Get motivated by daily micro-victories
Did you know that every single day, you are able to do certain things right? Everybody knows it. After all, that’s the reason why you are in a relationship or why you are employed. If you’re a student, it’s also the reason why you’re still in school.
Despite the struggles that you may be feeling, you are doing well enough for you to at least stay in the game. Focus on these victories. You’re already getting stuff done. Believe it or not, every single day packs opportunities for achievements.
You’re not just going through the motions. You’re not just going through a checklist. There is always an opportunity for achievement there. These are called micro-achievements. Believe it or not, something as banal as showing up on time is an achievement.
Did you know that there are a lot of people out there who have a tough time showing up on time? I know you’re probably thinking that that’s unprofessional. For whatever reason, people never run out of excuses for why they’re always late. The fact that you can show up on time is a victory in of itself.
Similarly, getting small tasks done are victories. Now, you may be thinking that this is too much. You might even be thinking that I’m pandering to you or condescending. No. Imagine when you first started, those small tasks were not so small because you haven’t done them before. Now, you’re knocking them out every day. Be aware of this.
Finally, communicating with people clearly is also an achievement. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, as a human being, that is a default skill we don’t have.” Absolutely wrong. You can’t even imagine how many people have bad communications skills. The fact that you’re able to communicate clearly enough to get things done in whatever organization you’re in is a big deal.
I want you to be aware that showing up on time, getting small tasks done, and communicating clearly are achievements in of themselves. Now, they’re not massive achievements, but they are achievements nonetheless. Allow yourself to become pumped up by each of these. Push yourself to do more micro-tasks like these.
If you are constantly showing up on time, take it up to the next level and show up fifteen minutes early. If you are getting small tasks done, level up by getting a lot bigger tasks done. Similarly, if you’re a good communicator, take it to the next level and collaborate to achieve greater things.
The great thing about small accomplishments is that they lay the foundation for even larger ones. However, this will only happen if that is your intention. You will only level up if you want to level up.
Unfortunately, a lot of people dismiss their ability to achieve micro-victories and they stay stuck. They think, “Well, this is really not that big of a deal. I do this all day. So what?” That really is too bad because if you setup a system where you achieve a streak of accomplishments, sooner or later you’ll achieve momentum and you’ll get motivated.
This motivation grows like a wildfire. If you have been struggling with being productive in the office and you notice that one day, your to-do list just got shorter and shorter because you we knocking stuff out, allow yourself to get in the moment. Allow yourself to achieve some level of physical, emotional, and mental momentum so things get easier and easier as you do them.
This is paired with an increasing level of motivation. Try to recreate this next day and your motivation can push you to do more and more complicated tasks. The more you do it, the more momentum you get. Ideally, you should work on the small stuff to achieve a level of momentum and then, give yourself a harder assignment.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to knock out the hardest item on your to-do list, but if you have something moderate, the moment you knock it out, you get a nice sense of reward. You did something that you normally would avoid. That’s a big thing.
Lay your day out by scaling difficulty
To get motivated by daily micro-victories in a systematic and methodical way, follow these steps:
Step #1: List out all your to-do tasks
Step #2: Start with the easiest and end with the biggest and most intimidating things
By “biggest”, I’m talking about tasks that really can’t be broken down. They have to be handled in one big block.
Step #3: Blast through the first items
Since you’re starting out with the easiest items, chances are you’ve done them before. Chances are you know full well how easy they are so knock them out. Blast through them as quickly as possible. However, do not compromise quality.
Step #4: Allow yourself to become emotionally aware and excited
When you see yourself blasting through easier items, stop for a second and allow yourself to become emotionally aware. At least tell yourself, “It is happening. I’m blasting through this stuff. I’m no longer taking an hour checking email, or shuffling papers, or going over calculation that I know are already set. I’m not robbing myself of time doing “busy” stuff.” Let it sink in. Get excited that you are blasting through your list.
Step #5: Push yourself to do more and more complicated stuff
As you cut through the easy items on your to-do list like a hot knife through butter, eventually, you’ll get to more complicated stuff. This is more moderately difficult material. Allow yourself to carry the momentum that you built basting through the basic stuff. If you are truly emotionally aware, this should not be a problem. You know that you’re doing well so go with it. Let it happen.
Step #6: As you knock out more complicated stuff, allow yourself to get even more excited
It’s easy to look at personal excitement in terms of volume. For example, you’re going through your to-do list and it says read and respond to 100 emails. Once you’ve done that, you’re thinking that you’ve done really well, but you have to go beyond that.
You have to also look at the quality or complexity of the item you’re handling. Get excited by those items. Understand that normally, this takes quite a bit of work and getting used to, but here you are knocking it out. Allow yourself to scale up the excitement that you have. This is a sense of ownership, control, and discipline you’re achieving.
Step #7: Map out how far you get each day
Now, we’ve got some bad news for you. If you laid out your to-do list properly, chances are there will be some items there that really take it out of you. Maybe these are the moderate stuff or the harder materials. Whatever the case may be, as you initially blast through the easy stuff and things slow down a little bit with the moderate stuff, eventually, you’ll reach a point where you’ll run out of time.
Maybe it’s time to go home or it’s time to get on with the rest of your day. Whatever the case may be, you did not quite destroy your daily to-do list. Well, don’t worry about it. This is not the end of the world. I just need you to map out how far you reached that day.
This has to be graphical. You have to come up with a map. Don’t beat yourself up unnecessarily if you notice that you’re backsliding or if there’s a fluctuation on the pattern. Don’t be discouraged by that. This happens to the very best of that. Instead, just look at the map and allow yourself to get motivated by the fact that you are making progress.
Eventually, you’ll notice a pattern. The completion map eventually starts averaging more to the right. This means that over an extended period of time, you are making consistent progress. Allow yourself to get excited about this.
Most importantly, regardless of how far you get every single day, always shoot to go further and further each day. Stay focused on your life purpose. Stay connected to it. Allow it to push you forward. That is your motivation. With that motivation, shoot to go further and further each day with your to-do list.