I am a procrastinator, I lose motivation easily, and I give up quickly: these are just some of my vast and reoccurring faults which haunt my daily life. Sound familiar to anyone else?
I would not say that I am lazy, however I would much rather lounge on a couch than exercise, surf the net than start homework, and forfeit my obligations just because I have an hour long train ride. OK, yes I am lazy.
However, over the years I have found that little things can really help me get motivated and stay focused on the task at hand. So, if you are like me, or even just relate to one of the things mentioned above, then my list of 5 ways to get and stay motivated could possibly give you the inspiration you need.
- Clean Disco-Style. Ugh, housework. It seems like the randomly appearing dust bunnies, the piles of unwashed dishes, and the un-made beds just never go away. Cleaning is a daily task, which most women (my sister excluded), feel needs to be completed before relaxing with a drink-in-hand can occur. Yet, it is just so damn tedious! One thing that I have found works for me is jammin’ it up while doing the housework. Whether you blast those tunes (Bob Marley is my housework hubby), replace the sound of running water with your favorite TV show (The Ghost Whisperer works for me), or create a jig with your vacuum (mine actually has some moves!), it helps you to stay entertained and speed up the cleaning process.
- Disconnect. Anyone who is attending school, such as myself, or who remembers the long study hours, can agree that one can be easily distracted while doing homework. We live in the digital age, and whether it’s our vibrating phone, a new Facebook status, or an updated blog post, the virtual world just seems to get in the way. Try disconnecting. Before starting homework, unplug the internet router (Gasp!, I know) and retreat to a room far away from that box we call our social lives. If your homework needs to be done on the computer – such as taking notes on Word – then being far away from the router will spike up that lazy mentality we all secretly suppress and you will rather finish your homework than trek to turn on the router. If you need to utilize the internet for your homework, then set a time limit goal that if you finish a certain amount of homework, you will then allow yourself 5 minutes to surf the web. If you’re still tempted with such things as Facebook, there’s always an option to deactivate your account, which won’t erase it, until you go back and reactivate it – and don’t worry, your Facebook page will still be the same!
- Commute Step-by-Step (or Wheel-by-Wheel) . One thing I have a problem with is thinking about the travel time required to get to a place. I live in Madrid, a city ran by its public transportation system, and just getting to my university takes an hour of a train and a metro. Oh, how I wish to had the ability to teleport! But since that’s impossible, I needed to find a way to distract myself from the fact that my commute was both long and tiresome, and shouldn’t stop me from going places. One thing that worked for me, and has also worked in other aspects of my life, is taking the commute “step-by-step” by focusing on one aspect of the commute at a time. While I walk to the train station, I count how many cars pass me that are blue; while I wait for the train, I make a bet with myself on whether or not it will be on time or late; while I ride on the train, I either read or people watch; while I switch from the train to the metro, I guess where each person I pass is going; and while I walk from the metro stop to my destination, I go over – in my head of course – what needs to be done or said when I reach that destination. And before I know it, I’m there! You can also entertain yourself during a long car commute by listening to the radio, playing driving games with yourself, or fist pumping out the window for semi-trucks to blare their horn. These things can all distract you from thinking of how much time you have left in your commute, and get you motivated to actually go places without the nagging thought of the long transportation ahead.
- Remember Your Goals. One easy and efficient reminder that gets and keeps me motivated is remembering my goals and what I am working towards. Why am I going to school? To obtain my dream career. Why am I going to work? Because it’s my dream job and I need to support my family. Why am I cleaning? To keep a healthy and happy home. Just reminding yourself of why you need to do what you have to do can greatly motivate you, and also allow yourself to remember just how important living life really is.
- Think of the Dead. This last one may be a little morbid, however it works. Thinking of your loved ones who have died, and wondering if they completed everything they set out to achieve, can really help keep yourself motivated. I have lost some very close friends whom were so young – 19 and 20 years old – and just knowing that their whole life was ahead of them is definitely a wake-up call for me. I too have my whole life ahead of me, the only difference is I can still experience it, and with this motivation, it reminds me that TV shows will always have re-runs, my friends are much more interesting in person, and I can sleep when I die. So, just LIVE!