As most people know, the hardest part of doing anything is often simply starting it. Sometimes, summoning up the motivation to do any task can feel monumental. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll never start and you won’t get anything done at all.
Fortunately, there are ways to trick the mind into starting even the least exciting task. Here are four ways to motivate yourself into starting just about anything:
- Begin with the smallest step. Sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the larger project and the big picture. A task may seem like it will be a great deal of hard work or will take too long. Break the task into smaller pieces and start with the smallest. Remember, any step counts, no matter how small. Once you get started it’s easier to get on a roll for the larger steps.
- Tell yourself you only have to do it for five minutes. Give yourself permission to stop and take a break after just five minutes. Oftentimes, once you actually start a task, you’ll get into it and find yourself working beyond just the allotted time you gave yourself. If you still want to take a break after five minutes, that’s fine too. Many people use a method where they alternate working for a set amount of time and taking breaks. Try this method and see if it works for you. Use a kitchen timer to help keep track of time and avoid getting off track.
- Tell people that you’re going to do it. Telling a friend or family member or posting your goal on social media can be a big boost to motivation. For starters, they can act as your cheerleaders and lend support and encouragement. But perhaps even more importantly, it can motivate you to work extra hard so you don’t let them down. Now that you’ve got people expecting you to deliver, you’ll be all the more motivated to do so.
- Give yourself credit for every step you do. It doesn’t matter how small the step was – even just working on your project for a few minutes counts as a victory. By feeling less like a failure and more like a success story, you’ll be more likely to continue with your project rather than give up. You can even reward yourself every time you finish a small step.
Finding motivation is not always easy, especially in a world where it’s so easy to be distracted. But remember: just because it’s difficult to find motivation doesn’t mean it’s impossible. These four tips should help you to defeat distraction and get you on the path to success.