End procrastination

End procrastination by learning to motivate yourself

So i decided to start my first motivational course, this time a free one also from Udemy: Motivation! How to End Procrastination Once and For All

The course starts by listing its content and the rewards:

You will get more done. Granted you will no longer have to worry about procrastination in your life because you’ll know how to motivate yourself in any circumstance.

And of course that leads to getting better results. You’ll be neater cleaner more organized more efficient and ultimately more effective and that will lead you to reach more of your goals and that could be goals in different areas of your life. And so you’ll be able to achieve success by getting yourself to do what is necessary for that success and to do it over and over again meaning that you’ll be able to identify what is it that you need to do to be successful in your finances in your career and your relationships and your physical health and your emotions your spiritual area of your life.

And then you’ll be able to motivate yourself to do those things over and over again and you’ll be able to live a successful life.

For this class its best to make a list of all different things that you need motivation for and use them for the different exercises in this course. It can either be: something you need motivation to start doing, or something you need motivation to stop doing. So i choose 2 things:

  1. Do more Udemy courses.
  2. Stop smoking.

What is motivation?

Motivation is the desire or the willingness to do something. Meaning that there is an energy inside of you that’s so strong that it compels you to take action in some area of your life. And what we do know from experience is that the greater the desire inside of you the greater the motivation.

So it kind of gives you an idea that there are different levels of motivation. What do I mean: meaning that you can feel motivated to do something but never do it. Meaning that at the level of motivation that you’re at it’s so small that it doesn’t give you enough energy to get it done. Or sometimes you can see the importance of something and never act on it. Meaning though you do have more motivation you know it’s important for some reason you cannot get yourself to do it.

There is always a motivation seesaw that’s going on inside of us. And which ever part whichever motivation is strongest will determine what you will do.

Obstacles to our motivation

You know some of the obstacles to our motivation is just that we don’t feel like doing it. But we would rather be doing something else.

Then there’s also fear. Fear is a very strong motivation. Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown or the fear of pain and comfortability that you’re motivated to see the importance of what you need to do. But there’s also the fear that you’re being motivated by of maybe an unknown situation or being uncomfortable in that fear that pain is so strong that it motivates you not to be able to accomplish what you need to do.

Then there’s apathy meaning you don’t really just don’t have a good reason to do it. And it’s interesting because that apathy is a motivation in itself. It’s motivating you to do nothing. So you have one motivation that says I need to get this done in another part of you that says don’t do anything at all because it’s more fun to not do nothing you know and you have both of these things battling against you.

It could be bad habits you’re so used to doing something one way that you’re comfortable doing it that way. So then when you’re asked to do something that’s outside of your comfort zone the motivation isn’t strong enough.

And then laziness, laziness is just our ability to find comfort in doing whatever we’re doing and which is pretty much nothing. Or doing something more fun.

The motivation drivers

Motivation drivers are these internal desires that are so meaningful to us that when we tap into them it greatly increases our motivation to do something. I mean we all have them. So in other words we’ve been so condition and moved to action when these drivers are activated throughout our life.

I want you to think about a time where you were really motivated to do something, in other words before you were not motivated and all of a sudden you became super motivated. I want you to think of at a time that you were really motivated to do something if you were kind of like to be able to dissect it you would realize that something was triggered inside of you that made you want to act. The question is what was it that triggered your motivation. Think about that time where you were really super motivated to do something. What was it that triggered it.

Is that your ability to tap into that motivation driver is going to be the foundation of your ability to motivate yourself in any circumstance.

What are the main motivation drivers

So first we need to identify what are the main motivation drivers in our life. Now granted there are many motivation drivers that we have and we probably look at our life and and remember when we were motivated we identify. I mean a lot of them. But what I wanted to focus on in this class are the four most important motivation drivers. Because if you can tap into these whenever you want. You pretty much will be able to get what you need to get done 90 percent of the time.

So what are the main motivation drivers in our lives:

  1. Importance. Well number one is the importance when something is important enough to you it will motivate you and compel you to act. We all know this. We’ve been in situations that we’ve seen that when you think there’s an emergency how much effort does it take you to act when you think that something great is happening. How much motivation do you need to act. Importance is by far one of the most powerful motivation drivers in our life.
  2. Certainty. So the second thing that’s a powerful motivating driver is certainty. Meaning the more certain you are that something is true or something is going to happen the more motivated you are.
  3. Pain. There’s nothing that motivates us as much as the fear of pain. And if you can use it though to your benefit versus to your detriment then it can become a very powerful ally in helping you to be very effective.
  4. Pleasure. We all know how motivating pleasure can be, sometimes it’s outside of our control how much we’re motivated by pleasure.

