Unclutterer is a great website. Erin Doland and her team of writers, including Deb Lee, are talented and informative, while maintaining a great sense of humor throughout. I have read Unclutterer for years now, mostly for their titular advice on eliminating clutter from your life.
This week, however, Deb offered up some great tips on how to find your motivation. One of the coolest things she points out is that losing our motivation is to be expected. I am not somehow “broken” because my motivation has waned on some of my projects. This is surprisingly encouraging information! How many times have you said “what’s wrong with me?!” when you suddenly lack the drive you once had? I know I’ve berated myself for waning motivation on more than one occasion. Possibly even today. Possibly.
So, knowing that our motivation will desert us at some point, Deb suggests that we forge ahead, making plans, and factoring in a need for a kick in the ass around the mid-way point. If our project or goal is especially massive, we should plan for a few ass-kickings (pronounced: rewards) at key points in the process.
We could also create or tap into a support network. WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig, MyFitnessPal, and other weight loss sites all embrace this concept. WeightWatchers’ ads talk a lot about research on how people who have support lose a pretty sizable percentage more weight than people who don’t have a support system. It’s really no different in any area of our lives. If you are working on a big project at the office, but are left to your own devices, you are less likely to be successful than if you are accountable to someone else throughout the project.
I like Deb’s advice that we re-read an especially inspirational book, blog post, or article. Or watch a program that made us feel like we could conquer the world. Or talk to a person that always makes us feel powerful and motivated. Revisiting motivating moments in our life can inspire us all over again. I use pocket to keep track of blog posts and online articles that have inspired me in the past.
Probably the hardest advice to follow is to eliminate the overwhelm. Stop saying “yes” so much. Eliminating some of the overwhelming feelings about our workload can be incredibly motivating, but we are rarely in a position (whether at work or at home) to say “no” to a new project or responsibility. I swear, overwhelmed is the new black.
I’m still reeling over the knowledge that I’m normal, even when my motivation fails me. There is nothing “wrong” with me, and I am not somehow defective because I lost my drive. This is so freeing, I immediately felt a little bit more motivated upon reading it.