Motivation is how we get things done. Unfortunately, motivation is a finite resource – you can run out of motivation unless you replenish it every day. How do you stay motivated so that you can be at your most productive? Thankfully, science has the answers.
For years, Scientists and Doctors of Psychology have looked at the connection between motivation and action. What they have discovered is that there are things we can do to keep ourselves motivated; even rekindle motivation when you have hit a wall. Here are some of their findings:
A study of people raising money for students, done by the University of Michigan, showed conclusive results that when the fundraisers talked to those students who benefited, their ability to raise donations increased dramatically, by 171%. That is absolutely impressive.
How can you apply that to your project? Remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing what you do. Who does this project benefit? How can you connect what you are doing with those people?
Believe it or not, we genuinely do work better when we see an immediate benefit. By breaking tasks into smaller goals, and then by celebrating those milestones, we are more apt to be productive as this becomes a habit. Why wouldn’t we be when 75% of what we choose to do we pick because of the reward we will reap?
If you work until you drop, that might be a viable plan for the occasional push to get something done. But you cannot do it daily, and it saps the energy right out of you. Instead, try using a timer. If you use the Pomodoro technique, for example, it means that you set yourself up for work periods followed by short breaks. Those breaks keep you fresh and interested in what you are doing.
Get in Shape
A recent study by Virgin Pulse has shown that those who are healthy stay motivated longer. This fact should come as no surprise, as everyone from the American Heart Association to the American Cancer Society has already shown how stress negatively impacts your health. It also impacts productivity. It is hard to stay motivated when you are not feeling good. This means that getting some exercise will not only keep you motivated but will also benefit you in a variety of ways.
A University of Stamford study asked people to envision their future selves and discovered what a unique motivational tool it was. Who do you want to be? What do you have to do to get there? Seeing yourself in the future is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on track when it comes to putting the work into your dreams.
Staying motivated does not have to be difficult. What is amazing is that there are already so many prove methods for increasing productivity. The application of these tools becomes the difference between success and failure. You will be amazed at what you can do if you try.
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