You make goals... but then you procrastinate. You write a To Do list... but then you don’t follow through. Sound familiar? Why are we so good at thinking of what to do but so terrible at actually doing those things?
Here’s what the problem is. Productivity systems very rarely take emotions and feelings into account. And feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why humans do what they do. We can’t ignore our emotions. Because of the way our brains are structured, when thoughts and feelings compete, feelings almost always win. And we cant fight our feelings. Research shows that this just makes them stronger.
So what does the unavoidable power of feelings mean for motivation? We need to think to plan, but we need to feel to act. Here are three steps worth following:
1. Get Positive:
When do we procrastinate the most? When we’re in a bad mood. Meanwhile, research shows that happiness increases productivity and makes you more successful. What does the military teach the recruits in order to toughen them up? No, its not hand to hand combat, its optimism. So how do you get optimistic if you’re not feeling it? Monitor the progress you’re making and celebrate it whenever you get the chance!!
2. Get Rewarded
Rewards feel good. Penalties feel bad. And thats why they both can work well for motivating you. Research shows that rewards are responsible for three quarters of why you do things. So treat yourself whenever you achieve one of your personal goals.
3. Get Peer Pressure
Did you know that some degree of peer pressure can actually help kids? So what’s wrong with a bit of peer pressure even though we’re all grown up? Surround yourself with people who you want to be like and its far less taxing to do what you should be doing.
So to sum up:
- Get positive
- Get rewarded
- Get peer pressure
You can do this. In fact, believing you can do this is actually the first step. Think of yourself as a motivated, productive person. Research shows that how people feel about themselves has a huge effect on success.