by Matt Alderton | January 11, 2018
Having a tough time feeling motivated? It's OK. Everyone has "off" days every now and again. If today is one of those days for you, you can turn things around by tricking yourself into being more productive than you feel like being.
"Even the most passionate and motivated among us have off days. We wake up feeling detached from work, or groggy, frustrated, or depressed, and we can't get into the right mindset to be productive. We might be able to go through the motions of work, but we aren't operating at peak efficiency, nor are we enjoying what we're doing," says contributor Jayson DeMers. "Thankfully, even on your worst days, there are some psychological tricks you can use to hack your mind to become more motivated."

One such trick is simple: Get started.

"One of the hardest parts of any task, especially a challenging one, is actually getting started. Once you're in the middle of something, it's much easier to keep that momentum going," DeMers says. "To overcome this initial hurdle, commit yourself to at least starting your task; you can always tell yourself that you can abandon it after five good minutes of actual work. By the time those five minutes are up, you might already be so into the project that you'll naturally want to carry that momentum forward. So, start! The sooner you do, the sooner you'll achieve that flow."

Another strategy: Set a timer.

"Forcing yourself to work for a fixed amount of time and putting a break on the schedule for the near future … simultaneously puts a limit on how much effort you'll need to expend and gives you something to look forward to -- a break," DeMers says.

If all else fails: Talk.

"Social pressure can influence your personal motivation fairly strongly. If you have a big project to do, or a major goal for the day, tell someone close to you (such as a friend, family member, or even a colleague) what you intend to accomplish," DeMers concludes. "Knowing you'll need to eventually report back to that person, you'll feel extra pressure to do what you said you were going to."

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.