Design

Motivation on and off

Yesterday I was excited to start a design project, the next day I'm not anymore. What happened during that time between being motivated and losing it?

It's an interesting and in my opinion an abstract topic, so let's find out what's happening inside this mysterious word "motivation", and more importantly, how can we use it to our advantage.

What is motivation?

First of all, let’s break it down so we are all on the same page.

While researching online I found out that motivation is a process which needs initiation or as I would say - fuel to guide us through completing the tasks and reaching our final goal.

Let's say we want to write this blog post. To ignite our desire for writing we need to find a spark which would initiate our motivation to kick off. In other words, we need to pour in fuel to drive further.

Initiation

Your fuel can be anything, from simply reading an inspiring headline to a whole article or even just a thought of knowing that people are going to read it and hopefully even gain something valuable out of it... Anything that might get you started - works.

Guiding

Once we're on the road, we have a desire to complete our one-day trip (a particular task of the day). The next thing is quite obvious - sit down and enjoy the ride, easy, right?

It should be easy for that one time, but where motivation helps us is consistency because we'll need to keep on driving same route day after day, so if we want to maintain our blog, we need to write constantly, maybe not every day but at least every week or month.

One solution could be to create a goal-oriented program or method to follow. In this step, I use a method that I call...

30-day challenge

As I initiate motivation process I create a calendar from the day I'm starting, up to 30-days. Each day has its square and if you succeed your daily tasks, you mark the day with an X or leave it empty if you don’t. For those upcoming 30-days, I have set a goal and it is separated into tiny daily repetitive tasks which can only take between 30 to 60 minutes of your time.

By asking yourself for a relatively short amount of time, makes the task completion way easier than by asking for a few hours of your day. That’s why it works like a charm.

Opened book showing logo process

30-day challenge examples

If my goal would be to read a book, I would give myself a daily task of reading 1 to 3 pages per day. That's an easy task for even the busiest day. By the time I'm reading it I'll be fueled up, so reaching my daily goal is surprisingly easy and surpassing my expectations of how difficult it is to read that amount of pages, I finally end up exceeding my task.

However, there are days when you don't feel like completing the task and that's okay as well, as long as you're not missing several days in a row.

Inborn motivations

What kind of inborn motivations am I talking about? Eating is one of them, such motivations are sort of inborn, we feel the need and we fulfil it. However, there are other activities, for example, cooking is not an inborn motivation, but we need to do it to survive.

Recently I noticed a pattern that when I have a motivation to cook, I'll experiment with food and recipes, even the simplest dish will taste way better than if I wouldn't be motivated. So, depending on our motivation we either do something with all our love or vice versa.

I want to be motivated but how?

There is no single method that fits all, everyone has to find their own. But one thing might be used by everyone. If you want to fuel your motivation, you need to read, see or do whatever to have any contact with the topic you’re interested in.

At the moment I have lost motivation for photography and haven't been photographing for a few months. Quite frankly that happens pretty often, especially at photography. One of the reasons is that I'm not reading or looking at any other photographer’s work, neither I carry my camera like I used to. Another reason is I have other things that are more important to me right now and I have to set aside some of my hobbies to make room for new ones.

Conclusion

Motivation is one of the main building blocks of our lives. If we arouse a desire to grow in some direction, we grow quickly then. As vice versa, if we have no motivation for anything, our lives stay in one place, we still move through time at the same pace but we don't walk towards reaching our goals.

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