Here are seven unusual but effective ways to stay motivated:
Tune in to YouTube
In the past, we were told not to study with the TV on, but now, you can do so with YouTube. There’s a series of videos titled “work with me,” “study with me,” or “clean with me,” where creators film themselves going about their tasks for several hours. Some work on their computers, others read books, take notes, do homework, tidy up, or even draft a future novel.
By watching these videos at home, you feel like you have a study or productivity partner, making it less dreary to tackle foreign language exercises or quarterly reports. The atmosphere of productivity becomes contagious, making it easier to get started on your own tasks. Numerous viewers attest to the positive impact of this approach in the comments section of such videos.
Put on your sneakers
This trick comes from FlyLady’s system for maintaining cleanliness. The idea is that once you put on any lace-up shoes, you automatically gear up for work. Unlike cozy slippers, you can’t just kick off tied shoes, so you won’t be tempted to flop on the bed and laze around instead of working around the house or on any other task.
FlyLady also emphasizes the importance of grooming, tidying up, and, for women, even applying makeup and styling hair, even if you don’t plan to leave the house. This helps in feeling more composed and motivated – after all, you’re already dressed up, and it’s awkward to lounge on the couch all day looking like that and browsing on your phone.
Sing and Dance
An interesting study conducted in Indonesia showed that employees who were encouraged to sing and dance during their breaks worked more productively and energetically than those who weren’t prompted to do so.
While the exact connection is not clear, it’s possible that dancing, like any physical activity, helps invigorate and get the blood flowing, leading to an endorphin boost. As for singing, it simply uplifts the mood.
Clutter distracts us from fully focusing on our work, as our attention gets scattered across the various items not in their proper places.
Moreover, people surrounded by chaos tend to procrastinate and spend almost a week each year searching for lost items amidst the mess.
A quick tidy-up certainly makes the main task much more manageable and enjoyable. A neat and attractive workspace is much more inviting than one filled with cups and papers strewn all over.
Allow yourself to daydream
Daydreamers are often seen as lazy and unproductive individuals, as if they do nothing but float in the clouds. And sometimes, that might be true. However, scientists believe that dreams can still be beneficial. They increase our productivity, make us more motivated, and focused on achieving results.
Take a cold shower
For some people, this method might seem more intimidating than motivating. Nevertheless, research shows that employees who took cold showers for 30 days felt more productive at work and even had fewer sick days.
Find a “body double”
When someone is observing us while we work, study, or do any other tasks, it becomes uncomfortable to get distracted, be lazy, or procrastinate.
But as adults, we usually don’t have someone constantly watching over us, and sometimes, we really miss that. That’s why you can find a partner for joint work, study, or sports activities, meeting either in person or via video communication, to help each other stay motivated and focused.
Thanks to this slight social pressure, individuals feel a sense of responsibility, making it harder to slack off, and tasks get completed more effectively and quickly, as motivation increases.
This approach is called a “body double” and became popular during the pandemic and widespread lockdowns.
To find a “body double,” you can use the special service called Focusmate, which automatically matches you with a partner for a 50-minute work session. However, this may require some basic knowledge of English and a $5 monthly fee.
For those who are not willing to communicate with strangers in a foreign language or pay for the opportunity to work alongside someone, they can try reaching out on social media and look for “body doubles” among their friends. Alternatively, they can explore productivity-themed communities.