• You can’t always control what happens but you can stay motivated
  • Motivation has to come internally, don’t rely only on external motivation
  • Use mindset tricks to keep your motivation going strong
It’s just one of those fucking days.

Your boss chewed you up and spat you out in a meeting.

The computer crashed right in the middle of finishing a crucial report.

The printer ran out of ink just as you needed to run off copies.

And the coffee pot is empty. So much for office coffee etiquette.

On days like this, it feels like everything is working against you.

You dream of getting in a flow state where you can breeze through every item on your to-do list. But most days, it’s just that - a dream. In reality, you’re only focused on getting the most immediate shit done.

Who cares if it’s any good? That requires motivation you just don’t have.

We all get demotivated sometimes. It’s how you deal with it that matters. But you’re not one of those people who can dust themselves off and get back on it.

When the shit hits the fan, all you want to do is check out. What little motivation you did have is gone. You get more and more disengaged and of course, it just makes everything worse.

What can you do to break the cycle?

It’s about finding the inner strength to make progress and build and keep momentum even when things get fucking hard. However impossible it may seem, you can get there.

You Need To Be Your Own Source Of Strength

Self-motivation is a game-changer. Being able to push through when it’s the last thing you feel like doing is one of the things that can take you from wanting to succeed to actually being a success.

The downward spiral you’re in right now won’t last forever. Once you can be your own biggest cheerleader and self-motivation comes naturally, it’s a whole different world.

And that’s the key here. You have to be self-reliant.

You Don’t Need To Rely On Anyone Else For It

Motivation has to come from within. Nobody else can do it for you and that’s a good thing. It means you have the power to summon up your own motivation whenever you need it.

Once you know how to motivate yourself, it’s a skill that you can tap into anytime. You’re not solely relying on external motivation to get started on or finish a project.

External motivation is a fickle game because it’s not entirely reliable and it can fizzle out pretty quickly. If your motivation is 100% dependent on rewards, what happens if that disappears?

You’re not going to get shit done.

It’s a whole different story when you’re incorporating internal motivation into the overall solution. You have more control of your motivation since it comes from you. And you can tap into it whenever you need to. 

It Builds Resilience And Core Mental Strength

The more internal motivation you can harness, the more resilience you can build.

There’s a strong link between them. You need the motivation to become more resilient. And that in turn feeds into greater motivation.

Gaining that mental strength can help you in lots of different areas of your life, not just at work. With each challenge you overcome, you get stronger and stronger.

It’s a crucial life skill and thankfully, it’s one that you can develop and nurture. The steps you take to help you stay motivated can also help you become more resilient.

How To Stay Motivated

Staying motivated can be tough, especially when you keep getting knocked down. You may not be able to change what happens to you but you can be in control of how you react to it.

This is what keeps you feeling motivated, no matter what.

Keeping a positive attitude is your secret weapon when it comes to motivation. If you expect every day to be another barrage of bullshit, guess what? That’s exactly what you’ll get.

And the opposite is true too.

If you expect to have a fantastic, positive day that’s filled with productivity, it’s much more likely to happen. It starts with good morning vibes. You’ve gotta set the tone and kickstart your day for a kickass day.

Then, it’s a matter of carrying over those vibes through the day.

Here’s how to start changing your mindset and kickass with your motivation. 

1) Celebrate The Small Wins

Every time you score a win, it’s an opportunity to celebrate your progress. This especially goes for the small wins too.

You have small little victories every single day. You just don’t really notice or pay attention to them.

That’s gotta change. You need to give yourself kudos for these things.

In fact, celebrating small victories is the perfect way to build confidence and help you feel productive. Every small win is another micro “hit” of dopamine, the feel-good hormone. It quickly gets addictive and before you know it, you’re hooked on achieving the next victory.

You’re building momentum and offsetting the default negativity that’s become your go-to setting. It’s quieting the asshole in your head so that you can be the happy person you should be.

2) Reward Yourself

Mini rewards help get through the frustration. It’s much easier to make progress when you know you have something awesome waiting for you on the other side. Again, external motivations should only be a part of the solution, not the sole solution.

This is called positive reinforcement and it’s based on the idea that you’re more likely to continue with a behavior if it’s followed by something rewarding or enjoyable. This academic study shows the impact on employee performance.

Those small wins we just talked about?

Reward yourself every single time they happen. It could be a refreshing 5-minute walk outside, a soothing cup of cofftea or may even a one-minute meditation at your desk.

Give yourself these little mini rewards. You deserve it. 

3) Re-Confirm Your Why 

One of the best ways to deal with frustration is to feel connected to why you’re doing it. It gives you that drive to keep going even when the shit piles up.

If you don’t feel a strong pull to make progress, guess what? You’ll find reasons not to.

Maybe this project will help you build your personal brand.

