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Motivation comes in waves.
One day you are in the zone, ready to take on the world and start big projects, while the next day you are unable to get that spark back.
There's a lot of information regarding how to motivate yourself out there but most of them are not that effective.
Today, I will go over how to get yourself to do anything as effectively as possible and we are starting right now.
If you just rely on motivation, you won't go anywhere.
It comes and goes like waves in an ocean.
Some days you will work hard while you won't get anything done in another.
If you want to do something big, you need consistency.
You have to constantly put in the work to get where you want.
So if you can't rely on pure motivation, what do you do?
Well, you have to create systems to keep yourself going even when you are unmotivated.
You have to assume your future self will be unmotivated and lazy and it's up to you to create a system that will make achieving your goals easy.
Here are the four steps to create a system that will help you do anything.
1. Plan for failure.
What stops you from committing to what you need to do?
You will usually have a bunch of excuses as to why you can't do it.
For example, if you wanted to eat healthier and start cooking your own meals, you might come home one day and complain that it is too time consuming and you would rather rest.
Another example would be if you wanted to start working out in the morning and you wake up saying you are too tired.
Try to set things up so that your chances of failure are reduced to the lowest they can get.
For the first example on eating healthier, you could get the person you are living with to take out the food you want to cook from the fridge a few minutes before you arrive home.
The food will be right there on the counter and you have no choice but to cook it.
For the second example, you can put your workout gear and shoes near your bed in the morning, so by the time you get up, they are right in front of you and you might as well go by that point.
To figure out what to place there, you should make a list of what you need to accomplish your goal.
You might come to realize that if you set the pieces up, you are more likely to follow through.
2. Put it on your calendar.
Imagine playing in a soccer game or more specifically one-vs.-one drills against Messi.
You have the best shoes and gear in the world while he has slides and some ripped shorts.
Who would win?
The point of this thought experiment is to show you that the tools don't matter as much as you think.
Productivity hacks and apps are cool and fun to play with but if your fundamentals and execution are bad, they don't help that much.
A simple calendar app is all you will need for this system to work.
You want to decide ahead of time when you are going to do the thing you need to do and plan out when you are doing it next week.
Set a notification to alert you when you need to do that thing on the calendar app and you are good to go.
Let's do a quick example.
Say I want to workout in the morning at 8 a.m., three times a week.
I want to workout on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for an hour so I would enter that in my calendar app.
Be sure to know when it will end so it's more clear for you and it doesn't look that daunting.
3. Develop the focus you need.
At this point, you might be where you want to be like the gym or at your desk but if you can't focus then it is pointless.
For this, you will need to do some thought exercises.
What is the number-one goal you want to achieve?
Put that goal anywhere useful.
Have it in your phone, have a post-it note of it on your desk, or get creative with it.
You want to see that goal whenever you are where you want to be so that it can help you focus.
There are other ways to develop the focus you need, such as giving yourself a reward after you do what you need to do, but I think the method of having your goal in front of you is the most effective.
4. Test and adjust.
How do you know if a system works?
You have to test it and make adjustments.
Most people tend to fall a bit short on the first an third step.
For the first step, they might miss a few necessary pieces and continue making excuses.
This isn't a hard problem to fix as you can notice which pieces are not in the right place and then place them where they need to be next time.
For the third step, everyone has different ways to develop the focus they need so a lot of testing is required to figure out what works.
You will need to try a lot of different things but don't get discouraged.
Once you can get a system that works, you will be ready to get things done.
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How to Motivate Yourself to do Anything

2713 Folder Collection
Annie Huang published on February 27, 2020    Annie Huang translated    adam reviewed
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