How to make yourself work if you don’t feel like it: Five universal motivators
Personal effectiveness
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There are days when there is just no way to make yourself work. You have to start on a new project, but instead you pour another cup of tea, take another piece of chocolate and keep on enthusiastically browsing social media, just like a little kid who wants to eat, drink and go potty all at the same time just when it’s time to go to bed.

In this article I will tell you how to overcome the sudden attacks of laziness, find motivation and develop an effective approach to work.


There are five universal motivators to switch your mind into work mode.

1. Deadline

Nothing disciplines a person more than an upcoming deadline. I can put off writing an article or a program for the new class forever, but at zero hour the brain calls up all its resources and the work is magically done five times faster than normally, when I am not stressed.

If a missed deadline can lose you a client or a publication, the fear of loss motivates even more. If you don’t make it on time – you’ll be left with nothing.

Sometimes my children monitor how I do all sorts of boring tasks. They say it straight out, “We know how you do things, mom. You’ll start filling it out an hour after the deadline and we’ll be late for it.”

To avoid stressing yourself out for nothing, you can set your own deadline earlier than the real one and come up with a reward for keeping it. The important thing is that your subconscious needs to believe that it is the real zero hour.

2. Obligations to others

When I launch a new class, I undertake an obligation to my students. If I don’t conduct a class or give homework on time, don’t answer questions in the support group or fix technical problems on the website, I fail these people and lose their trust. They can decide that I am an unreliable coach and go to someone else next time they need a class.

Think about it: not only your income and reputation depend on the performance of your job, but also other people. So if you do not set up advertising, write an article or build a website on time, you fail your clients and endanger their business. If you promise to conduct a webinar at 8 PM, you have no right to appear unprepared. Your audience is waiting for you. These are people who trust you and want to learn from you.

3. Interest in your work

I am much better motivated by interest in my work than by success, money, or fear of losing my reputation. I enjoy not so much the money coming into my account, as solving complex problems. When I create a new class, I think not of how much money I’ll make on it, but how I can better teach people something useful, so they can change their lives, become richer, more effective, more confident, or have better relations with their parents or children.

Think about it: after all, you didn’t just land your job, did you? Which part of it do you enjoy? Why do you do it? What good do you bring into the world?

4. Inspiration

Don’t wait for the muse to visit you. Inspiration is like appetite, it grows on what it feeds on and that is work.

It may go slowly and sluggishly at first, but in 10-15 minutes you’ll get the hang of it, your brain will speed up and will work just like a well-oiled mechanism. That is when you feel excited and enjoy your work.

Had I waited for the new class to come into my dreams as the periodic table of elements did for Dmitri Mendeleev, I would never have created over 80 workshops, classes and webinars. I simply do my best and let fate do the rest and the new ideas come in the course of work.

5. Your personal time management

One of the best motivational techniques is to set yourself two hours for work, turn off the phone, TV and radio, close all tabs in the browser, and even turn on the monitoring program that blocks access to all websites not required for work.

You work as effectively as possible, giving it your all, and then reward yourself. You can watch a new TV series for a whole hour, go for a walk, do some yoga or have a delicious piece of cake. That way a new neural connection is created in the brain: effective work means desired reward.

There are two more effective techniques: Pomodoro and FlyLady. I don’t like them as much, but many people swear by them and they might work for you.

The essence of the first technique is that you break up the work process into 25-minute segments. At the end of each segment you take a 5-minute break and take half an hour off after four segments. Set a timer to keep strictly to the schedule. Relax as much as you can and take your mind off work during breaks. That way you don’t overwork yourself and learn to alternate work and rest.

The FlyLady technique was invented by an American housewife Marla Cilley to make housecleaning easier. It can be used in other areas as well.

If your day-planner is overflowing with things to do, try to spend no more than 15 minutes a day on each one, but give it your all and you will be surprised how much can be accomplished in that time. That way you can schedule your day effectively and get everything done. Proponents of the FlyLady system claim that you can even learn a foreign language that way!

The important thing in any time management technique is not to stare gloomily at your unfinished tasks, but to split them into short doable stages and reward yourself. Then you can manage any job

Date of publication: 22 May 2019
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