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A self-motivation tip that works every time!

When motivation is difficult for a certain task, try this easy tip to get yourself going!

clock on counter

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Some days I wake up ready to tackle the day and my to-do list with energy and motivation.  Other days I can’t seem to get myself going.  And, often, my days get so chopped up with appointments and kids stuff that it is hard to be productive on those at-home tasks.  Self motivation is important and necessary in mom-world, but can be tricky when tasks don’t have a hard deadline.

Your to-do list probably has several categories:

urgent — absolutely has to get done today

needed — this should be done today

extra — would love to get this done today

fun — hoping to get to do this today

The time method works great on the needed and extra categories.  Urgent tasks should be tackled first in your day when you have the most energy and focus.  Save your “fun” tasks for later and use them for motivation.  Now you are on to your “needed” tasks.  Often, by this point in the day, I have been interrupted multiple times and someone is needing a ride somewhere.  This is when I lose steam.  So these tasks can end up getting bumped day after day.

The time method helps me motivate and get started.  I tell myself I will do _________ for a certain amount of minutes.  I will clean the kitchen for 10 minutes.  Set a timer and start.  I can do anything for 10 minutes.  My kitchen won’t end up being thoroughly cleaned, but it will be a start.  I will clean out a closet for 30 minutes.  I will do this every day until the task is done.  Mentally, this really works to get you started.

Here is an example.  We replaced doors and trim upstairs in our house (over a year ago).  Everything was painted before it was installed, but it needed touch up.  Fill the nail holes, sand, and touch up paint.  Not a huge task, definitely an “extra” on my list, but needing to get done.  One year later it had been bumped and bumped and still not done.  I had decided this was the week, but day after day I couldn’t find the motivation to do it.  So I decided I would work on it for one hour.  After an hour I could do something on my “fun” list.  Once I got going, I was motivated to keep going and actually worked longer and got more done than planned.  And, the next day, I was ready to get back to it.  The job is finally done and I don’t have to be bugged every time I walk down the hallway.

Setting a time limit is my favorite way to get myself going.  I often find myself working over the time limit because once I get going I can keep going!  But, if I don’t finish it’s okay because I have already given myself permission.


Amount of time doesn’t matter.  Just give yourself permission to stop after x minutes.

Set a timer.  It will keep you on task.

Just get started.  Even if the task isn’t completed, the starting of it will give you motivation to keep going.


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Saturday 9th of July 2016

This really works Eliece. I was overwhelmed about writing all my own compositions down on manuscript paper. I set a goal to just do one or two lines a day which was probably about 10 minutes and in a few weeks I had it all done. :0)

Eliece Jenkins

Sunday 10th of July 2016

Thanks Lisa!