Motivation and productivity often go hand in hand, with motivation directly affecting productivity levels and productivity levels affecting motivation levels. For me personally, when my motivation is high, my productivity increases and when I see all the great work I have accomplished from this productivity, it motivates me to keep going. This is a positive cycle, but on the other hand when my motivation levels are low, my productivity follows suit and I become even more unmotivated from my lack of accomplished work. So, what is the secret to keeping/maintaining relatively stable and high motivation levels for majority of the time? Here for some tips that has worked for me and many others in stabilizing my motivation and hence productivity.
1) Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Motivation is stemmed from our mental and emotional state or condition and these conditions can be positively and negatively influenced by a few factors. These include things such as; the current events in our lives, our dietary habits, sleeping and exercise patterns, or genetics. Genetics and current events in our lives are the factors that are beyond an individual’s control- but there ways to manage these such as regular GP check-ups if your family has history of mental illnesses/disorders and you are at higher risk, and talking to a trained professional if the events in your life, such as bereavement, are too much to handle alone and taking a huge emotional toll on your life. Furthermore, our dietary habits, sleeping and exercise patterns also take a large part in our emotional and mental state of being- eating a poor diet of unhealthy foods or not eating enough, sleeping irregularly and too little and limited exercise can all lead to unhealthy physical and emotional changes in our bodies that dampen our motivation and productivity. Taking incremental changes gradually instead of changing your lifestyle completely overnight is more likely to result in success- for example one day you could start with limiting your soft/sweet drink intake to once a week and drinking plenty of water every other day, then slowly work towards changing unhealthy foods with healthier options.
2) Stop over committing
Over-commitment is one of the biggest causes of “burn-out.” Sometimes our motivation can sky-rocket and we feel great and start to say “yes” to everything, believing we can do it all or maybe we have the inability to say “no” and feel we must do it all. Then the deadlines start to come and you realize the workload is too much, you’re stressed out and losing sleep which is affecting your mental health negatively. When we cannot finish everything to the quality we hoped for, or cannot finish them at all, we can often blame ourselves and think we have failed and motivation plummets. Avoid this mistake by knowing your personal limits, thinking thoroughly about whether you can take on a project and see it to the end or whether there is a chance you might not have the time and energy. It is better to be under-committed and focus on fewer projects to higher quality, than be over-committed and given half efforts and attentions to more projects.
3) Stop comparing yourself to others
This is a cliché, but for some people it’s a very hard habit to kick, especially if you grew up in a competitive home environment where you were compared against family members or others your age. Sometimes we know people our age or younger who seem to be racing so far ahead in life, accomplishing all these amazing things and we get anxious that “we SHOULD be able to do this too.” It is fine to admire other people and their achievements, but it is toxic mindsets to believe we SHOULD also be able to/already have accomplished the same amount just because they have. Instead, remember life is about going your own journey and path at your own pace and the main point is that you keep learning and trying. If you go too fast before you are ready, you may just crash and burn.
Everyone has different motivators and methods in which make them more productive! These insights and lessons are what keep me relatively motivated on a stable level and avoid major burn-outs.
I hope you enjoyed my article