Counting the days until the holidays is like reliving a Monday at work over and over again. Fighting and trying to overcome low motivation can be exhausting and exasperating, especially during a period in the year when many tasks have to be completed quickly to meet deadlines before the year ends. If you are struggling to get motivated, here are ways to get your energy back and meet your goals before the New Year:
Have a Plan.
A plan can be an overview of the things you need to do for a specific time period, organized as a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Use this plan to lay out the tasks that lie ahead. This will let you prioritize effectively to save time.
Make Shorter Lists.
Your To-Do list right now might be several feet long and very intimidating. Instead of checking this list from time to time to cross off tasks that are already done, try making a shorter list. Write down the things that need to be completed today and tomorrow, then finish them. When the day is over, you would have crossed out several to-do things and remain in control.
Get the easier tasks done first, then devote your energy to the harder stuff. Do not try to finish multiple things at the same time because there is a risk one or two will fail. When that happens, you will end up with more work than when you started. Check your list for things that need to be done right away, then do the steps necessary to complete them. Make sure you have a good overview of the day’s assignment so you have a clear idea about how to spend your time. This works very well if you have multiple deadlines.
Know Why You Are Doing Something.
Not every task has a good reason for being in your To-Do list. Take a few minutes and read the items on your list. Some of these tasks may appear difficult and unpleasant to do, and you might not find any motivation to do them, but if you analyze them carefully, they might make future tasks easier to perform or give you excellent results once they are completed. Understand your goals because these will help you realize the reason for the tasks in your list. If you have a better idea about why you need to do certain things, you will be better at allocating the time, efforts and resources to finish them.
Know If You Are Progressing.
In every task, you have to go through a series of stages. Having a clear view of your goals will help you determine where you are at the moment. Since you have broken bigger tasks into smaller ones, you will have an improved perspective of the big picture and have a better motivation to complete the rest of the steps. Recognize these milestones each time you reach them to keep your spirits up. You will have a better sense of satisfaction and anticipation if you find yourself nearing your goals.
Motivation is not a single giant apple on a tree. You need to pile motivation on top of motivation to get to the finish line. Do this by rewarding yourself for every task you finish. Human brains are wired to feel good when rewards are given, and you can take advantage of this by giving yourself a pat on the back for every small goal you meet.
Note, however, that you should know which actions or results must qualify for a reward. If you grant yourself a reward for every small task you do, you would have defeated your purpose. Instead of rewarding yourself for, say, making routine phone calls for regular clients, credit yourself for making a single, successful phone call to one difficult client. If you raise the bar a little bit, you will have the right type of motivation to do better for succeeding tasks.
Keep Your Eye on the Future.
Your work and plans do not end with the holidays. There is life beyond the celebrations, a life where you have to go back to your job, hit the gym once again or open your shop. It is often so easy to slack off and just let your motivation go out the window because colleagues, friends, bosses and business partners are probably starting to go on vacation, and you might lose interest because you are not being watched.
Keep in mind that by keeping your motivation up and your productivity high, you not only accomplish more but also increase your desirability factor as an employee. If you own a business, staying motivated during the holiday period lets you maintain good service so you can expect better profits. As long as you keep this in mind, you will be back fresh and ready, and get a better head start for the new year.