“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

A lack of motivation is often one of the biggest obstacles to reaching your goals. Whether it’s to work out, clean the house, or finish that project that’s been sitting on your TO-DO list for weeks, being able to throw yourself into it might be a bit more challenging than we would like.

Even the most successful people in the world have times when they are feeling tired and have no motivation to do what they’ve gotta do. It’s an emotion. It will come, it will go. There’s no way to stay motivated 100% of the time.

Productivity doesn’t always mean completing a task from start to finish. 1% progress is better than 0%. Here are a few tips you can apply to your routine when you’re not really feeling it at all.

1. Delay satisfaction

Essentially, you can’t have what you want until you do what you need to do. You can’t sit and binge your favourite show or eat that snack you’ve been craving until you finish this task.

Denying yourself simple pleasures as a way to reward good behaviours.

2. Think about the future

Sit back and think about what can happen if you do what you need to do. You already know what would happen if you don’t. You’ll probably feel more overwhelmed as things start to pile up. It might seem easier to put it off until a later date, but how does future you benefit from this thing that needs to be done. Essentially, the past you left that job for you to do – and it really sucks that they chose not to get this simple thing over and done with.

3. Dictate it as you’re doing it

Talk through everything you need to physically do by giving yourself instructions out loud. As you would give instructions to a kid, walking them through a task step by step, this is essentially what you’re doing to yourself.

  • Pick up the plate
  • Walk over to the sink
  • Turn on the water
  • Grab the sponge.

Eventually, as you’re going through the motions, you’ll start to flow and feel more inclined to get the task completed.

4. Channel Mel Robbins’ 5-second Rule

Simple yet effective, the 5 Second Rule is a countdown method to break any bad habit, interrupt self-doubt and push yourself into physically getting something done. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it

When you silently count down from five, your brain knows something needs to happen after one; that’s the cue. Do it NOW.

5. Set a timer

Similar to the 3rd rule mentioned above, once you’re in it, you can build momentum to keep going. Consider setting a timer – even 5 minutes – once you start, you may build momentum to keep going. Just convince yourself that you’ll only do it for 5 minutes. That’s all it takes.

6. Turn off the electronics

This is essentially a great way to trick yourself into being bored… Yep! That’s right. Boredom by itself might push you into actually doing something. “Alright, well i guess I’ve got nothing else to do but to get this thing done.”

7. I can’t vs I won’t

Understand the difference between “i can’t” and “i won’t”. You are capable of getting motivated. Most of the time, you CAN. 

Most of the time, it comes down to understanding that I WON’T do this because I don’t feel motivated – rather than I CAN’T do this because I don’t feel motivated to do this.

It may take time to find what works for you. Take it slow. Be kind to yourself and don’t despair when it goes wrong. Remember that tomorrow is another chance to get it right.

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