6 Tips To Boost Your Motivation Levels Today
Have you found your motivation levels dropping through the floor lately? You’re not alone.
We all experience fluctuations in motivation and productivity from time to time. But if you’re struggling to get things done every day, there are ways to tweak your levels up and tick off your to-do list.
Why do we feel unmotivated in the first place?
There are many reasons why our motivation levels can dip. Some are temporary, and others are ongoing. Some of the most common reasons for low motivation include:
We aren’t clear on our goals and our why – this is often why people struggle with sticking to New Year's resolutions after January. If you don’t know the details of the goal you want to achieve, or a deep reason why you want to make it happen, you might feel unmotivated when things get tough.
We have too much on our plate to begin with – many of us end up overcommitting to various parts of our lives. Between work, hobbies, friends, family and everyday tasks, we end up with to-do lists a mile long!
We feel anxious or depressed – low motivation is a common symptom of depression. However, it can also be common for people with symptoms of anxiety to feel unmotivated because they are worried or overwhelmed.
We’ve had a bad night’s sleep, or a stressful situation pops up – As both sleep and stress have an important role in brain function, too little quality sleep or too much stress can deplete motivation quickly.
Hormones – many women experience lower levels of motivation in the week leading up to menstruation, as well as the first couple of days. This is because of the change in hormone levels.
As a side effect of a physical condition – any condition that involves inflammation, autoimmunity or effects on the nervous system can potentially cause low motivation. One of the most common physical conditions that leads to low motivation is thyroid disorders.
The thyroid and motivation
Thyroid issues can contribute to lower motivation levels in a few different ways.
The first is the direct effect of your thyroid hormone levels. Just like the rest of the cells in your body, your brain cells need thyroid hormone to function properly. If you have the wrong levels of thyroid hormones (either too much or too little), it impairs your brain function.
It can also be a side effect of other symptoms that pop up with thyroid issues. Sleep problems, difficulties coping with stress and inflammation are just a few thyroid-related issues that can affect brain function and deplete your motivation.
The good news is that if you address your thyroid concerns, your motivation levels are likely to improve fairly quickly.
How to boost your motivation and get things done
So you want to start feeling more motivated. But how can you achieve that?
It does depend on why you feel unmotivated in the first place – if your low motivation is a lack of mental energy or whether it’s a side effect of a physical condition. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together some of my top tips for getting motivated to achieve your goals.
Prioritise your to-do list
Often, people think that motivation is about having the ability to get all of the things done. But it’s actually about getting the important tasks done every single day. By choosing what you are going to focus your energy on, you set your day up for success.
Each morning, have a look at what you need to tick off for the day. Pick 3-5 tasks that you will prioritise and get done that day. Once you’ve got those tasks picked out, get to work on them. If you get anything else done on the list, that is just a bonus!
Reduce your decision fatigue
One thing that can burn through your motivation levels quickly is decision fatigue. Every single day, we make thousands of tiny decisions – all of which require brainpower. But if you reduce some of these decisions by making them automatic, you can free up that brainpower for something else.
For example, if you choose your breakfast, clothes, exercise habits and what time of day you take a shower every single day, you have less for the more important tasks.
But if you prepped your breakfast, laid out your clothes the night before, scheduled a workout on the same days and times each week and always took a shower in the morning, those are decisions your brain doesn’t have to worry about anymore.
Don’t think it can make that much of a difference? Some of the most successful people in the world take steps to reduce decision fatigue – think Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Arianna Huffington.
Get a good night of sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to a healthy nervous system and brain. While you sleep, your nervous system gets to rest, and your brain gets to flush out all of the waste products from the day. So it’s no surprise that one bad night can leave you feeling apathetic and unmotivated.
Make sure that you take steps to set yourself up for a good night of sleep. That might include:
Sipping on a sleepy tea blend
Turning off overhead lights once the sun goes down
Making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible
Avoiding electronic and screen use for an hour before bed
Doing some gentle yoga or meditation
Journalling your thoughts out (this is a good one if you tend to have anxious thoughts or have a racing brain at the end of the day)
Manage your stress levels
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to summon the motivation to get things done. That’s why managing your stress levels is an important step for building up motivation.
The way that you manage your stress levels is unique to you as an individual – it depends on what makes you feel calm and collected. But it might include things such as:
Moving your body
Hobbies such as arts and crafts
Outsourcing, delegating or even cancelling tasks that aren’t as important
Seeking support from a mental health professional
Find something that works for you, and incorporate it on a regular basis.
Give yourself a break
Every day doesn’t have to be a super-productive day. It is perfectly normal to have lower motivation days.
If you’re not feeling it one day, then set yourself just one task to tick off. Once your one priority task is done, give yourself a guilt-free break.
Work with a practitioner
If you suspect that there are physical reasons behind your low motivation, you don’t have to manage it alone.
By working with a qualified health practitioner, you can tackle your health concerns and get back on track with your goals. To book an appointment with Tara, click here.