Increase Your Motivation In 5 Minutes

Maybe you can relate to the following scenario…

I have a task that I need to do. I know it needs to be done because I wrote it down on my to-do list. I know it needs to be done today because I put today’s date next to it as a deadline. I have everything I need to be able to successfully accomplish this task. I have the skill, I have the ability, and I have the time. But there is one thing I lack that is keeping me from starting…

I don’t feel like doing it.

I’ll be honest with you. I face this type of situation all…the…time.

Photo Credit: Daniel*1977 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Daniel*1977 via Compfight cc

Somewhere between dreaming, scheming, planning, strategizing, and organizing I lose the motivation for the doing part. I have all of the tools and resources and time to get something done, but I just don’t feel like doing it.

Fortunately, I’ve learned the secret formula to get past this. You’ll be amazed at how effective it is. 

Do what needs to be done for five minutes.

Trust me on this one – IT WORKS. And here’s why…

We buy into the myth that says we can only do the things that need to get done when we feel like doing them. We lie to ourselves. Our feelings are actually barriers to our effectiveness. They keep us from doing the very thing we know we need to do.

Doing what needs to be done for five minutes causes you to IGNORE your feelings. It’s you being able to look at your feelings and say to them, “You’re not the boss of me!”

Once we start doing the thing that needs to be done something incredible happens. Over the course of those five minutes your feelings begin to change. In fact, I find that my feelings (which I’ve chosen to ignore) change from not wanting to to do something to not wanting to stop doing something. Five minutes of doing will change your feelings. You can do anything for just five minutes.

You don’t want to exercise so just tell yourself you’ll exercise for five minutes.
You don’t want to write that paper so just tell yourself you’ll write for five minutes.
You don’t want to clean the closet so just tell yourself you’ll clean for five minutes.

Motivation comes after I do something…not before.

Try it. Right now. Conduct the following experiment:

1. Identify the task you need to do but don’t want to do. It could be exercise, cleaning, writing, whatever. All you need to do is look through your to-do list. It’s the one thing you keep putting off.

2. Set a timer for five minutes.

3. Recognize every feeling that’s telling you not to do this thing right now.

4. Ignore those feelings, start the timer, and get going on the task.

5. When the timer goes off, compare your feelings now with your feelings from five minutes ago.

What you’ll discover is that the timer has actually become a distraction because you’re in the middle of accomplishing something and you don’t want to stop :).

Motivation doesn’t come from a feeling, it comes from doing something.

So the next time you look at your to-do list, don’t start out thinking you need to find the motivation to tackle the items on your list. Instead, find five minutes to get you started. The motivation will be along shortly.

Question: What other strategies do you use to increase your motivation?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Increase Your Motivation In 5 Minutes

  1. Tim,
    Once again. Spot. On.
    I 100% believe in the ‘just do it’…and adding ‘for 5 minutes’ is going to be my new launch pad for getting things done.
    For me, personally, RIGHT NOW…what I dreading the most is trying to get this contractor to finish up our remodel, so that we can actually enjoy our summer. What I have been putting off is the BIG TALK…I have had many little teeny talks ((usually where I end up frustrated and left with 1,200 conversation bubbles over my head that I could not muster up the courage to pop and express!)). You have encouraged me to carve out 5 minutes today…5 minutes to communicate effectively with someone who is driving me cccc-rrr—aaaa-zzzz—yyy. I will do it. I will get back to you and let you know how 5 minutes made the difference in my 24 hour day.
    Cheers! 🙂

  2. Terrific post! Absolutely agree wit this. If one just gets started, almost any task, no matter how daunting or disagreeable, can become doable. That all important first step, once taken, seems to summon powers we don’t know we had…..