Or maybe it will bring a huge sense of achievement because you didn’t think you were capable of making it happen.

It’s okay if money is your driving force for getting through every project. There’s no shame in wanting to support your family or have the money to do cool things. Financial rewards can be a strong motivator too.

Whatever your why is, keep it at the forefront of your mind and use it to push on. 

4) Break Down Problems 

Breaking down big problems into sub-tasks is a great way to stay motivated.

Instead of having one big project with an end goal that feels frustratingly out of reach and miles away, you have a series of mini-projects that you can knock out one by one.

Suddenly, it seems much more manageable, and that’s because you’re seeing things from a different perspective. The project hasn’t changed but instead of seeing it as one giant impossible task, it’s now a series of smaller do-able sub-tasks.

Those sub-tasks are a golden opportunity to mono-task your way to success and tap into the power of small victories. You can keep feeling good about yourself because you’re genuinely making progress. Every small win gets you closer to the end goal.

Next time you’re handed a project that feels way too big and you’re tempted to do your best impression of an ostrich, break into down into sub-tasks before the overwhelm gets the better of you. 

5) See Challenges Instead Of Problems

Another way to flip your perspective is to stop seeing issues as problems.

Stuck on a project?

It’s just a challenging puzzle you’ll find a way around, not a problem you can never overcome.

One of the best ways to do this is to inject some joy. You may not love what you’re working on but it’s much more enjoyable if you’re not loathing every second of it. The trick is to make it as fun as possible.

Fun is a great motivator. You always want to jump on things that make you feel good and bring you joy, right?

You might have to dig deep to find the fun factor with some projects but it’s worth it. After all, having fun at work matters.

6) Get Support From Your Manager

You might be afraid to let your manager know that you’re finding it tough to stay motivated but you don’t need to struggle alone.

Unless they’re an asshole boss, they’ll want to help you. The more motivated and productive you are, the better it is for your manager and the company.

Maybe they can lighten your workload so you feel less overwhelmed. Or help you prioritize projects because everything can’t be #1.

This one won’t work so well if your manager is a total work jerk or bitch boss. But even if you can’t rely on their support to help you gain momentum and stay motivated, there are lots of things you can do internally to make up for it.

7) Focus On Another Project

When you can’t make progress on a project despite different approaches, then it’s time to step away from it for a bit. The more you try to push against the blockage, the more frustrated you’ll get. It’s like banging your head against the wall.

Moving onto another project gives you the headspace you need. You can make progress in another area and still feel like you’re moving the needle.

The key thing here is that you move onto meaningful work, not bullshit shallow work that isn’t getting you anywhere.

Shallow work is the stuff you can do without using any brain power or creativity. You can do it on autopilot and that’s not a good thing in this scenario.

What you need to be doing is the real grunt work that needs to get done. Yes, it’s unglamorous and tedious, but getting it done will bring you the productivity satisfaction you need to stay motivated.

On a similar note, multitasking doesn’t work either. When you’re switching between tasks, you’re not making headway on any of them. You can do more with less stress by mono-tasking.

This will also help you to “get in the zone” and get into that flow state of mind.

There’s another advantage to shifting your focus. When you make progress on other projects or tasks, you regain confidence in yourself and avoid the crushing effects of procrastination. That’s hugely powerful for motivating yourself.

8) Create A Distractions List 

We all know the power of distractions for knocking us off track, especially when you go down the rabbit hole during working hours.

These mental distractions can kill your motivation because it’s diverting your focus to other bullshit things.

When those random thoughts and worries pop into your mind, jot them down on a piece of paper and label it “Things To Remember” as your distractions list.

When you do this, you’re acknowledging them to your mind and thus, it allows your mind to let go of it. This way, they’re not getting the power to derail you and can stay focused on work.

Give yourself permission to think about them later but right now, the focus has to stay on the task at hand. And a distractions list frees up the energy and headspace to do that. 

Look Within For Motivation That Never Fails

When the shit keeps piling up and nothing’s going your way, it’s only natural to lose motivation and feel like you’re about to lose your shit.

And, when it’s really bad, you feel like quitting and want to walk right the fuck out. It becomes really hard to motivate yourself when you’re just not feeling it.

But here’s the thing - acting like this is keeping the vicious cycle going and you’re the only one who can break it.

Making your workload feel less daunting, celebrating every single bit of progress and bringing rewards into the equation are powerful ways to build motivation and maintain momentum.

Keep at it and you’ll build resilience and mental strength that starts to feel natural. And when this happens, you’ll be able to stay in a kickass state of mind and manage work stress like a champ.

So, when the day from hell happens, you can dig deep and use that self-motivation to keep calm, stay engaged in your work and achieve that joyful productivity happiness that is so damn satisfying.

Now, get after it!

Feel Better,

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