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Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

Building routines and rituals

They remove the need to make a decision and provide a mindless way to initiate a behavior:
  • To become more creative: Follow a creative ritual before you start writing or painting or singing.
  • To start each day stress-free: Create a five-minute morning meditation ritual.
  • To sleep better: Follow a “power down” routine before bed.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

https://jamesclear.com/motivation

jamesclear.com

8

Key Ideas

The essence of motivation

Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.

In other words, at some point,  it becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it.

Active inspiration

Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

The Physics of productivity

Newton’s First Law applied to habit formation: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. 

Once a task has begun, it is easier to continue moving it forward. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

Scheduling motivation

Setting a schedule for yourself seems simple, but it puts your decision-making on autopilot by giving your goals a time and a place to live. It makes it more likely that you will follow through regardless of your motivation levels.

Building routines and rituals

They remove the need to make a decision and provide a mindless way to initiate a behavior:
  • To become more creative: Follow a creative ritual before you start writing or painting or singing.
  • To start each day stress-free: Create a five-minute morning meditation ritual.
  • To sleep better: Follow a “power down” routine before bed.

Making motivation a habit

  1. Make the start easy: You shouldn’t need motivation to start your pre–game routine;
  2. While your routine should be as easy as possible to start, it should gradually transition into more and more physical movement;
  3. You need to follow the same pattern every single time: Eventually, this routine becomes so tied to your performance that by simply doing the routine, you are pulled into a mental state that is primed to perform.

The Goldilocks Rule

We experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of our current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.

Tasks that are significantly below our current abilities are boring. Tasks that are significantly beyond our current abilities are discouraging.

When motivation fades

  • Consider every thought you have as a suggestion, not an order. And none of these suggestions are orders. They are merely options;
  • Maintain perspective: Your discomfort is temporary;
  • You will never regret food work once it is done.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Money Doesn’t Motivate

Many people think money alone will be enough to motivate them, and whilst that may do so initially, it’s very hard to sustain financial motivation if the work you are doing actually drags.

Procrastinate Wisely

Procrastination gives you a break which is a good thing for your brain

If you become distracted, it can be your brain’s signals that you should have a break. However, if you procrastinate all the time and don’t accomplish your daily tasks, it means that you should change something.

Change Your Routine Location

A new place makes your brain work in a fresh way and you’ll achieve the necessary results faster.

Our brain can get used to a routine, even to places and you work on autopilot. Of course, you’ll accomplish your tasks but they will not be creative. 

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How to Get Motivated
How to Get Motivated

Develop a Routine. Create a series of events that you always perform before doing a specific task.

  • Step 1: Start by doing something so easy that you can't say no to it. 
In order to stay motivated, you need a purpose
In order to stay motivated, you need a purpose

Without purpose, motivation does not stand a chance.

So start thinking about your purpose, what makes your inner motivation stay alive and do your best to accomplish it.

Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.”

Improve your personal accountability

Making sure you hold yourself accountable in order to keep up the motivation and, therefore, accomplish your goals, is easier than it sounds.

All you have to do is to commit and express your commitment also in front of others. This will lead to you wanting to be consistent and, therefore, it will make it harder to give up.

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Two types of motivation

Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic motivation is related to external forces like money or fame.
  • Intrinsic motivation
Money as a motivation

Money as a tool for motivation is limiting at best, and the 'carrot and stick' approach many managers use to motivate employees is will actually achieve the opposite effect of what was intended.

Conditional rewards

‘If, then’ rewards or conditional rewards are when we promise to give something to an individual when they complete a certain task.

These rewards can have a negative impact on motivation as the employees lose the will to work on that task for the sake of working.

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Internal vs. external motivation
Internal motivation, the drive to achieve that comes from inside a person is the kind of motivation that can lead to life-changing improvements and well-being.

External ...

