Motivation...Meet Me

With everything going on in our world today, it can seem really difficult to find the motivation to complete the day-to-day tasks that we are still held responsible for completing. Whether it is working from home, staying on top of summer classes, helping parents or siblings, or simply taking care of yourself, motivation seems to be at an all-time low. Here are a couple of ways that I force my own motivation when I’d rather binge that third season on Netflix.

Get Dressed

Tempting as it may be to work in your PJ’s, one of the best ways to find some motivation is to start the day by getting dressed. Who wants to wear jeans in quarantine? People who have stuff to get done, that’s who! Even if denim isn’t your cup of tea, take off the baggy sweats and put on a different pair. The point is to change out of what you sleep in to make it a little more difficult to crawl back into bed. 

Get Up and Get Ready

Like getting dressed, get up and get ready in whatever way that means for you. If you were going to an 8 am lecture or headed into a 9 o’clock work meeting, would you curl your hair? Put on make-up? Find the earrings that match the necklace and bracelet combo that you love? Start with a quick work-out? Some combination of those? Start with whatever you would do to make yourself ready to confidently take on a new day before COVID-19. Again, it makes it harder to go back to bed and creates a closer representation of a “normal” workday. 

Find a Place to Work That Isn’t Your Bedroom

Studies show that working in your bedroom can have a lot of negative impacts. From less productivity to decreasing the quality of your sleep, experts agree that finding a separate workspace is better for your physical and mental health. (For more interesting info on what experts say, check out this link!) So sit at the dining room table, the kitchen counter, the porch, or the deck, basically anywhere that isn’t your bed.

Put Aside Your Cell Phone

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but put your cell phone away. It’s probably not hard to put together, but putting your cell phone away helps to eliminate distractions that can decrease your dwindling motivation. A study performed at the University of Texas showed that students who placed their cell phones in another room, as opposed to on their desks, did significantly better on a cognitive test. (To read the brief study for yourself, click here.) So, put your cell phone in another room. Put in on the counter on the other side of the room. Even setting your phone outside of arm’s reach can help you be, and stay, more motivated. 

Write a To-Do List (or Lists)

However you keep your responsibilities organized, consider adding “write a to-do list.”. This does a couple of things. First, it lays everything out in the same place. It’s a great way to compile work tasks, possible school work, and miscellaneous house chores. Second, it provides a visual space to see how much work is getting done. Third, writing out everything that needs to be done is a great way to get started and begin the day with the feeling of accomplishment that can be difficult to find in these trying times.

Make Little Goals

Similar to the to-do lists, breaking the day into little goals can allow you to feel accomplished along the way instead of just at the end of the day. Break the big tasks into a series of smaller tasks that can be done in less time. This can help you stay motivated as it will help you to feel like you are accomplishing more.

Find Small Things to Look Forward To

Is walking the dog something you enjoy in your daily life? Use that as leverage to be motivated. Make yourself finish one task or reach one smaller goal before you get out in the sunshine and walk the dog. Maybe cooking is something you like to do, plan a meal and it will give you something to look forward to when the work is done. Plan a call with a friend or a socially distanced bonfire for Friday night, having things you enjoy planned will help you to stay motivated. Maybe the plan for Saturday night is to binge season three on Netflix, there’s nothing wrong with that, but use it as an incentive to get through the week.

All in all, motivation can be a hard thing to keep a hold on even when everything in life is going right, so it’s no surprise that when so much seems to be going wrong, motivation is nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, there are still many responsibilities that we each have that cannot go unfinished. So, in whatever way works for you, keep working. Push yourself to get done what absolutely has to get done and then pat yourself on the back for doing it. It’s important that we keep some semblance of normality where we can, but it’s also important to remember that you can only do so much. So do that, and then relax with some good old fashioned binging— you’ve earned it.