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How to Motivate Yourself | 11 Tips on Getting Work Done

We often get overwhelmed with our daily lives that we end up losing focus. Without focus, motivation is practically non-existent.

Here are 11 tips on how to motivate yourself:


1. Ask yourself why you’re doing it

It’s easy to forget about something especially once we’re busy. Many people claim that the biggest reason for lost motivation in their lives was as simple as they simply forgot about why they started in the first place.

Sometimes, a quick reaffirmation of your goals and where you want to go is all it takes.


2. Ask yourself “how can I do this right and how can I do it wrong”?

As with any task, there’s a right way to do something and a wrong way.

  • Take the time to think through how to get something done properly. This way, you won’t end up getting all that work done only to find out you’ve done all that work incorrectly.
  • For example, if you’re out to buy some birthday gifts for someone you don’t know very well, take the time to figure out what they like. 
  • Make sure you have all the right tools and equipment to get the work done before you start. This way, your work rhythm doesn’t get disrupted and you can maintain your focus.


3. Set a specific date and time

Setting a specific deadline forces you to be accountable and sets yourself up for success. Without a deadline, many people procrastinate and never get anything done.


4. Break it down

Some tasks are too large to take on all at once. Don’t even bother getting it all done at the same time, you’ll just lose motivation even quicker.

  • It helps to break your work down into several small steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
  • For example, if you have a paper to write and some things to study, tell yourself “I’ll study until 3 then I’ll start writing my paper until 6.”
  • Rinse and repeat the process until you’ve finished your task(s) at hand.


5. Set reminders

Phones have calendars and alarms to set reminders for a reason. Reason being, they work! As previously mentioned, forgetting about a task is one surefire way to kill your motivation.


6. Take breaks

As important as it is to get your work done, it’s just as important to give yourself some time to unwind and release any tension you’ve built up.

  • By giving yourself a break, you allow yourself to do more work at the end of the day. Of course, only take a break if you really think you need one. 
    • There’s a difference between taking an actual break and just being lazy. Make sure you’re not falling for the latter.


7. Get rid of distractions

I have a cat and a dog. As awesome as they both are, they’re huge distractions for me when I’m trying to get work done. Have you ever heard the noise a cat makes when chasing a dog and vice-versa on wood floors? It’s loud.

  • You might not have pets but you definitely have gadgets which are just as distracting, if not more so than having pets. 
    • Put anything distracting like a phone in a different room or somewhere that’s far from you. This way you won’t habitually keep turning it on to go through social media.


8. Eat and hydrate

Working on an empty stomach or when you haven’t been keeping up with your hydration is a big no-no when it comes to getting stuff done. A car with an almost empty fuel tank can only go so far and the same goes for people.

  • Our brains consume a lot of energy whenever we’re working on something. Food and water are our main sources of energy so you’ll need to make sure you’re well fed and hydrated.

“It’s easy to take water for granted, but it’s a vital nutritional requirement…Water plays a role in nearly every major body function.” -7 dietary sources of energy – Mayo Clinic


9. Put some music on

The power of music when it comes to motivation cannot be denied. I’m sure you’ve experienced that sudden burst of positive energy while listening to music you like.

  • Make sure to listen to music you actually like and not to genres you don’t like.
  • Many people force themselves to listen to classical music when they’re working because they think it’s some sort of magical productivity booster.
    • But, if you don’t like what you’re listening to, you’ll just end up killing your motivation even more. If you don’t like classical music, don’t force yourself. Just listen to something you do like but isn’t distracting.

10. Wear the right clothes

It’s easy to overlook the importance of wearing the right clothes when trying to get work done. 

We might think that as long as we’ve got clothes on, we’ll get the work done one way or another. But, I’m sure you’ve been in an extremely cold library or office while trying to get work done in just a T-shirt and shorts before.

  • Dress for success and make sure the clothing you’ve got on is comfy and fits the occasion/location.
  • An example would be not to wear tight and restricting clothing if you’re going to be doing something that needs you to move around a lot.


11. Make it a habit

Like mostly every living animal out there, we humans are creatures of habit. If we make it a habit to be lazy, we stay lazy. If we make it a habit to be productive, we stay productive.

  • Make it a habit to be productive and get your work done. At first it may be hard but it will certainly get easier the more you continue to enforce your habit.

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