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How to complete tasks even when you don't feel like doing them

It can be difficult to find the motivation to perform at your best right now. Here are a few strategies for regaining your magic.

By waleed kamelPublished 2 months ago 7 min read

I had a nice vibe in April. I'd learned how to reserve lanes at the public pool and was swimming several times a week. As soon as my children returned to school, I was eager to start writing new stories. I even booked a trip, with vaccinations on the way.

After three months, I'm not feeling well. I haven't been to the pool since June, but reservations are no longer required. I'm not too excited about taking the family on a road trip because of COVID-19 variations and wildfires in the West. And all I could think of when my editor asked me to look into inspiration for an article was, ugh.

We all need motivation to get things done, and I know I'm not the only one who struggles to find it. Some of us may be experiencing extreme exhaustion following more than a year of grieving, loss, and epidemic difficulties. While there's nothing seriously wrong, we just can't seem to find our spark. Others may feel more like me. Regardless of our circumstances, examining motivation in greater detail may provide us with greater energy to go forward in the present as well as into an uncertain future.

We all need motivation to get things done, and I know I'm not the only one who struggles to find it. Some of us may be experiencing extreme exhaustion following more than a year of grieving, loss, and epidemic difficulties. While there's nothing seriously wrong, we just can't seem to find our spark. Others may feel more like me. Regardless of our circumstances, examining motivation in greater detail may provide us with greater energy to go forward in the present as well as into an uncertain future.

The Forces That Move

According to Stefano Di Domenico, a motivation researcher and University of Toronto Scarborough instructor, it can be helpful to conceive of motivation as falling into two categories when you hunt for it.

First, there's controlled motivation, which occurs when you feel under the control of external factors like deadlines and end-of-year incentives, or internal pressures like people-pleasing or shame. Maintaining motivation when one is not in control can be challenging. According to Dr. Di Domenico, "what people really mean" when they claim they've lost motivation is that they're only doing something because they have to, not because they want to.

We are looking for autonomous motivation, which is the second kind. This is the point at which you feel self-directed, regardless of whether you are acting out of a sense of intrinsic motivation or a natural affinity for the work at hand.

I yearned for more of that sensation. However, in researching this tale, I discovered that motivation affects so many aspects of our life, including work, school, volunteering, fitness, and health, that I was unsure of where to start.

Tiny, Well-Timed Treats

Anticipating a reward is not a good way to stay motivated over the long run. However, a number of research indicate that associating modest, instant incentives with an activity raises enjoyment and drive.

Associate psychology professor Lora Park of the University at Buffalo ran marathons before having children, but she now finds that finding a window of time to work out before dark can be challenging. She pairs Netflix with the treadmill when she works out in the evening to make running inside more enjoyable.

I tried it out. I prepared a special tea or hot chocolate to drink in front of the computer and found a favorite cup that I only use for writing.

Find Your Why

However, tea only goes so far. One of the two scientists who created the well-known self-determination theory, a theory of motivation, is clinical psychologist Richard M. Ryan. Ryan advises anyone looking for long-term motivation to go deeply into their principles.

According to Dr. Ryan, a professor at Australian Catholic University in North Sydney, you can feel more in control of your actions when you make the connection between the tasks you need to complete and the things that are essential to you, even the tedious ones. What aspects of your job appeal to you? Which central idea does it satisfy?

Motivational speaker and poet Tanaya Winder, located in Albuquerque, suggested that starting with writing about your principles. Ms. Winder, who conducts seminars on rediscovering your sense of purpose, frequently assigns her students to write freely about what inspires them.

Go Far, Together

I attempted to jot down a few terms that reflected my principles. Another important component of motivation that kept coming up for me was connection.

Ms. Winder encouraged thinking about how your motivation is connected to the people around you, whether that's your family or your basketball team, and that she gets her sense of purpose from her community. She is a Duckwater Shoshone, Pyramid Lake Paiute, and Southern Ute.

Dr. Park stated that social ties such as this are essential to rekindling motivation, particularly after the forced isolation caused by the pandemic. “Motivation just starts to wither without that basic connection.”

Having a bad day at work? Reach out to peers for advice particular to their area of expertise or to work together on a project. Alternatively, plan a brainstorming session, get-together after work, or other event to establish that relationship.

Others are raised when one reaches out. According to Dr. Park, "just letting someone know you are thinking of them is enough to kick-start their motivation" and shows them that you are concerned.

She recently thanked a former college professor on the spur of the moment for instructing a difficult and motivating class. In a prompt reply, the professor said that Dr. Park's email had lifted her low spirits.

A Friendly Game of Motivation

Competition serves as another source of motivation for people. Researchers divided students enrolled in an 11-week fitness program into smaller virtual social networks in a 2016 study; some groups were supportive, while others were competitive. According to Damon Centola, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the study's principal author, students who belonged to competitive groups exercised far more frequently than those who belonged to supportive social networks.

More often than we would like to admit, the people in our lives have an impact on us. To maximize this influence, seek out some competition when you need a boost to work out, advises Dr. Centola, whose book "Change: How to Make Big Things Happen" examines how social networks promote change.

Fresh sporting experiences can sometimes be a goldmine of inspiration. According to a 2020 study, attempting new things might encourage you to continue exercising.

I needed a little bit of both: I haven't gone back to the pool, but I felt the need to challenge myself after learning about a friend's half-marathon, so I looked for a fall trail event and began training.

Have Some Self-Compassion

But when it comes to writing, I get stressed out by competition. I turn into a nasty aerobics instructor in my head, saying things like, "You're lazy and ungrateful!" and "Complete this tale, or you'll never have a job again!"

This is ineffective. As an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, Kristin Neff asserts that treating oneself with compassion is far more successful than criticizing oneself. "People think they're going to shame themselves into action," yet self-compassion, according to her, can help individuals stay motivated by lowering fear of failure, increasing self-confidence, and helping people stay focused on their objectives.

Dr. Neff advised taking a moment to ask yourself what you need first. Perhaps you'll realize it's time to go back on track with your goals or realize you're prepared to seek assistance from others. Sometimes all it takes is admitting that you're going through a difficult moment and that this is a typical part of life.

Self-compassion does not imply weakness or lack of motivation, according to Dr. Neff. She discusses a study of college students who performed poorly on a difficult vocabulary test in her new book, "Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive." After the test, students who were told to treat themselves with compassion studied more and did better on a retest than those who received no instruction or just basic remarks meant to enhance self-esteem.

Dr. Neff stated, "The important thing about motivation and self-compassion is that it enables you to learn from your mistakes."

You’re Not Alone

I tried practicing self-compassion throughout my morning run because I have a lot of failures to learn from. What was it I needed? Get more sleep and exercise first. I could think of fresh angles on this tale and seek guidance from certain peers. That's when I understood that I should actually be paying attention.

I took a look around. I noticed others pulling off their masks, folks heading to work, dog walkers, and maintenance personnel, so even at dawn I wasn't alone. I visualized individuals waking up in houses and hospitals, whether they felt like it or not. I was able to finish the run and this story because of the idea of all of us trying, failing, and trying again. You must have found enough motivation to reach this point if you are still reading.

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About the Creator

waleed kamel

Passionate motivational content writer skilled in crafting inspiring narratives to empower individuals and drive positive transformation. Dedicated to making a difference.

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  • Test2 months ago

    WOW! Very amazing work!!

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