20 for every uncompleted task forces my mood to align with the task at hand.”
You can choose consequences and rewards that can help you stay productive when working with an accountability partner.
3. Create a productive work routine
When we build certain work habits as a result of consistent practice, they become so hard to break. If you need to change your work routine to help you stay motivated, make plans for the move and go ahead with it. Use already learned habits to build new ones. For instance, if you formed the habit of reading the news at a fixed time in your home or office, ensure the new task you want to incorporate follows immediately. If the new mission is reaching out to clients, you start reaching out to clients soon after you have watched this news. Stick to this practice for a month, and you’ll see your new routine sticks easily to your subconscious. You will want to do the task whether you feel like it or not.
4. Reinforce your performance
When you pulled yourself together and completed that seemingly impossible task, how did you feel? I bet you felt you were on top of the world. Celebrate that success in any little way you can. This will help you build a positive addiction to this feeling. Once you can get it registered in your mind that you are the kind of person who keeps getting results to rain come shine, you eventually become unstoppable.
5. Take time management seriously
Many times we are not productive because we think we have time. The difference in how we view our time horizons is a significant reason why some people are more productive than others. Time management is life management. When we have a proper perspective of our time horizon, we’ll be able to plan and work better without waiting on motivation to be on our side all the time. Basecamp time tracking can help you manage your time more effectively.
Do you ever found yourself being overwhelmed because you have a lot of tasks to execute but lack motivation? Did you apply any of our suggestions here? What other approach did you take? We’ll like to see your viewpoints in the comment section below. Kindly share it!
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