5 Strategies to get your mojo going and complete your tasks
Do you ever feel you’re a hamster caught on a Ferris wheel, you’re inundated by a plethora of tasks you desire to finish, but you can’t muster the motivation to complete any of them? Most of us have faced this dilemma at some point. Psychologically, this behavioral pattern occurs from our lack of intrinsic motivation, which is necessary to complete home-related tasks.
Multiple New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink is at the forefront of research on motivation, and he argues for tasks that require intrinsic motivation we are compelled by forces of “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” And when people harness their intrinsic motivation, they experience more self-direction, self-reliance, and self-confidence and are usually more successful in completing their tasks.
Therefore, it is important to find the intrinsic motivating forces within your tasks at home. It will help bolster your confidence and self-esteem. Here are a handful of at home strategies you can use to heighten your level of intrinsic motivation.
- 1. Look for aspects of the task that feel authentic:
Seek out tasks to complete that are interesting and authentic to you, and not someone else. The more tasks you’re able to close, the more your brain will get into a cadence of motivation instead of apathy. Try to choose tasks that will yield positive results, so you’ll feel self-satisfied despite the effort. Tasks can vary from completing past due paperwork to just hanging a picture. Start by completing a few simple tasks and build up to ones that are more difficult and time intensive.
- 2. Evaluate time accurately:
Challenge yourself and try to guess how long you believe the task you’ve chosen will take to complete. Mark it on a piece of paper. Complete the task. Note how long it took and compare your guess to reality. Often guesses are more dramatic than reality. Using this method will help motivate you to complete tasks you surmise may take “forever.” The more tasks you complete, the more motivated you will become.
- 3. Where to start:
Create a fluidity strategy on how you intend to manage the task through to completion. Evaluate the task and determine how to break it into chunks. Look at each chunk as a minor task. Completing each small task will increase your motivation. It’s important to take breaks between these smaller tasks. Decide whether the way you’re “chunking” is effective, and don’t be afraid to reverse course, if your initial way of chunking isn’t optimal. Maintaining motivation from task to task will help you tackle and complete the entire project and build confidence.
- 4. Face your fear:
Face a fear every day to desensitize your brain to your ability to tackle projects you would typically avoid. That will increase your intrinsic motivation to tackle these home tasks, improving your sense of autonomy and self-reliance. Fear of tasks is a common reason people avoid attacking them. The fear of failing or making the wrong decisions inhibits motivation and increases apathy. However, when people face their fears, it is invigorating. I remind my clients to make their best guesses. There are no right or wrong decisions, or permanency to their choices.
- 5. Reinforce yourself:
It is important to reinforce yourself for engaging in behaviors that took effort to complete, which will help improve your intrinsic motivation. Tangible self-reinforcement works the best, like buying yourself flowers or going to a ball game. Reinforcement helps keep your motivation up due to the task/reward paradigm. Although the benefits of intrinsic motivation are far-reaching (improved autonomy, confidence, self-reliance, self-direction, purpose, mastery and self-esteem), they are not always immediately inherently reinforcing. However, consistent self-reinforcement using the task/reward paradigm will help sustain your motivation.
Whenever you’re tackling and trying to alter a major behavioral pattern in your life, it’s important to be patient and realize changes won’t happen overnight. You should notice a concurrent improvement in your feelings of effectiveness, self-confidence, and self-esteem. You’ll also notice that your increased levels of achievement will yield more intrinsic motivation.