A task looms before you, and people are nagging you to get it done, but your anxiety makes it physically painful to even think about getting started. You have absolutely no motivation.Have you ever felt like that? People with ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders and other emotional or mental illness deal with this challenge every day. How can you overcome these feelings and get your motivation back?
Turn the task into something that feels good! Learn to make it meaningful and worthwhile for yourself. Using this simple formula will help you do that…
Success Activity+Clock+Reward=Renewed Motivation
1. Identify your Success Activities. Start the day by doing something you like that is rewarding and gives you a feeling of accomplishment and success, but keep it within a 15-minute time frame, so you don’t get sidetracked. Enjoy it thoroughly then move on to a task on your to-do list.
A Success Activity might be reading, meditating, calling a friend, exercising, or working on a hobby. Make sure you have successes, no matter how small, every day. What would your list of Success Activities include?
How can you add one of your Success Activities to the hard task at hand? This will turn your “I have to” task into an “I want to” task. What one thing can you do to make each task important and fun?
For example: washing dishes. What one thing do you enjoy about washing dishes? Do you like the scent of the soap? How about the warmth of the sudsy water? Could you meditate at the same time? Play music? Call a friend? If you love dancing, tell yourself you’re going to rinse and put 25 items in the dishwasher, then you get to dance around the kitchen as a reward. Continue this process until the dishes are completed.
2. Compete against the clock. Break the task down into manageable pieces. What can you do in 2 minutes? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? If it took you 10 minutes last time, can you do it in 8 minutes this time? How can the task be divided into timed increments?
3. Reward yourself. It doesn’t work to force yourself or try harder. Giving yourself a reward has better results. What will your reward be?
Use this formula to tap into your strength for doing things differently. Get creative. Make it fun, interesting, and rewarding so it works for you. When anxiety robs you of living a full, satisfying life, it might also be helpful to consult with a mental health professional. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.