Some tasks will always be far more desirable than others. That’s just a fact of life. Maybe you’re dreading making a phone call or studying for an exam. Everyone has those tasks in life that seem far more tedious than the rest. I, for example, dread working out. I will literally find any and every reason to push my workout off for another day. As I entered 2017, I promised myself that I would be better at rising up to tasks I dread. Through the past few months I’ve tried so many of the tips, tricks, and how-to’s for gaining the motivation to take on those dreaded tasks. So I collected all the tips and tricks that worked in my own life so that you too can kick those pesky tasks to the curb like an absolute girlboss.
Treat yo self? More like reward yo self.
You know when you were little and your parents would reward you for accomplishing the little things like cleaning up your bedroom? Guess what? That works. While doing some research, I read an article from Entrepreneur that showed tricks that successful entrepreneurs use to self-motivate and stay on task. Many successful entrepreneurs establish incentives prior to starting specific tasks. Your reward should roughly match up to the difficulty of the task you’ve accomplished. For example, if you need to write an 10 page essay, reward yourself with take out for dinner rather than a handful of M&M’s. If you don’t feel like the reward is worth it, you’re just going to continue to procrastinate that task.
Persist with positivity.
A major key to all of this is positivity. I know that can seem absolutely impossible when you’re working on a task that you dislike, but try to focus on shifting your perspective. As Peter Gasca explains,
“There is no one-size-fits all answer to what makes people happy, with definitions, theories and opinions abound.”
If you can find something that makes you smile while staying on task, do more of that. Maybe you’re someone like Gasca who repeats his personal mantra of “choose happy” until he’s smiling or maybe you’re someone like me who listens to music in order to get the job done. Whatever brings you happiness and inspiration when you need it most, take note of that and strive to keep that momentum.
Move with mantras.
Mantras can help our minds focus on a specific intention as we move through our days. Bookmark lists of quotes like this for reinforcement, or opt for a specific mantra to go along with the task you are striving to complete. I promise you, mantras can serve as strong reminders that can get you through nearly any task.
Take time to recharge.
A positive attitude and a nice reward system aren’t the only things you can do to overcome a tiresome task. According to Inc., in order to truly stay motivated we must fully unplug, de-stress, and mark progress. Staying off of your phone, crossing finished tasks off a to-do list, and taking breaks throughout long tasks have consistently proven to help us buckle down and make sure our difficult tasks are accomplished.
Lists can be your lifesaver.
The tip that I’ve found really resonates with me and helps me stay motivated is crossing tasks off my to-do list. I like to keep my planner with my to-do list in my bag at all times. This way, I can cross off the tasks no matter how small or large throughout my day. This helps me recognize that even when I may not feel like it, I’m still getting sh*t done.
“The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.” -Wilma Mankiller
What I’ve learned through my experiential research.
After some trial and error with my own research, I’ve come up with a few how to’s of my own. Before I set out to accomplish a task, I try to fully understand the purpose of the task at hand. Why does it need to be accomplished? What do I gain from accomplishing this task?
Sometimes your answer won’t always be obvious, especially with the tasks you dread. Say there’s a task at work that you constantly dread, and you can’t find its purpose. Maybe its purpose is to keep you on the path for promotion, or maybe it’s just because you need to pay the bills. Either way, always look for the reason you’re working so hard. After all, what you’re working on is always going to be a small piece of a bigger life goal.
Another trick I’ve been loving has been setting reminders and alarms on my phone. My main issue with staying motivated is that I’m always checking my phone. Whether I’m checking social media, FaceTiming friends or catching up on the latest headlines, I have the hardest time disconnecting from my phone. I can’t just simply put my phone in my desk drawer and say “out of sight, out of mind.” If I know where my phone is located, I will find any reason to check it just one more time. Setting reminders before I start a task has seriously helped me up my motivation. Typically I’ll set them to say things like “get back to work!” or “if you want good grades, go study!” Every time I’m on my phone and one of my reminders shows up, I feel slightly guilty. This guilt pushes me to put down my phone, get back on my work grind, and never give up.
From your friends at Spire:
If all of these tips and tricks aren’t enough motivation to help you rise up against those tasks you dread, take a look at a few of the articles we have here at Spire & Co. Whether you’re someone who uses music to motivate or you’re someone who uses other’s powerful words to kick your butt into high gear, Spire has your back. Take a look at a few of the motivational articles we’ve shared throughout the past year:
If you’re looking for a motivational speech to get your butt moving, take a look at this article that includes 7 motivational speeches from successful workers such as Steve Jobs, Jim Carrey, J.K. Rowling, and Meryl Streep.
Maybe speeches aren’t your thing, but music is. Take a listen to a Spire’s Get Sh*t Done playlist that will help you face the world and tackle your to-do list.
I know these tasks might seem daunting and tedious, but I promise you that once you’ve finished them, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. So I leave you on this final note of wisdom from Oprah: