Procrastinating or just no motivation today? Here’s a quick list of 20 strategies to get yourself moving, so you can catch a bit of momentum. As you gain momentum, often you’ll just keep going. You may or may not “find” motivation, but momentum is what’s needed. Not every task you work on “needs” motivation. That’s a feeling, right? What you need is movement.
The Practical Momentum Strategies
- What’s the most interesting part of the project? Start there.
- What part of the project will you be best at? Start there.
- Play first. Get it out of your system. (Set a timer to stop the play though.)
- Do the difficult first, with “play” as the reward.
- Set a timer and stop at the end of 5-15 minutes, just enough to get you started.
- Write or draw out your list of steps and take just the first small step. Just one.
- Change your environment. Go to someone else’s office, a coffee shop, a library and use the change in environment to wake up your mind.
- Listen to music (instrumental), TED talks, a book, or a class while you work. Yes, the choice is important, of what you listen to and what you choose to work on. It takes some thought.
- Work on the tedious tasks while someone else comes to your office or home (e.g., bookkeeper, cleaning service, assistant). Use their presence to focus you on your own task. Or while your children do their homework.
- Talk through your project with someone else first.
- Read about how others have handled this project – the experts.
- Hire it out.
- Can you work in a team for support on at least one piece? Connections can give you momentum to keep going.
The Psychological, Emotional, Self-Talk Strategies
- Ask yourself: Why am I not starting? What am I afraid of?
- Say something like: I know how to do this. I know I can start it, just dip my toe into the water and see what’s there.
- Ask yourself: Have I already made some decision? Do I need to let this go?
- Ask yourself: What is the best and worst that could happen? What are the benefits of starting now versus waiting?
- Break up the work so you can set small, interim deadlines before the big, looming one.
- Self-care: Sometimes it’s the rest of your life which is draining your mental energy. Focus on self-care first.
- Have you ever had this happen before on a similar task? Think about what you did to get started.
A psychologist once told me that you can either start with the practical and get traction. Or you can start with the psychological. Either way, both are key. So start at one end and work towards the middle and you’ll get what you need.
If you need a bit of support, coaching or consulting to make these strategies work for you, I’m available at 603.554.1948 or Sue@CoachSueWest.com