Everybody has their quirks—or at least, that's what people with quirks like to tell themselves (and others). Sometimes our quirks hold us back, but most of the time, they can help us succeed where snack breaks or "one last Pin-spiration scroll" won't. Whether you're studying for a huge test, about to re-decorate your living space, or are diving into the bottomless void of job-searching, listen to your quirks. Listen to what centers you, energizes you, or just makes you feel badass.
Here are 13 weird motivators to get you started!
1. Turn up some jazz music.
Do it for Ryan Gosling?
Come on. Don't tell me you've never heard Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" or Glenn Miller's "In the Mood"? They're called jazz standards for a reason, and if this music doesn't make you think of low lights, an elegant dinner party, a swingin' night out, or an intimate dinner for two, I don't know what will. It certainly makes me want to organize and clean EVERYTHING.
2. Take a walk.
Think of it like the extra recess you should have had as a kid. If we had to get out of the classroom and stretch our legs and run around for a bit as kids, then we probably should step back from the computer and take 5. Besides, getting fresh air is good for us; while walking has innumerable benefits, fresh air can give us greater energy, reduce our stress, and improve our sleep! When we feel good, we want to do good, and that means more motivation to #getitdone.
3. Write your grocery list.
Sometimes shifting our focus from what we've been fixating on for weeks on end can actually help us focus on our task even better. For example, when I'm in the middle of writing a short story I take a break and I write my grocery list. Bananas... Now, which character would buy bananas? Would he or she buy them when they're green or when they're yellow? Suddenly, I'm naturally motivated to get back to my work and sort out new questions. We're inevitably going to think about what we're working on, but by introducing new, unrelated concepts, we gain a new vigor to finish our projects.
4. Brush your teeth.
There's something about that minty tingle that makes me feel indestructible. So fresh! So clean! If I can invest this much time and dedication into the lifespan of my gums, I can invest time into my project! Getting on track and establishing a routine (like twice daily brushing) can give you the illusion that you have your life together. Which may or may not be true, but this brings us to number 5...
5. Imagine yourself finished and with your life together.
I'm not saying you should lie to yourself altogether, but definitely give it a thought. Imagine that you're where you want to be in life. Well, whatever you're dealing with should be cake, right? Sometimes you have to fake confidence in yourself to find motivation, because that's sometimes why we lack it. Self-doubt can stem from anywhere, but once we have it, it's hard to find motivation in any circumstance. Decide where you want to be and what you want to do and act like you're worth all those things—you are!
6. Drink water.
Drinking water...should be a given. Everyone knows the benefits to drinking water. Good skin, good hair, good life, it's basically good all-around for any kind of situation.
But here's another benefit for your consideration: pit stops. If you're working hard on a project and burn out too fast, too soon, drinking water offers you mandatory breaks to refocus, recenter, and come back to your work with (slightly) new eyes.
7. Watch a home improvement/makeover/inspiring T.V. show.
There was a time where I only watched home improvement shows when HGTV played at the my dentist's waiting room. But there's a reason why they're so relaxing: home improvement shows, or even all-around improvement shows, like Netflix's uplifting Queer Eye, allow you to question, "What can I change in my own life? What are some areas I can improve in, and how can I make my living space something which inspires me?" Shows like these motivate me to clean up my act and live my best life. 😎
8. Be smart with your time.
If you're working on a small task, then multitasking with the occasional distraction will work for you. But if you're working on a long, drawn out, important project that requires a lot of concentration, then all your focus should solely be on that project. That way, your work will be more time-efficient and detailed, giving you more motivation to finish your task.
Know what you're dealing with ahead of time, then plan for breaks or your level of restraint for distraction.
9. Clean up your space.
Nobody wants to work in a messy room. If your space doesn't feel clean, you're going to recognize all the distractions, and it's going to be harder to find motivation. Messy workspaces can cause unneeded stress, which in turn can hinder your strive to finish a project.
10. Work out.
Even if fitness is what you're motivating yourself to get into, working out causes you to have a rush of endorphins, gifting you with an extra burst of energy to get through your day. Working out can also cause you to be more focused and alert, while also boosting your mood (and health).
11. Post little notes of encouragement/reminders to yourself.
Sometimes in order to tell myself to do something or think a certain way, I have to see it in writing. That way, it's the note that's instructing me and not just that voice in my head, which is much easier to ignore.
12. Think about the impact your work has on others.
If you don't complete x, y, or z by a certain time, will someone be negatively affected? If you finish that paper by its due date, will your professor gasp and praise the writing gods above? Sometimes entering someone else's headspace can motivate you to finish your task all the way to completion. After all, your decisions impact other people, too!
13. Just start somewhere!
This isn't so much a quirk as it is a requirement. Sometimes you simply need to start somewhere in order to see your task through to the end! Start at the beginning, or the middle, or the end. As long as you're making progress, you'll still be gettin' it DONE. ✅