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6 simple ways to avoid procrastinating and boost motivation levels

So many students and elderly people alike are coming to me saying that they have no motivation and just can't seem to do the things they know they need to. Avoiding tasks or missing deadlines obviously comes with consequences, whether that's debt from not paying bills, lower grades, less time doing things you enjoy and so on. These consequences can then have a knock on effect with stress and anxiety levels.

So what is motivation? Motivation is the driving force behind our actions and behaviours. When we're motivated, we feel more productive, focused and energised. Sometimes, our motivation levels can dip, which is normal - however if we are feeling out of control in other areas of our life at the same time, it can soon spiral into an unhealthy cycle of changing sleep and eating patterns, disconnecting from the people we love and things we love to do. If you're struggling with motivation, don't worry - here are 6 effective strategies to help you get back on track and feeling more like yourself.

1. Set clear goals

Setting clear and specific goals is one of the most effective ways to boost your motivation levels. When you have a clear goal in mind, you're more likely to stay focused and motivated. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Write them down and keep them in a visible place so you can regularly review them and remind yourself of what you're working towards.

2. Break things down

Big tasks can be overwhelming and demotivating. Break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks and focus on one at a time. This can help you feel more in control and positive about the progress you are making, even if it's just one small step at a time.

3. Find your 'why'

Ask yourself why you want to achieve this task or goal, is it something you feel passionate about? Perhaps it's to work towards a career you would like or to live a healthier lifestyle. Whatever your 'why' is, make sure it's meaningful and resonates with you, as this is going to be the difference between being able to stick at it and falling off track.

4. Create an environment you can thrive in

Your environment can have a significant impact on your motivation levels. Surround yourself with things that give you a boost, whether it's uplifting quotes, supportive friends or a clean and tidy workspace. A calm environment can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

5. Take care of yourself

Self-care is essential for maintaining motivation levels. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising regularly. Taking care of your physical and mental health can help you stay energized and focused, which can lead to higher motivation levels. If things are getting on top of you, don't let it keep building to a point of overwhelm - make sure you speak to a trusted person whether that's a friend or family member, doctor or counsellor. It may help to get things off your chest and explore your thoughts with someone unbiased, who can help you to make sense of what's going on.

6. Find inspiration

Sometimes all it takes to boost your motivation is a little inspiration. Find sources of inspiration that resonate with you, whether it's reading books, listening to motivational speeches, or watching inspiring movies. During lockdown I discovered podcasts - I'd go for a long walk by myself whilst listening to episodes of Happy Place. Despite it being about the only thing we were allowed to do at that time, I look back on it fondly as it opened up a whole new sense of self care for me. Podcasts are now where most of my inspiration comes from and where I go to rediscover my 'why'.

In conclusion, improving your motivation levels is all about finding what works for you. Use these strategies as a starting point and experiment with different techniques until you find what feels good for you. Remember that motivation is not a constant state and that it's okay to have off days. Be kind to yourself and keep pushing forward - you've got this!

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