5 Things Science Tells Us to Do to Stay Motivated Every Day
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Motivation is how we get things done. The sad thing is that it’s a finite resource – you can run out of motivation unless you replenish it daily. That’s what’s called burn out. How do you stay motivated so that you can be 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’ve discovered is that there are things we can do to keep ourselves motivated – and even rekindle motivation when you’ve hit a wall.
Here are some of their findings:
1. People who are feeling like they’re making a difference accomplish more. A study of people raising money for students, done by the University of Michigan, conclusively showed that when the fundraisers talked to those students who benefited, their ability to raise donations increased dramatically – by 171%.
That’s pretty impressive. How can you apply that to your project? Remind yourself of the reasons why you’re doing what you do.
Who does this project benefit? How can you connect what you’re doing with those people?
2. Use the reward system. Believe it or not, we genuinely do work better when we see an immediate benefit.
By breaking tasks into smaller goals, and then celebrating those milestones, we’re more apt to be productive.
Why wouldn’t we be when 75% of what we choose to do we pick because of the reward we’ll reap?
3. Pace yourself. If you work until you drop, that might be a viable plan for the occasional push to get something done.
But, you can’t do it daily, and it saps energy right out of you. This is a huge problem for me, because I tend to treat things that should be daily tasks and habits, as projects. If you think you might be doing this too, read my article Inconsistency Stops Here.
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’re doing.
4. 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 have already shown how stress negatively impacts your health.
It also impacts productivity. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re not feeling good. That means that spending time on yourself will not only keep you motivated but will also benefit you in a variety of other ways.
This is the most import tip. It’s nearly impossible for our brains to focus on something it feels is trivial. And let’s face it, if your feeling like death or consistently in pain, everything is trivial compared to that.
Before trying to get in shape, I highly recommend you get some blood work done, just to make sure everything is where it should be.
I know to well from experience the disappointment that comes when you have the motivation to start an exercise program and then you lose all energy to do anything.
My blood work suggestions are. Blood panel, red blood cells and hemoglobin for sure. Ferritin and iron if they will do both. Vitamin D, in Ontario you normally have to pay out of pocket for this one, but I think it’s worth it. B12, and folate.
If any of these are not in the optimal range, your energy levels and motivation will suffer.
5. How does your future look? 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 doesn’t have to be difficult. What’s amazing is that there are already so many proven methods for increasing productivity. The application of these tools becomes the difference between success and failure.
You’ll be amazed at what you can do if you try.