Self-motivation is a critical ingredient in success. And it is not only limited to telling yourself “you got this”. This saying might help you to motivate yourself for a short period but probably not going to last. This is why you should have a system that will help you to motivate yourself, continuously. A system that will push you to work towards your goals every day.
In this article, I will write about my self-motivation system that is helping me to focus on things. Every time I start to fall into the trap of procrastination or pessimism (ugh, this is worse), I use it. This system is a tool that is easy to build and follow up. I keep it in front of my eyes all the time, so I can see the ups and downs clearly.
I am not saying it is a perfect one. Actually, you can find dozens of applications out there. They have way better tracking solutions than mine. However, my self-motivation system is special to me. I prepared it according to my needs. So, it works perfectly for me.
I suggest you do the same. I will give all the details for my system below. You won’t need to use any paid tool to create your own self-motivation system if you follow the steps. Use them, definitely. You have my permission. I have only one rule. You should customize it according to your needs.
Disclaimer: Everything I wrote below depends on my experiences. Things can change when it comes to your journey. So, this is not a certain recipe that works for everyone.
Don’t forget: There is nothing wrong with stealing ideas from others. However, only you can prepare a recipe that is special to your situation.
What Is Self-Motivation?
Before I dive into the details, I want to give the definition of self-motivation. Thus, you can have a better understanding of what we are talking about through the article.
Self-motivation is a power that encourages you to take action. It means you challenge yourself to destroy the obstacles that stand between you and your goals. With self-motivation, you turn a maybe into a should, and a should into a must. This approach increases your chances to reach success. Because you motivate yourself without the need to wait for other people’s influence.
My System For Self-Motivation
My self-motivation system has 2 main parts:
- A board that shows me what I have to get done to reach my goals. I use Trello for this. It is an easy and free tool that is very useful especially for self-employers. It has paid subscription models. However, the free version is enough. There is no need to subscribe unless you have a big team.
- A report that shows me how much effort I put to reach my goals. I use Google Sheet for this. No need to say but you can use Google Sheets for everything and it is all free.
These 2 main gearwheels are standing in the center of my system. There are other small gearwheels too. But the success of the operation depends on the main gearwheels. If one of them stops, the procrastination monster inside my brain appears immediately.
However, to give you a full image, I have to explain the small ones too. I know, this might be a little boring. But bear with me until the end to be able to prepare your own self-motivation system.
Here are the steps you need to follow.
Determine Your Priorities
First thing first. You are not a superhero. It is hard to believe but you can’t handle everything on your own. You need help. More importantly, you need to accept this truth and determine your priorities according to your goals.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to motivate yourself. The self-motivation journey will turn to a self-destruction journey. And what is worse, you are going to burden yourself with a dozen of responsibilities. Thus, you will end up procrastinating on important tasks.
Instead, ask these questions to yourself:
- What are the 3 things that make you happy in this life? The answer should include 3 main topics from these health, money, relationships, career, contribution, growth, passions.
- After you select 3, you should prioritize them. For example my three in order: Health, contribution, and growth.
- Then you should break them down into small tasks. For example: To live a healthy life, I should take care of my diet, have a proper sleep cycle, exercise regularly.
After this, you should start to take action. But before…
Set Working Hours
I am dreaming of a world with no time restriction. A world that I can procrastinate as much as I want yet still reach my goals easily. Does this sound familiar? Then, say hello to the dreamer. An incorrigible type of procrastinators.
I was one of them. Okay okay, I still am one of them, sometimes. This is why I have a self-motivation system.
Anyway, unfortunately, the opposite of our dreams, we have limited time. This means we should be careful about where we will spend it. There is only one way to do this and reach your dreams. You should determine your working hours according to your priorities.
How To Set Working Hours
Let’s say you are working in a company and you want to work on a side-project in your free time. You sleep 8 hours a day and spend 2 hours on the way to work (go and back). You have a 1-hour lunch break and 30 minutes break time in 9 hours working time. This means you should be working for your company for 7.30 hours. Your calculation should look like this:
- 16 hours awake in a day.
- 8.30 hours of free time (including transportation, lunch, and break times).
Simple, right? Actually, not that much. Because you should keep breaking down your time by asking these questions to yourself.
- Can I use 2 hours of transportation time to work on my side project?
- Can I use a part of my break time to work on my side-project?
- How much time do I need to start working again when I get back home?
- How much time will I need for other activities (you have friends, family, spouse…)?
- As a result, how much time do I have that I can spare to work on my side project (including weekends)?
In the end, you’ll have an approximate time on your schedule. Thus, things will seem clearer. Congrats! You’ve managed to take the second step in the self-motivation journey.
Have A Task List
Now, it is time to visualize everything so you can convince your stubborn mind to start taking action that will help you to grow. The first thing to do is to have a task list that includes every main task which contains every relevant sub-tasks.
As I mentioned before, I use Trello to list my tasks. It is a simple yet powerful tool. Also, its user-friendly interface is easy to understand and use. I’ve shared a screenshot of my own board below. So you can have an idea of how to create a task list in Trello.
Actually, it is not important which tool you are going to use. You can use a pen and a notebook too. Whatever you are going to use, just don’t forget to create a proper one.
Track Your Progress
We like compliments, positive feedback, and green color on the reports. These kinds of things encourage us to move forward. We hate criticism, negative feedback, and red color on the reports. However, if we receive these kinds of things in a proper way, they push us to move forward.
As you see, both have their own impact on motivation and you should use this power.
There is one thing you need to understand though. When it comes to your goals, dreams, journey, there is no one but you. So, you should have something that will show you your progress. This is the only way to receive feedback for your own life.
Ofcourse, you can have an accountability partner. And if you find that he/she will be quite helpful. But still, you need to keep giving feedback to yourself. Because only you will know what is happening in your own life.
After all, it is party time! No matter how hard you should work on your goals, you need a break. Don’t you want to take a break? Okay. But I have to warn you. You’ll have a mental breakdown at some point. Give it a shot, it is free to try!
If you say there is no need to try, welcome to the club. You can start rewarding yourself regularly. For example, I take one day full off per week to recharge myself. You can customize this method according to your needs, as always.
The self-motivation journey requires a lot of effort. As I said at the beginning, it is not happening only by saying encouraging words to yourself. You should have a system to convince your brain and your heart. You should physically show what is happening in your life, how close you are to your goals, how possible dreams will come true.
Keep this in mind. No matter how emotional creatures we are, we all have a robotic part. And self-motivation is all about waking up that part in us. I am not saying stop emotions and be a robot. I know that ignoring emotions won’t work but ignoring that robot won’t work too. What I say is, you have to find the balance in between.
That was all. In this article, I’ve tried to explain my self-motivation system. I hope my solution will help you to create your own system.
If you have any other suggestions to overcome procrastination, just share with us your experiences to support others in this adventure! And don’t forget to share your comments about this article below!