#GTD: 11 Ways for Creative Minds to Get and Stay Motivated and Productive

Written by Angela Atkinson

So, I’m one of those creative types, and yeah, I might get a little off-track at times with all of my crazy ideas and project planning. 

But when it comes down to it, I know how to get things done, and that’s how I manage to do all the various projects (and how I am learning that I have to pick and choose carefully!). 

Am I an overachiever? No. Hell no. I just do what I do and it works because I love it, because I am passionate about it and because to me, it does not feel like work – it feels a lot like doing something I love. 

Truth is that even the most experienced and successful creative achievers can use a little help getting motivated from time to time – and that does include me, even though I know logically how to get stuff done. 

Good news, though. 

Motivating yourself is a learnable skill – and if I can do it, so can you!

Everyone procrastinates at times. It’s human nature, so don’t beat yourself up. Just play the game better – I’ve worked out some tactics and strategies that can lift your motivation to the critical level necessary to get yourself moving again.

Are you a creative type, like me, who struggles to get stuff done? Then you’ll love this stuff – it is for you!

Try these techniques to motivate yourself and get things done:

  1. Be happy. You make the choice – and you should choose happiness. It’s much easier to motivate yourself when you’re in a positive mood. Focus on the wonderful things in your life that fill you with gratitude. Cleaning out the garage won’t seem quite as daunting. Keep your mind on the positive things in your life.
  2. Learn how to be a finisher. A trail of unfinished projects can dampen anyone’s enthusiasm to start another. Avoid quitting before a task is 100% completed. You’ll be more interested in taking on new tasks when you expect to be successful. Success breeds success.
  3. Expect mistakes. The only people that don’t make mistakes are those who never do anything. The more mistakes you make, the more you’ll learn. Mistakes can be very positive. Use them to your advantage.
  4. Keep yourself grounded in the present. If you’re worrying about the future or beating yourself up over the past, it’s challenging to get anything accomplished right now. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes if your mind is running wild.
  5. Focus on the result. You’ll find it difficult to get started if you sit around and think about all the work that needs to be done. Focus on the result and you’ll feel much more motivated.
  6. Give yourself a reward. You go to work every day because you know that a paycheck is coming your way. You wouldn’t go otherwise. Give yourself a small, but meaningful, reward when your work is complete. Determine the reward before you get started.
  7. Use a timer. Decide how long a task should take and see if you’re right. Set a timer and see if you can beat the clock. A little time pressure will help to keep you focused on your work. There are many timer apps and programs available at no cost.
  8. Read inspirational quotes. Reading inspirational quotes by those who have achieved great success can be very motivating. Spend a few minutes reading these great quotes and you’ll be sure to experience an enhanced level of enthusiasm. Consider creating a list of quotes that you can keep nearby in case of emergency.
  9. Consider the price of failure. What is the price of failing to follow through? Make a list of the negatives. Some of us are more driven by pain then we are by reward. Using both to your advantage can be powerful.
  10. Get some exercise. If you’re felling stuck, go for a brisk walk or a short run. Taking a short break every 60 minutes has been shown to increase productivity. Keep your breaks short so you don’t get off track.
  11. Measure your progress. Big goals or projects can takes years to complete. Measuring your progress along the way is a great way to keep your spirits high. Set short-term goals to keep you focused.

Unless you live with your mom still, it’s important to be able to motivate yourself – and even then, it wouldn’t hurt you to get your grove on. The most successful people are able to harness the power of self-motivation.

And you know what? That can include you, if you choose it. A higher level of motivation will ensure that your work is done well and as quickly as possible – and it’ll get you one step closer to your ultimate goals. It’s time to get busy! Let’s do this. 

What are your morning motivators? What gets you going each day? Share your thoughts and experiences with the QB community in the comments, below. 

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