It is a common struggle among us to stay motivated during the holiday season. I am not sure about you, but I am already counting down the days to Christmas. It is this time of the year when we feel least motivated and it is also the time that we usually have the most to complete. Sustaining motivation and preventing it from dying out is an essential yet tough practice to do. Here are some suggestions that you can use to stay motivated and finish this year strong:
- Identify the important task – When your to-do list never seems to end, it is critical to identify and distinguish your important work from your busy work. Make sure to have a small number of tasks that you absolutely need to work on at the beginning of each day and focus on those tasks. Renew your list of important tasks every day and tackle them one task at a time.
- Identify the reasons you want to complete the tasks – Write down the reasons why you want to accomplish these tasks that you set out for each day. No, your reasons should not be something as “because I have to”. They should be deeper reasons that you want to achieve such as “because I will be able to enjoy time with my family without having to work over the holidays”, “because it makes me happy to deliver my project on time”, or “because I savor the feeling of achievement”.
- Start on the smaller tasks first – Nothing is worse than getting discouraged from completing a task because you have a long list to do and your current task is consuming all your time and energy. Work on the tasks that are the easiest and take the least time to complete first. Once you complete a small task, it will give you momentum to focus and tackle a bigger one.
- Take breaks – This is an important step that is normally forgotten. Make a mental note or put it on your calendar to remind yourself to take a break between each task and/or every 15 or 30 minutes. Get up and stretch. Walk around. Go grab a cup of coffee, tea, or water. Say hi to your coworkers. Refresh your mind and then come back to your tasks.
- Get help when needed – When you are stuck on a task, get help! Don’t try to beat yourself up and get frustrated because you cannot move forward with a task. Surround yourself with experienced people and discuss your difficulties with them when needed. Not only will that help complete your tasks, it will also motivate you to share your knowledge and help others when they run into the same problems.
- Pause – When you feel as if you cannot continue with the task on hand, pause for a moment and relax. Get your mind off what you are working on. Refresh your mind before resuming the task.
- Love what you do – No, you will not love ALL the tasks that you do, but at least have positive intentions toward them. You can either tell yourself “I have to do this” or “I GET to do this”. I strongly believe that you can learn from every task that you do, so why not have a positive attitude about it. Do your work with good intentions. Do it with love and all of a sudden, staying motivated isn’t all that hard anymore.