A lack of motivation can be difficult to overcome because there can be many underlying factors contributing to the problem. It may be caused by stress at work, stress at home, or even a more serious problem, such as clinical depression. But, in most cases, feeling unmotivated is a temporary state of mind that can be altered with a little practice.
The following five exercises are designed to help you get your mojo back. Each one is designed to complement the others, so you can do one or all of them depending on how motivated you need to be. They are all easy to complete and take just a few minutes to carry out. So the next time you’re feeling unmotivated, try one or all of them – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
1. Create a mantra
Originally a part of Buddhism, a mantra is a word or phrase that should be repeated in order to aid concentration. Traditionally, it was used as part of a meditation strategy, but you might not have time for that.
So, just create a few short, motivational, phrases that are close to your heart. They can be as cheesy as you like – no one will hear them but you. A rhyming phrase works best, something like, “be awesome, be great, no need to motivate”. Build a few of these mantras and use them when you want to get something done.
2. Do some exercise
Doing exercise releases endorphins in your brain which help improve your mood and motivation levels. You don’t need to join a gym; an exercise mat is all that’s required to carry out a few push-ups and squats to get the blood flowing.
Long term, you should look to create a set routine which you can carry out each morning. That way, you will feel more motivated to get things done in the morning and you be much fitter as well. Simple exercises also make great components of your happy routine.
3. Build a happy routine
Life has a habit of throwing you off balance when you least expect it. A happy routine can help you gain back control when you need to. A happy routine works in the same way as a mantra but includes exercises and activities in place of words. Together, mantras and happy routines are a powerful weapon against a lack of motivation.
A happy routine can be anything that makes you happy, from basic exercises, like a short walk away from your desk, to something more energising like Tai Chi. Basically, it is anything that takes your mind away from the stress of work, towards a happier more productive place.
4. Break tasks into small goals
If your lack of motivation is caused by an ever increasing workload, you can turn this on its head by creating small wins out of every task. Positive emotions are not limited to completing large, complex tasks: you can get the same level of emotion from completing small ones.
For example, if you have a large spreadsheet to work through, split the work into 25 cells and give yourself a small reward every time you complete them. By giving yourself small rewards throughout the day, you should remain motivated until home time.
5. Think positive
Lacking motivation is just a state of mind – you can literally change that state by thinking more positive or actionable thoughts. The first thing you need to do is clear your head of any negative thoughts. Listening to music is good for this, but, if that’s not possible, close your eyes and concentrate on breathing in and out. This is an old meditative technique which is proven to clear the mind.
Once your mind is clear, say your mantra and carry out your happy routine. Doing this whenever you need motivating should put you in a more positive frame of mind, allowing you to go out there and conquer the world.
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful for regaining your motivation. But, if for whatever reason, you find they don’t work and you are constantly feeling unmotivated, it is important that you try to figure out the cause and change that aspect of your environment. If that doesn’t work, you may be suffering from clinical depression and should seek the advice of a doctor.