We often procrastinate because of a lack of motivation. If we are motivated, we will be more disciplined. We won’t let small distractions keep us away from the important tasks.
Like everyone, I battle with procrastination every day. I have discovered the most powerful ways to keep myself motivated. Love and death.
Your days are limited
Remind yourself daily that your time is limited. Meditate on it. I have been studying and practising Stoicism for a while. Stoics mediate on death. The constantly reminder that our days are numbered is liberating. We let go of the unimportant and focus on the things that truly matter.
Knowing that your time is limited is one of the greatest motivation. Instead of procrastinating, you cherish every moment you have and make the most of it. You might keep thinking you can always do something tomorrow, what if tomorrow never comes?
If you had a month to live, how would your priorities change? Constantly remind yourself of your impermanence keeps you driven to accomplish your dreams and goals.
We all die. It’s not a morbid thought. It is something we all need to learn to accept. Once you have accepted that, you will find yourself liberated from the unnecessary. Do you need all that material possessions? Things that you will leave behind once you die? What do you want to do or experience so that you will leave this world with no regrets?
Meaningful use of time
Knowing that your days are limited gives you a clear perspective of what you want to do with your time. Instead of indulging on games or other forms of entertainment, I spend more time on my passions and work towards realising my dreams. That doesn’t mean I give up on those indulgence completely. I just manage my time better so I can reach my goals with minimal distractions.
This motivation does not only affect what you do. It also affects with your being.
Rather than be negative and unhappy over unimportant things, you accept that emotions are fleeting. Relationships are far more important than your feelings. Let the negative emotions pass through you. Acknowledge it. Accept it. And let it pass.
Take a step back in that argument and look at the bigger picture. Sure, you stated your opinion and someone disagreed. You don’t need to get overly upset and hurt a relationship with family or friend. What if you won’t get to apologise or take back your words tomorrow?
Your loved ones
The other powerful motivation is love. Love makes the world go round. When you care for someone deeply, your motivation is immense.
Most people work for their family. They work hard and pursue a career so they can provide the best for their parents, siblings, spouse and children. Constantly remind yourself that you are doing this because you love them. You are not doing it for them. You are doing it for yourself, because you love them.
When you feel like procrastinating, remind yourself of what you want to provide for your loved ones. It will help you push aside that distraction.
Some people have strong bonds with their friends or colleagues. You have a long friendship what makes you want to become better for them. You want to make them proud. Your colleagues are key members in your team chasing a common goal and dream. Motivate each other to push the team towards the goal.
You might have others that you care deeply about. The beneficiary of your volunteer work. Your students. Your fans. Your audience.
Take time to meditate on love. Remind yourself of the people you want to work hard for. They deserve your motivation. Your heart is a powerful motivation to push through the inertia of procrastination.
What are your most powerful motivations? Do you have other motivations that can make you make the impossible possible?