To increase the motivation you need to fuel the motivation drivers.

A simple formula, it really just works with the first two but it’s a very powerful formula.

I X E = M. Importance times Expectation equals Motivation. If the importance of me doing online courses is 9 (on a scale from 1 to 10) and the expectation (certainty) is 5 then there is a 45 % chance of me doing online courses.

Importance

How to increase the importance of something so that it can motivate you to take action on it?

How do you determine whether something is important to you?

How meaningful or valuable something is to you meaning the more meaningful something is to you the more valuable it is and therefore the more important it is to you.

Why is that so important? Because the more value something has for you the more priority it will take in your life. And of course when something has more priority than something else that’s the perfect definition of our motivation seesaw meaning one side was totally much more motivated than the other side. And that’s what we want. We want to be able to learn how to create priorities internally emotionally and mentally so that it tips and increases our motivation toward what we want to get done.

The importance or the meaningfulness of something is generally determined by some major things. Now granted there’s a lot of things that can determine how important something is to you but I want to focus on four of the most powerful things right now in our lives that determines the meaningfulness of something to you:

Number one is your emotional needs like what’s your most important emotional need. If that thing that you need to do you could link it to that emotional need, all of a sudden it becomes more important and more meaningful to you.

Another thing is your personality. There are things in your personality that you’re naturally driven to because that’s the way that you’re kind of conditioned for being all your life. So if that thing if you can sort of align the thing you need to do with your personality or what your sort of condition to it will drive you and motivate you because all of a sudden becomes important to you.

Then it’s also your values – what are the most important things in your life that will also determine whether something is valuable to you.

And then last your identity, what do you believe about yourself. If what you need to do supports that you will see yourself doing that on a consistent basis.

Right now your life is a perfect sort of summation of all these four things. So we’re going to look at as how do we tap into these things because by tapping into these things we’ll be able to link them with what we need to get done.

Emotional needs

As human beings we all have specific human needs that are very important to us. Some of these emotional needs are more important than others. And whatever your number one emotional need is that is by far the number one driver in your life for most of what you do.

The four basic emotional needs:

The first one is called certainty or security. That’s the one thing that pretty much is the foundation of their entire life: security or certainty that things are going to turn out the way they expect them to turn out.

Then there are other people that are driven by what I call variety or uncertainty meaning that if things are too secure or too certain they are bored out of their skulls and they feel like they’re suffocating.

Other human need is feeling loved and connected with people. You know these people because they’re always around other people and if they’re by themselves they feel sad lonely hurt and they can’t really operate unless they’re around others.

And then there’s some people who are just driven by significance, purpose, usefulness meaning they feel like their life has got to have a purpose. They’ve got to feel useful like they feel like they really want to have their life mean something.

So what I want to do now is give you a quick exercise to identify what your main human need is. Ask yourself out of all of these if you could sacrifice three but keep one what would that be?

Now just think about a task that you need to do but you don’t want to do. How difficult is it for you right now to do this task? (on a scale of one to 10 one being that it’s not that difficult while 10 being that it’s really really difficult for you to do right now). What are a few reasons that accomplishing this task will make you feel more secure or uncertain or feeling loved or useful? And then I want you to ask yourself now how difficult is it to do this task now on the scale of one to 10. Did that difficulty go down?

Example:

I think my basic emotional need is security. Task: quit smoking, difficulty 5.

If i would quit smoking i would feel more secure because i would avoid  a killer disease. The security brought by my financial situation would improve because i would not spend money on cigarettes.

Now the difficulty moved down to 4 from 5.

In your case if hopefully it went down enough go ahead and do it now, leave this article and go get it done.

Personality

This is just how we’re conditioned to be a certain way are programmed you know because of our personality most of our life. And if you can somehow link you task you had to do with one of these ways that your personality your program to it will make it so much easier to accomplish this task.

So most of the people’s personalities or temperaments are fall into one of these four categories:

The first one is maybe you are a driver, you just love control in other words you love it when things are within your control because you can get more influence more power you can do more.