Self-Efficacy

It means believing in your ability to perform a task and achieve goals. There are 3 ways to build self-efficacy:

  • Ensure early success. When first starting out, choose activities you're certain you can do successfully.
  • Watch others succeed in the activity you want to try.  This is particularly effective if the person you're observing is similar to you (friends, neighbors, co-workers).
  • Find a supportive voice. Personal trainers and coaches are skilled in giving appropriate encouragement, as are good friends (usually).
Fundamentally Independent Thinking (FIT)

A fundamentally independent thinker understands that nothing makes a person upset, angry, or depressed; rather, what a person thinks about the world determines how they feel

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Albert Einstein

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy ..."

Albert Einstein
The Dip
Across language learning, company building, and any kind of creative project, there is a dip. The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.
Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.
The Start before the Dip
In any goal that has to be accomplished, there is a Start. It usually gets overlooked, as it's always there. 
The Start is a much bigger problem since you can’t reach The Dip if you don’t get through The Start, and many more people fantasize about doing something than actually do it and give up.

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Attach reason to the task

Getting motivated about a task doesn’t mean you have to be happy or excited about it. 

Sometimes you must ask yourself: Why is this task important? What will it bring about in ...

Your unwillingness to get started

Have you ever had a looming deadline on a big project only to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning out your refrigerator or detailing your car?

If you struggle to get started on a project until it’s crunch time, you might have an unhealthy relationship with stress. Research shows that people can be just as addicted to stress as they are to likes on their social media posts.

Use the 15-minute rule

You can accomplish quite a bit in just 15 minutes, and yet most of us fritter away that time on our phones in between meetings or during a commute. 

Commit to working on a put-off task for 15 minutes without interruption. Stop at 15 minutes. Don’t allow yourself to work any longer. Do this every day for a week and mark your progress.

Personal Productivity Curves

A lot of the internal things that affect our productivity are out of our control. Our energy, focus, and motivation follow their own path or “productivity curve” throughout the day. 

Energy curves

We’re naturally more energetic and motivated at specific times of the day. Researchers call this our Circadian Rhythm. Every person’s rhythm is slightly different, but the majority follow a similar pattern.

  • Waking up. Our energy levels start to naturally rise.
  • Around 10 am. We’ve hit our peak concentration levels that start to decline and dip between 1-3 pm.
  • Afternoon.  Our energy levels rise again until falling off again sometime between 9–11 pm.
90 Minute Cycles

We work best in natural cycles of 90-120 minute sessions before needing a break. When we need a break, our bodies send us signals, such as becoming hungry, sleepy, fidgeting, or losing focus.

If you ignore these signs and think you can just work through them, your body uses your reserve stores of energy to keep up. It means releasing stress hormones to give an extra kick of energy.

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The importance of motivation
The importance of motivation

Research shows that more than 50% of American workers feel disengaged at their jobs.

Research also shows that motivation is very important to feel engaged. Motivation predic...

Focus On The Meaning

We find motivation when something is meaningful. Meaning is much bigger than the enjoyment of a moment. It can include something we don't like. Soldiers risk being killed every day to serve their country. New parents handle poop daily for years.

Meaningful things give us purpose. This means doing something that serves a larger cause than yourself or, at least, making a contribution in your own world.

Tasks that do not seem meaningful

When a task you have to do doesn't seem meaningful, reframe your experience. You may not always be able to change what you have to do but you can change how you view it. When you look at it in light of how it helps others, you'll often find motivation.

You're not "filling out boring paperwork, you're helping people get the insurance that could save their life. You're not slaving over a hot stove, you're showing your family how much you love them.

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“Toxic” People

Usually, such people think negatively, are self-centered, hypercritical, communicating with ulterior motives and life. Toxic people make you feel uncomfortable, guilty, and frustrated, and can r...

Pessimism

Unless you have clinical depression, pessimism is just a bad habit. Many adopt pessimism from childhood models or from a painful event and end up making it a part of their life.

Consume inspiring content, or record your achievements and things you are grateful for, and routinely look through these lists to remind yourself of your abilities in difficult moments.

Limiting Yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself, procrastinating and adopting a binary or pessimistic world view are common ways of self-limitation.

Work on your priorities and attitudes to find untapped opportunities. Being ready to face something new opens doors for you.

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