Wanting to be productive and actually being productive are two very different states. Our motivation plays a big part in what we actually achieve, or even attempt.
For years, experts have studied motivation and how it is a driving force in our lives. We know that being motivated increases productivity, but sustaining motivation can be hard. Our motivation fluctuates, affected by a range of factors. How often do we yearn for a magical dose of motivation to inspire us to do what we know we need to do?
There are proven ways that can help us to stay motivated and, therefore, increase our productivity even further. Here are some tried and tested behaviors that you can use.
It's easy to feel excited and motivated when we start a new project or a new routine. That excitement can sometimes cause us to bite off more than we can chew, affecting our motivation and decreasing our productivity in the long run. Starting small can help us get the momentum going, and keep it going.
Being able to achieve small and realistic goals are great motivation boosters that can set us up to do the other more significant tasks at hand. Repeated wins, no matter how small, create an expectancy of achievement – a success habit.
If your goal is to finish a large project, break it down into smaller steps and start by tackling those that you find more accessible and more manageable first. Those small steps add up and can help you stay motivated and productive.
Take Regular Breaks
We might think that working non-stop is productive, but in reality, we achieve less and become demotivated when we don't take regular breaks. Exhaustion and burnout are significant stressors that can lead to feeling discouraged. Taking breaks can help us refresh our minds and refocus or recalibrate our thinking.
A simple 15-minute walk or a snack break can have positive effects on your motivation and productivity. If you have been trying to solve a problem or working on a task for hours and can't seem to find the finish line, take a break. The pause that refreshes will give your mind a chance to breathe and refuel to keep you motivated until the end.
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Always Look At The Big Picture
All our small and attainable tasks are baby steps that can help us achieve our bigger goals. However, reflecting on our big and audacious goals can also help us stay on track. When feeling unmotivated to work, looking at the big picture can remind us to keep going.
All our efforts create an impact not just on ourselves but also on the development of a project, to the organization, or the community. Considering how all our actions can affect others and lead us closer to achieving our goals are effective motivators to be productive.
Reward Your Hard Work
We all know how the rewards system works, all thanks to years of conditioning from society. Rewards do work and are effective in keeping our motivation and productivity high.
Hard work deserves to be recognized and celebrated. Rewarding ourselves for the hard work that we have done can make us more motivated to achieve our goals. Rewards do not need to be fancy or extravagant for them to work, although they could be if you can afford it. They don't even have to have material value.
Know Your Purpose
When feeling demotivated, an excellent way to get back on track is to go back to your ‘why' – the reason and purpose behind what you do. Being bogged down with the many things that we need to accomplish can get us sidetracked and lose that initial drive and motivation that we had in the beginning.
However, reminding ourselves of why we do what we do is an excellent way for us to feel motivated again because most of the time, the things we do are the ones we feel most passionate about.
Our self-drive and motivation are key factors that can help us be more productive and achieve more in work and life. Staying motivated may be challenging at times, but there are different ways to get back on track. At its most basic, a winning formula is to ‘think big and act small'. This helps us stay reminded as to why we do what we have to do to get to where we want to be.