Uncertainty about the future, being distant from friends, challenges with mental and physical health, and constantly staying in the same environment are all aspects of life during Covid-19 that can affect your ability to focus on daily responsibilities, let alone tackle them with any sort of enthusiasm.
If you’ve been having trouble summoning your motivation in these strange times, here are six tips to get it back.
Keep your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting goals is good, but it’s better to have reasonable goals rather than shooting for the starts right? Maybe your goal is to exercise three times a week, or maybe it is to take time out for yourself to just relax. Whatever your goals may be, jot them down for when you need a reminder of where you’re headed.
Tackle your daily tasks: When the day ahead is still bouncing around in your mind, along with everything else trying to grab your attention, it can seem a lot more overwhelming, making it a challenge to feel motivated to tackle those tasks. Seeing the pieces of your day laid out in front of you can help declutter your mind and provide a more accurate picture of what you have going on. This list can include work-related tasks like a 3:00 meeting or non-work-related tasks like making your bed or eating breakfast. Going a step further, crossing out each task once it’s finished can give you a little boost of motivation.
Build your routine: It can be difficult to stay motivated when you feel as though you have no idea what is going to happen next. Now is the time to start building in small aspects of your routine, as a way to add some predictability back into your life. Again, this doesn’t mean adding a hundred new parts to each day—start small and test out a few habits here or there.
Emphasize self-care: When feeling particularly unmotivated, hammering away at your brain to continue on a task can not only be exhausting, but it can often be completely counterproductive. Sometimes, we have to let our minds take the wheel and ask ourselves: “What am I motivated to do right now?” It could be that you are struggling to motivate yourself to finish that article, but you are really motivated to finally start practicing the guitar. If so, set aside 30 minutes to play. Allowing your brain to direct your motivation for a bit of time can re-energize you and reset your attention.
Stay social: What we may have already forgotten is how beneficial it is to be social. Whether it’s having someone to vent to or being around someone inspiring, don’t forget to be social—just make sure to keep your distance while doing so.
Seek out therapy: If none of the above works, seeking out a licensed mental health professional will provide a space for you to discuss the source of your difficulty to stay motivated, as well as provide techniques or strategies for managing disruptive thoughts and emotions. It’s worth considering!