5 Ways To Instantly Motivate Yourself


There are many long-term habits you can develop to ensure your success down the line, but the problem is  that you need to make a deadline—fast—and you’re starting to slip into procrastination mode. No, goal maps and vision boards aren’t going to help you nail this one, my friend. Instead, try these five tricks to motivate yourself to get started on whatever you’re pursuing right this second.


Photo: Jim Prisching, Associated Press

Share your goals
Your lack of motivation may be the result of a similar lack of accountability. It only takes a second, but telling your goals to your co-worker, partner, or social media following can give your plans an instant boost of immediacy—after all, the threat of public humiliation can be a powerful driving factor. They’re more likely to check in on your progress, too, which helps you keep your momentum going.

Say your goal out loud
No, this isn’t some hippy-dippy self-realization stuff. Articulating that jumble of ideas inside your head into a few sentences will give you a clearer picture of what you want to get done, making it easier to get started on. Try doing this a few times as you continue your work to reflect any changes you’ve made.

Net yourself a (small) win
Have you ever noticed that you feel more motivated when you’re on a roll? Build yourself some momentum by completing some small tasks, such as catching up on your emails in your first 15 minutes at the office or tidying your desk. With a few check marks on your to-do list, continuing on to larger matters will be easier. Careful not to fall into the trap of procrastinating by doing other work, however. Procrasticleaning is a thing.

Give yourself a gift you must refuse
The old carrot-and-stick shtick works wonders when you need to get moving ASAP, but a lack of self-control can kill your effort. The trick then is to bribe yourself with something that physically prevents you from working any longer, such as a few pints of beer or hitting the local court for a game of pick-up. That way, you’ll be forced to finish the job (or else) before indulging in your favourite pastime.

Do, don’t plan

While there’s always a certain amount of preparation necessary to pull off any project well, focusing too much on perfection will leave you paralyzed in the planning phase. The cure to this, try a bold approach—get to work for just five minutes (that doesn’t sound long, now does it?). Buckling down will give your mind that extra push it needs to slip into gear. You can edit or change your work later.
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