Sometimes you need to get started on a project right away. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating for days or even weeks, and now you’re down to the wire on an unforgiving deadline. Sounds familiar?
The threat of not completing the job on time should be enough to motivate you to get moving, right? Wrong. Often, even knowing the consequences that exist for not completing a task aren’t enough to push us forward. Fortunately, there are some tangible steps you can take in order to give yourself a boost when your usual routine isn’t working. Adding even a few of these to your routine may help you to overcome that slump when you need a motivational jumpstart.
If you’re feeling sleepy or even restless, you won’t be able to focus on that pressing task. A great solution is to move your body. Get off the couch. Step away from your desk for a few minutes.
Exercise has been shown to increase mental clarity and decrease stress, just the necessary combination for working on a project with a looming deadline. Taking a brisk walk or going to the gym for a quick step aerobics class on your lunch hour can be just enough of a jolt to get you in prime thinking mode. Be careful not to overdo it or you’ll be too exhausted to do much of anything.
One way to convince your brain that an activity is worth starting is to look ahead to the end result. Think about the money you’ll make a from a freelance gig, the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get from finishing a project or the freedom to begin your two-week semester break when your last paper is submitted. No matter what the project, visualizing the result of your efforts can improve your focus and motivation. Consider adding an actual visual such as a photo, magazine clipping or another image to motivate you.
Listen to Music
Upbeat music might be a solution that leads you to start tapping your toes and feeling more alert. If you are able to work with background noise, you can keep the music going. A mellow playlist or instrumental songs might be a better option for you than fast beats in order to really concentrate on the task at hand. If you require silence in order to concentrate, put on just a few of your favorites to shift your mood, get you energized and then get to work.
A method that is often successful in tricking the mind to move on a task is to start with a small portion of the whole project. You might wish to start small by gathering your data and other supplies necessary for completing the job. This step while small can put you in the right mindset to keep working on the rest. Getting started truly is half the battle.
These suggestions can, and should, be tailored to fit your personality, preferences, and lifestyle. Experiment and use the ones that work for you. For me, music is a great motivator and having a visual of the end result is a great motivation to accomplish a goal or complete a project.
Take a Rest
It’s also possible that a quick rest can restore your clear thinking. If your brain is feeling cloudy or your thoughts are cloudy, a short nap might be a better course of action than exercise. I love a good power nap. Put your head down or stretch out on the sofa for 10 or 20 minutes. When you wake up from this power nap, you should be feeling rejuvenated and ready to work.
Let me know which of these tips seem to most fit lifestyle.