Maybe your analytic you just want again security you want to feel that you know what you’re doing it’s accurate it’s right you want to make sure that you’re doing it right, you don’t want to mess up and become embarrassed.

(I’m analytic…)

Maybe supporter type of personality is what sort of describes you a little better. You know that you are this type of person if you tend to seek appreciation, connection with people.

And then of course there’s the cheerleader – that person generally seeks variety, fun, recognition.

So what satisfies you the most:

  • feeling in control?
  • to be right/security?
  • love and appreciation?
  • or recognition/fun?

Exercise: linking what you need to do with your personality driver:

Pick up a task and, again, assign a difficulty value to it from 1 to 10.

Now what are a few reasons why accomplishing this task will help you get more: control/security/appreciation/fun?

After answering the question how difficult is it to do the task now?

If the task has gone down low enough that you’re ready to do it go ahead and do it now.

Values

Ask yourself what do you consider the most important thing in your life? In my case i would say happiness. Other examples: family, country, religion, freedom… etc.

Now go ahead and find your most important value because we’ll do another exercise…

Choose a task and rate how difficult is it to do right now. What are a few reasons why accomplishing this task will help you support what’s most important in your life?

How difficult is it to do now (on the same scale of 1 to 10)?

Identity

In other words who you believe you are or you imagine yourself to be. So who do you wholeheartedly believe yourself to be? I believe i am friendly.

Another question: what do you admire most about yourself? (I admire the most my ambition).

After answering these questions let’s link our identities with what we need to do. Think about the previous task or pick a new one and rate it.

Answer this question: what are a few reasons why accomplishing this task will help you confirm what you like most about yourself?

Now rate the task again. If the rating went down enough go ahead and do it!

Certainty

The definition of certainty is when you are sure that something will happen the way you expect that it will turn out the way you think it will turn out because the more certain you feel the more motivation you have to take action.

How do you become more certain?

For instance remembering past experiences: if you’ve gone through a personal experience in the past than if it were to happen again you’re almost fully convinced that it’s going to turn out the same way.

The more evidence and support you get the more it starts to make things more certain for you.

The simplicity of the steps when people normally see how simple something is like the entire process of something it makes them feel more comfortable in accomplishing that thing and especially when they realize that the steps are really easy.

Past experience

When you’re familiar with the task or have done it previously it makes you more certain you can accomplish it again now. It could be your own previous experience or could be other people’s previous experience.

So thinking about and reflecting on past experiences either yours or other peoples does help in building your certainty.

Also testing helps. Meaning if I can test it on a small scale so I can become familiar with it it will increase my certainty that I can do this.

You know we talked about past experience: there’s past experience where you’ve done it before so you feel like you can do it again or past experience where you feel like you’ve done something similar to it before. So you feel like you can do it again or it can be a contrast meaning you’ve done something a whole lot harder than this before. So this should be a piece of cake.

Exercise: how confident are that you can do this task now (on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 you’re not confident so you’re not doing it and 10 you are extremely confident)?

How is doing this task now, just like something you’ve done in the past?

Or what have you done in the past that was a lot harder than this task?

Knowing this, how confident you are that you can do this task now?

Again, if your confidence increased enough you can do it now. Go ahead!

Another exercise: pick a task again and rate it. How many other people have successfully accomplished the task you are about to accomplish now?

Or optionally: how many people that you trust and admire have accomplished the task you are about to accomplish now?

Knowing this how confident are you now that you can do this task?

Testing is also a great way of getting ourselves familiar with a task in order to take away the the stigma that it’s going to be really really hard.

There’s different way of testing: you can try accomplishing the task just to experience what happens, meaning just try it or try a small or similar version of the task to experience what happens or just even try a small part of the task to experience what happens. This by far for me one of the keys to easily getting most of the things done that you need to get done. It’s what I call the simplest and easiest first step. Once I do that first step it’s so much easier for me to do the simplest and easiest next step and the next step and just like dominoes it’s so much easier to get the entire task done.

Testing exercise: choose a task and rate it. What’s a small step that you can do to get you familiar with this task?

What’s a small version of this task that you can do to get you familiar with this task?

How can I test doing this task so I can become more familiar with the experience of accomplishing it?

