“Hmm, I have to get up” I told myself that another episode started within 3 seconds of the end of the last episode … without my permission. “Okay. I’ll do some work after this episode.” Of course, the episode ends with a cliffhanger and is more motivated to know what’s going on than sending an email. “Now, when I understand what’s going on, I turn off the TV.” Hey, why am I still on the couch after 3 hours?
There will be days when you are really unmotivated. Motivation is terrible because you rely too much on it to get things done. In other words, if you don’t feel motivated, you can’t achieve anything. Or you need help to do that. On days when you don’t want to do anything, you can actually avoid the “need” of your brain to motivate you, so you can get things done regardless of your mood.
It all starts with a concept called a decision train. The decision train looks like this:
Emotion → Decision → Action
People who are struggling to get things done due to lack of motivation should follow this train as you saw above. Wait until they feel like completing the task. This (eventually) decides to do it and finally takes the action.
Instead, the top performer skips the emotional part of the train and goes straight to the decision to complete the task. By doing so, they act faster and, as a result, get things done faster. Well, this is more than a detour to just do it.
“The wise man learns from everything, the average man learns from experience, and the stupid one already has all the answers.” – Socrates
Another way to look at this process is to use another variation of the decision train.
Inspiration → Motivation → Decision → Action
Inspiration is described as “a process that is mentally inspiring to do or feel something.” The motive is described as “acting or why you act in a particular way.” Therefore, in this decision-making train, the “emotion” part is inspiration and motivation. People will wait until they are mentally stimulated to accomplish something, which is motivating. Motivation acts as a reminder of why they first wanted to complete a task, in other words, the incentives they get from completing a task. This leads to deciding to take action and eventually taking it by the end of this long train.
By cutting out the emotions that are the “necessity” of inspiration and motivation, you can decide to take action first. After completing a task, the decisions you make to yourself, the sense of pride you feel from making a mental commitment, builds an incentive to complete another task. In other words, taking action builds momentum that motivates us to take more action.
Start (really) motivating today
That said, no one is born as a top performer. This means that sometimes you need inspiration and motivation (the emotional part of the train) to act as a nudge until you can fully adopt this approach to productivity. Therefore, for beginners, inspiration is your reason. That is your purpose, your mission. Discovering and clarifying the mission you are working on makes it easier for you (and others in the same mission) to take action.
When it comes to motivation, these are referred to as the four areas that move people: progress, individual, madness, and purpose. People motivated by Advancement are motivated by reaching new heights (getting the next promotion, achieving goals as a team, etc.). People motivated by individuals see and use their goals as the most effective source of motivation (achieving a particular lifestyle, gaining awareness, achieving complete life safety). People who are driven by madness are driven by factors such as opposition, competition, proving the mistakes of others, and other unconventional factors. Finally, those driven by purpose are motivated by influencing, helping others, moving away from making change, and other impetus of their nature.
With both inspiration and motivation, you can take a step towards becoming a top performer, increasing your productivity and concentration. When I was struggling to stay motivated, I started by recognizing my reasons and all the incentives I could get from achieving my goals.
“If something is important enough, you should do it, even if the odds are piled up against you.” – Elon Musk
When you come across a job that you don’t want to do, ask yourself if it helps you achieve your mission, your goals. Ask yourself if getting the job done will help you get the motivational incentives I was aiming for. If the answer is no, remove it from the to-do list. If the answer is yes, I decide to do it and then start working before speaking myself. If you make the same decision to reach your goals, you can reach them quickly.