Welcome to the end of the work week! All that motivation and energy you brought in on Monday Morning is probably fading by now.
Still, even when you feel tapped-out, there are ways to keep yourself charged up and moving powerfully toward your goals. Here are a few of our favorite motivation hacks: Easy ways to keep yourself on track and working hard, even when energy is hard to come by.
1. BREAK DOWN YOUR BIG GOALS
One of the quickest ways to kill motivation is to set someone an “impossible” task. This doesn’t have to be something completely outside the realm of possibility: The task simply has to be so big that it seems impossible, like running an entire marathon or finishing a ten-page white paper within the next 48 hours. Faced with what seems like certain failure, people usually give up. They figure they can’t succeed, no matter what they do, so what difference will it make?
But runners don’t “run marathons” — they take one step after another, until they cross the finish line. When you’re facing a task so huge that it seems “impossible,” take five or ten minutes to break that task down into smaller mini-goals — for the white paper, that might be research, completing an outline, writing the intro, etc — and see how fast you can power through.
Also Read: Why Most Startups Fail and How To Avoid The Same Fate
2. SET A REWARD
At the end of the day, we’re all just big kids. And there’s nothing that kids love more than parties and presents.
If you have trouble sticking to your goals, do yourself a favor: Bribe yourself. Pick out something you want, big or small — a date at an expensive restaurant, a book you’ve been wanting to check out, a karaoke party with friends — and promise yourself that you’ll get it once you finish. Just like a kid, you’ll move a lot faster if you know there’s a new toy at the end of the road.
3. MAKE A PUBLIC PROMISE
This is a core part of our work structure at Dave Partners. Every Monday, we have a company-wide meeting. Each member of the team shares their goals for the coming week — and reports back on how they accomplished last week’s goals.
Accountability is a powerful tool. When other people know what you’re supposed to be doing, you have no excuse for fooling around — and it feels great to share successes with a team of people who are rooting you on.
4. TAP THE POWER OF POP CULTURE
Big, long-term goals like finishing school, starting a business, or writing a book take lots of willpower. You have to be able to sweat it out over months or even years in order to succeed.
To keep yourself in a powerful mindset, surround yourself with support from pop culture. If you want to start a tech company, read the memoirs and biographies of entrepreneurial champions and technical geniuses. Learning from them will keep you in the right state of mind, even when you aren’t working.
Watch biopics about great business leaders, set up a playlist of musicians whose determination you admire or songs about overcoming obstacles, and spend your spare time soaking in the mindset that you need to achieve your goal. That way, even when you’re relaxing, your eyes will be on the prize.
5. COMPETE, COMPETE, COMPETE!
Of course, for a lot of people, nothing is more motivating than the promise of winning. This is where your public promises can become especially handy: If you can share your goals with a group, either by splitting up tasks or finding a group of people with the same goals, it’s very easy to turn accomplishing your goals into a game.
Set up a public dashboard and share progress with each other. Decide on a finish line — either the deadline for the project, or a set number of accomplishments — and see who can get their work done fastest, or do the most. If you like, you can even have prizes or a victory celebration for the winner: It can be as simple as letting the winner choose where you order lunch from the next time you eat in the office, but victory should always come with some rewards.
You may not win every time. But by turning your formidable tasks into a way to prove your excellence and earn your self-respect — and by using them as an excuse to have some fun — you’ll be able to take on any goal, and stay charged-up and excited while you work.