Finding Motivation To Do What You Have To

Are you a motivated person? There’s a good chance you are raring to go when it comes to activities you enjoy. Not so much when there are chores, errands, and work to attend to. It just means you’re human. There are plenty of requirements that are time-consuming, frustrating, boring or downright pointless. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you have to take care of them. That almost makes you want to do it less, knowing that it’s a requirement.

Here’s the thing. Finding motivation doesn’t mean that you will experience a feeling of anticipation or excitement. That’s just not how it works. Ultimately, it’s simply the reason you find to act. You don’t have to get excited about it in order to get it done.

You don’t need to search your soul for a meaningful reason to wash the dishes or iron your clean laundry pile. There are plenty of other ways you can motivate yourself. For example, you can find motivation in recognizing that by doing the thing you:

  • can relieve your anxiety
  • could create a financial gain
  • might experience a benefit to you or someone else
  • will boost your mood
  • will clear your mind
  • can reduce your stress levels
  • can avoid negative consequences

Think of something on your to-do list right now. Something that you know you have to do, but that you are putting off. Now, re-frame it.

“I don’t want to iron, but if I do iron, I will have a variety of clothing on hand to outfit build and won’t need to stress out ironing before work.”

“I don’t want to pay the bills, but if I do I will relieve my stress and have a clearer picture of my financial situation.”

“I don’t want to finish this project, but if I do I am going to meet my deadline and in doing so it will benefit my career, mood, and stress levels.”

You don’t need a spark of excitement to motivate yourself to do the task. Nor do you need to enjoy the task to motivate yourself to complete it. If this step doesn’t quite work with your lack of motivation, there is another step you can try instead.

This is your strategy for tackling tasks when you have no drive to do so whatsoever.

Generally, we view peer pressure as a negative. Typically, it is, but in this case, you can use peer pressure as a form of accountability and motivation. It might be that you attempt to team up with someone, as many hands make light work. Or, you simply enlist someone to act as your coach to encourage you to get something done. For example, you are moving soon. You have to clear out your cupboards. You don’t want to do this, but you enlist a friend to text you regularly to remind you of what needs to be done.

You can structure how you approach tasks by starting off with a low-frequency activity to ease you into things before tackling that heavier activity. You may also benefit from creating a standard time to complete certain actions. Every Friday night at 7 pm you iron. Every Sunday afternoon you prep meals for the week. You get the idea.

Finally, you can motivate yourself by pairing an unpleasant activity with a pleasant one. So, if you have to work on a project to meet a deadline, try working outside in the sunshine. Or, put some music on while you work. Treat yourself to a fancy hot beverage from your favorite coffee shop. There are all kinds of ways you can pair unpleasant with pleasant to get yourself through tasks you don’t care for.