Staying motivated and on-task can be difficult in today’s ultra-connected world. Mobile devices, social media accounts, and other digital distractions can keep us from staying focused in our home or workplace offices.
Staying motivated to complete a project or full workday is necessary if you want to stay employed and move up the corporate ladder. The willpower that’s needed to not check your Facebook every five minutes is essential to work at a productive pace without taking unnecessary breaks to check your News Feed.
Self-control is powered by willpower, the determination to suppress momentary desires, manage emotions, thoughts, and habits that keep us from achieving a goal or completing a task. Short-term desires can include a bad habit you’re trying to break from (smoking, taking the escalators instead of the stairs, social media while at work) that you know is damaging to your health, career, or wellbeing.
To stay motivated in today’s workplace takes willpower and self control that can be built or conditioned over time. Like exercising a muscle, you can increase your willpower by self-regulating your impulses. Research has indicated that self-regulation is a limited resource that must be topped up frequently, and consecutive acts of self-resource burns up the mental resources needed to remain focused.
Willpower and self-regulation is mind over matter that every motivational speaker, life coach or inspirational author has advice to improve it, but much of that can be condensed into tips that work for staying on task with anything you need to complete, whether its the big project for work or losing a couple inches from your waist.
Self-regulation and motivation are mental functions, and you need to remain positive in order to harness their powers. One of the best ways to do this is to keep track of goals as you complete them. Break down the project into smaller goals that you can easily complete within a day or week, depending on what works best for you. Check off the goals as you complete them, and it will give you the boost you need to complete the next task on the list.
As you’re laying in bed at the end of the day, think of three things you did during your day which were successes. Visualize of the steps you did that helped you achieve these successes, you’ll begin to recognize the positive influences or methods that you used to succeed.
Failure is an important part of the learning process, but don’t let it distract you from reaching your goals. Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” If Edison’s words don’t fire your engines when you’re down, think of Winston Churchill’s: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up.”
Reaching out to a mentor or colleague may give you the emotional and motivational boost you need to reach your next goal. Sometimes you may need to go outside your professional circles and find someone in a LinkedIn or Facebook group that has the expertise required to complete your task. Just remember to find the right person who has the expertise and drive to give you the advice or push when you need it.
When you’re fighting distractions that are vying for your attention and time, think of the reasons to stay on task and complete the goals you set for yourself. You may want that corner office with the big raise, to be able to afford to take a vacation to your dream destination, or to shed those pounds from your body. Whatever the goal you set for yourself, visualizing success will help you get to where you want to be. Picture yourself in the corner office or on the tropical beach and you’ll get the juices flowing to bang out the goal in front of you.
The goals you’re trying to achieve can be completed if you follow these few steps to stay motivated and self-regulated from the distractions that keep us from staying focused. Remember that every goal you set is a step to a better you; whether its a career, your health, or lifestyle, you have it in you to achieve it.