Now rate how confident are you that you can do this task. If you’re confident enough do it now.

Evidence and support

The more evidence or support you find that you can do something the more certain you become that you can do it.

Exercise: choose a task and rate it. Research and find what evidence proves that you can accomplish this task.

What evidence proves that if you do this task you will get the best possible outcome?

What evidence proves that you uncertainty or doubt is unfounded?

Search for testimony’s, authority, statistics, social proof etc. All those people say they can do it.

Now rate how confident are you that you can do this task. If you’re confident enough just do it now.

Simple steps

When you see from step A to B and all the way to Z everything that you need to get done and it’s simple for you, when you have that bird’s eye view, it really does help give you the certainty that you can accomplish it. So the more steps you can visualize the more certain you can become.

If you only see the beginning of the task and you can’t see the rest of it it does give you little certainty that you can accomplish it. If you see the beginning and the middle it gives you a little more clarity while you know you can do this. If you see the beginning the middle and the end it gives you a lot of certainty.

Exercise: pick a task and rate it. Now ask yourself: what are all the steps that you need to take that would allow you to completely accomplish this task? Try to find between 5 or 15 steps that really just summarize everything you need to get done.

Where can you find the system that allows you to completely accomplish this task? Go online or ask somebody what are all the steps needed to accomplish this task.

How simple and easy is the process that will allow you to completely accomplish this task?

How confident are you that you can do this task now?

Exercise: pick a task and rate it again.

What is the simplest and easiest first step in accomplishing this task?

Rate how confident are you that you can do this task now. And do it.

Pain and pleasure

It’s a strong motivation when we’re afraid of pain or we desire pleasure.

Avoidance of pain

There’s nothing that motivates us as much as the threat of pain, if we’re afraid of something we run away from it. We will runaway from even just thinking that we can possibly feel some pain in a certain area even though we haven’t felt that pain yet again so that will be anything from real pain that we’re actually feeling whether that’s physical or emotional pain or potential pain meaning just the threat that it can happen to us in the future.

What’s interesting about pain is that the more you focus on pain the greater pain gets. By linking pain to not doing it will be more motivated to get it done.

Linking pain if you don’t take action exercise: again pick a task and rate it.

Now what unpleasant things are happening to you right now because you have not done this?

Ask yourself what unpleasant things will happen to you if you don’t accomplish this task?

What unpleasant situation will those unpleasant things bring?

Now how motivated are you to get things done on a scale of 1 to 10?

Desire for pleasure

Like pain it could be real or potential pleasure meaning pleasure that you’re actually experiencing or just the potential that you can experience that pleasure in the future.

And just like pain the more you focus on how pleasurable something is or it could be the more pleasurable and motivating it becomes.

Linking pleasure to taking action exercise: pick a task and rate your motivation of doing it.

And ask yourself this question: what are all the great benefits and rewards that you will get if you accomplish this task?

How motivated are you to get this thing done now on a scale of 1 to 10?

So hopefully your motivation increased by you reflecting on all the great benefits and rewards that you will receive if you get it done.

Let’s summarize the exercises

Start with linking the importance exercise. Pick something that you need to get done. Ask yourself how motivated are you right now on a scale of one to 10 to get it done. So one will be you’re totally not motivated and ten is you’re very motivated.

How will accomplishing this task give you more of …? (security, variety, love or significance).

How will accomplishing this task help you get the most …? (control, security, appreciation, love or fun).

How will accomplishing this task help you take care of what’s most important in your life?

How will accomplishing this task confirm what you like and believe most about yourself?

What unpleasant things are happening or to you right now or will happen to you if you don’t accomplish this task?

What are all the great benefits and rewards that you will get if you accomplish this task?

Now ask yourself knowing all this: how motivated are you right now on a scale of 1 to 10?

Now we will continue with linking the certainty exercise:

How is doing this task just like doing something you’ve done in the past?

How many other people have successfully accomplish the task?

How can you test doing this task?

What evidence proves that you can accomplish this task?

How simple and easy are the steps that will allow you to completely accomplish this task?

What is the simplest and easiest first step you can do right now, in accomplishing this task?

Knowing all this how motivated are you right now to do this task? On a scale of 1 to 10.

Types of motivation

The first type of motivation is negative motivation. We will also look at positive motivation, the exact opposite, and internal motivation and external motivation.

