During the COVID-19 pandemic that we are all facing, many people find that they are shorter on motivation than usual. At a time when most people have more time at home than they ever do, motivation seems to be at its lowest.
While it may seem counterintuitive that having more time and ability to do things would lead to decreased motivation, this is actually often the case. Having more time and less structure can make it more difficult to do the things that you want to get done. More time creates a perception that you have a long time to accomplish what you want to. While this is true, it makes you less efficient with that time and leads to a lack of pressure that can cause you to be slower to act. This additional time also creates situations where distractions are not seen as something that will keep you from achieving your goal, but as a chance to have a break.
Staying motivated is most difficult when you do not have the pressure of a short time span to get done what you want to get done, and when you seem to have all the time you need. There are several strategies, however, that you can use to keep yourself on track and keep motivated while you have extra time.
Staying motivated involves keeping track of the extra time that you have and planning out how you are going to use that time. Motivation also involves rewarding yourself and acknowledging the progress that you are making. Keeping motivated doesn’t require anything difficult or complex, but there are a few simple strategies you can use to stay motivated.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There is a lot of truth to this old saying. Not having a plan ensures that you won’t succeed at achieving your goals, because you don’t even know what your goals are. By having a list of things you would like to accomplish or by making a plan for your day, you will be able to better measure your progress throughout the day and stay focused on what you want to achieve.
Keeping track of what you have already accomplished can be a great motivation. Looking at your progress shows you that you have already achieved some of your goals and that you have been productive. This can increase your motivation as you continue towards your goals. Some types of progress will be obvious, such as when you are cleaning your garage. Others may be less obvious, like adhering to your workout routine, and may require you to mark off a calendar or some other strategy to record your progress. While you should remain focused on the tasks ahead of you, taking a moment to look back at where you came from can definitely help provide you with motivation.
Motivation is like a battery that keeps us going through work or tasks that we otherwise wouldn’t do. Like a battery, motivation requires time to recharge as it runs low. Taking time to relax allows you to restore your motivation and ultimately achieve more. Scheduling time to relax can also keep you motivated in situations where your motivation would otherwise be low. Sometimes knowing that you are planning a break at a certain time can give you the motivation you need to keep working until that break.
The human brain is designed to repeat actions that are rewarded or result in a pleasurable situation. By rewarding yourself after successfully completing a job or project, you are telling your subconscious that working and completing tasks is a good thing and increasing your subconscious motivation for the next project that you undertake. On a conscious level, looking forward to some kind of reward can help you to feel more motivated while you are in the middle of a project.
Having someone else to keep you accountable can greatly help your motivation. To have an accountability partner, you will need to choose someone who will regularly check in on you to help review if you are staying on your plan or if you have fallen behind. You will need an accountability partner who cares about your success but isn’t afraid to challenge you if you are failing to meet your goals. Having someone to keep you accountable that you know will be keeping track of your progress can be very good for your motivation. Motivation is easier if you don’t pursue your goals alone.
While motivation may seem difficult at times, it should never be impossible to have motivation for prolonged periods of time. There is a huge difference between finding it difficult to feel motivated and having no motivation at all for days on end. A severe lack of motivation that you cannot overcome could be depression. Even those who have never experienced depression before may have some symptoms of depression during the stresses and difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, as our world experiences changes that it has never encountered before. Depression is ultimately a medical problem, and no amount of trying to become motivated will fix it.
Transformations Treatment Center is one of the nation’s premier addiction and mental health treatment facilities. We are here to help and support you through the difficulties of any mental health problems you have. Even if you are just feeling a lack of motivation that you can’t overcome, we are here to support and assist you. Reach out to one of our caring team members to let us know what difficulties you are facing, and we will help you to understand how you can overcome these difficulties.