Something needs doing? Can’t find the motivation? If the task’s starting to drag and you need a quick pick-me-up, here are some speedy solutions worth trying.
1. Start the clock: set a timer and see how much you can get done it that time.
2. Turn it up: take a 3-minute break to listen to a song that makes you want to dance, sing and get things (dancing and singing optional).
3. Aim high: Set yourself a greater challenge. The greater challenge, the easier the first few steps will seem. If you need to get 70% done, aim for 100%; you may even beat your goal.
4. Visualise: Imagine your end result or, if in need of a more solid reminder, surround yourself with related images and objects. If you’re on a diet, stick a picture of your target body on the fridge, or if you want to write a great essay, leave a previous essay you did well on the desk.
5. Do things differently: Shake things up to make it more interesting. Work upwards instead of down a list, eat your lunch in reverse order, call someone on a landline instead of a mobile or write in bright orange font (just remember to change it back!).
6. Set your limits: Setting yourself a certain amount to get done – 500 words, 3 pages, 2 hours – can stretch your brain and add an edge to an otherwise dull task.
7. Step outside: Let the fresh air clear your mind and sit back down with a new perspective. Fresh air’s also a proven stress buster!
8. Create a distraction ban: Instead of challenging yourself to complete the task at hand, challenge yourself to not do the things that are likely to stop you getting it done. If you know you always end up checking your emails, browsing the internet or texting everyone in your phonebook, make an extra effort not to for an hour or two.
9. List it: why are you trying to complete this task? Remind yourself of all the potential benefits, whether it’s securing your dream job or just being done in time to go out tonight!
10. Move it: Sometimes a simple change of scenery can inspire fresh ideas and banish boredom, so move outside, go to library or simply change seat for a quick boost.