Negative motivation

Negative motivation primarily is just the fear of pain, is your motivation to stop doing something. It has its limitations because negative motivation tends to be temporary, after you got out of trouble you stop running.

So the negative motivation tends to stop once the pain or the potential pain stops. It does have its purposes because it is motivating and very powerfully motivating, a lot of people use them for short term results. One of the best uses is when you need to get yourself jumpstarted to get something done. Also it’s great for radically interrupting a negative pattern or behavior.

Positive motivation

Positive motivation, the exact opposite, is the motivation to start doing something. And it’s based on the idea of a desire for pleasure. It tends to be longer lasting. Why? Because you’re constantly moving toward that thing that motivates you.

Most of the time it’s used to achieve long term results in your life. The best use for positive motivation is to maintain motivation over a long period of time.

Negative motivation might give you the jumpstart but then the positive motivation will keep you going over a long period of time. So by combining the positive and negative and multiplies your motivation it will more guarantee the outcome that you want.

External motivation

External motivation is when you sort of depend on your environment for your motivation. Examples: other people, environment, circumstances, etc. Unfortunately you have less control because you will not always have the ideal circumstances or ideal environment or ideal people in your life to motivate you.

It tends to be less effective for you because you can’t always keep or have control over your environment and it also tends to be short term because sometimes you can’t maintain the environment for a long time.

Just like negative motivation is excellent for a jumpstart or a quick boost. And it’s also useful for maintaining motivational for a temporary amount of time.

Internal motivation

Internal motivation is when you depend on yourself internally to find your own motivation. It tends to have a more a greater impact and tend to be more effective.

It’s when you use your internal resources to find your motivation and that can be change your thoughts change your beliefs your attitudes your perspectives, a lot of the exercise that we’ve done in this class and been based on how to transform your internal motivation.

The great part about internal motivation is that it doesn’t matter what the circumstances you’re in, it still works in spite of your circumstances and of course that gives you a substantial more control over your motivation because no matter where you are what you’re doing what happens in your external environment you will still continuously be internally motivated.

The best use is for tasks where you need motivation to be more effective over the long term and to be longer lasting because you can maintain it inside no matter what the circumstance.

Combined motivation exercise

Pick a task and rate your motivation on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is not motivated and 10 is completely motivated.

Positive – what reward or benefit you get if you get this done?

Negative – what consequences will you face or are you facing if you don’t do this?

External – what can you change in your environment to more guarantee that you will get this done? (get a friend to help, find the right environment, the right place to work, get the right support).

Internal – how can you see this in a different way so that you’ll be more motivated to do it?

Now how motivated are you to do the thing you need to do on a scale of 1 to 10?

How to motivate yourself in any situation

Motivating yourself in any situation is a seven step process.

1. Interrupt the obstacles

2. Get in a motivating state

3. Increase desire/importance

4. Increase certainty

5. Get in touch with the pain of not doing it / visualize the benefits and rewards of doing it

6. Make a decision

7. Take the simplest and easiest first step now

Interrupt the obstacles. Sometimes is hard to overcome the negative feelings about something you have to do. You can interrupt the negative feelings that you have about something by interrupting your thinking and emotions surrounding the task that you have to do. The interesting thing about our mind and our emotions is that when we interrupt certain patterns, emotion and mental patterns that we utilize all the time, it is almost impossible for us to replay that same patterns over again.

Ways to interrupt the patterns:

  • asking a confusing question: what will not happen if you don’t do this task?
  • pattern interrupt: think about this thing that you have to do and you interrupt that immediately with something out of the ordinary like a joke.
  • physical interrupt: think about what you have to do and you interrupt it with an out of the ordinary action kind of like flapping your arms like a chicken.
  • do the opposite: you do the opposite physical act while thinking about what you need to do (if you hate it sit down and smile while thinking about it).

Get in a motivating state. You get in the motivating state by meditating on a time when you are very very motivated. Go there now and see the sights that you saw, here the sounds that you heard, feel the feelings that you felt while you were there. If you don’t have a motivating memory you can imagine it by visualizing how would it be if someone would give you a million dollars to do the task.

For the rest of the steps you need to review the linking questions mentioned earlier in this article.

And this should be about it. If you made it here, at the end of the article, i hope you picked a pen and paper and done the exercises. Otherwise the entire reading was useless.

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