Updated: Aug 16, 2021
We can’t be alone in saying that quarantine has been hitting our motivation… Pretty hard.
It’s one thing to be instructed to stay in our homes all day, to stay away from others if we can and to only go out for necessities. It’s a whole other matter when the reason why we’re required to isolate is because of a harmful pandemic.
It’s no doubt a stressful time. You may find yourself just wanting to lay around in your pajamas, polishing off your Netflix queue. And that’s okay. Whatever you need to get through this difficult time—so long as you’re not actively harming yourself or others—is completely fine.
But for those of us who feel that a little motivation to work out or finish projects might be exactly what we need right now, here’s some tips.
Write Down a Schedule
Think you didn’t need your daily planner any more? Is the whiteboard you post your schedule on completely blank?
Well, get them back out because you can still use them!
Actually, using physical planners or writing down your schedule could help even better than putting it in your phone. Writing allows us to manifest our thoughts on physical objects, and studies show that writing things down can have a direct correlation to your brain feeling more motivated on completing those goals.
Have you ever heard the phrase “if you can think it, you can do it”? It’s a little like that.
Of course, writing a schedule for yourself can do more than just focusing on those goals in a day; it’s also a way to regain normalcy during this time. Remember when you did need a planner for all of those meetings, or to try to figure where you can fit in a work out? That sort of organization doesn’t have to end just because that hectic schedule is a little less packed.
Our point is that you can still have a schedule, making it as sparse or full as you want. Trust us: writing down that dinner is planned for 6:00 pm feels like an accomplishment in itself.
Set a Timer
Of course, even if you follow our advice and write out a planner—things don’t always go as planned.
Maybe you ditched your workout for just one more episode on Netflix, or while you were working on your project for work your eyes started to wander to your phone…
Resulting in three hours of researching something completely unrelated to work.
We all get distracted, especially in today’s modern world where there’s so much to distract us.
But your time doesn’t have to be completely lost to an “quick” look on Instagram.
We recommend setting a timer to split your time. You can start in small increments—ten, fifteen minutes—and fully commit yourself to your project with NO distractions. Once that timer is over, you can set one for five minutes to do whatever you need—check your email, stretch, grab that second cup of coffee you suddenly crave.
When you commit yourself 100% to something, it’s incredible how much you can get done in such a short amount of time!
It also prevents you from trying to multitask, which studies show can actually harm the quality of your work.
Know What Your End Goal Is
Well, it turns out they may be onto something— at least, trusting that they do the video themselves eventually.
See, what they may not realize is that they’re visualizing quite literally what they’ll be doing, from start to finish—which helps fit pretty precisely into their end goal.
Visualizing what you want to accomplish is a major aspect of staying motivated. In fact, professional athletes have been known to imagine winning their respective sport to commit themselves to their vision. When you think about how you might feel once you’ve completed what you need—happy, relieved, powerful—you’ll find yourself wanting to finish these accomplishments on a more regular basis.
This isn’t one-off advice; studies actually show that one in five businesses use some sort of vision board, and 76% of those businesses are finding themselves exactly where they envisioned themselves.
Whether you like keeping a vision board, watching workout videos before participating, or taking time to meditate on exactly what you want to accomplish by the day’s end— all of these can have powerful effects.
After all: the mind’s imagination is a powerful thing.
Give Yourself Breaks
But the fact is: in order to still be motivated, you need breaks.
Of course there are numerous studies on why rests from work are important. Driving yourself to do too much will completely burn you out!
On the other hand, having those important breaks will allow you to recharge and reflect on your own progress: what you’ve done thus far, how much more you can do and would like to do. When you return to work, you’ll be able to work with a clear mind and refreshed attitude.
(There’s little wonder, then, that labor laws require regular breaks.)
But besides trying to be your most motivated, productive self for the sake of getting more work done, you have to also remember that for as much as you’re wanting to be busy during this difficult time… This is still a stressful, difficult time.
It’s safe to say our brains are overloaded with disturbing statistics and scary trajectories concerning this pandemic. It’s good for us to be wanting to do projects, to continue our workouts, to accomplish at least something in our day to take our minds off the news.
But it’s also completely healthy to take a moment and reflect on yourself, to decipher whether it’s a good day or bad day for your mental health.
Maybe you really just want to finish the work you started for the day. Great.
Maybe you’ve already done a lot of work and want to reward yourself by taking one more thirty minute break on your timer—also great. Wonderful, even.
To be clear, we’re not trying to say that falling back into old habits that left us feeling very unmotivated is the key to getting things done; quite the opposite. We’re saying it’s a balance.
To be our strongest, healthiest selves we need to stay concentrated and ready to complete our goals, certainly. But we also need that extra time once in a while: a moment to get off our work computers and play with our kids, a minute to breathe and be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished.
From there we can do so much more—quarantine or no
What are some ways YOU keep yourself motivated? Let us know!