Let’s face it – finding motivation at the start of a long term project is quite easy. You are excited, new ideas fly by and you are passionate about releasing them. You have an overall vision of how the work process will flow and in most cases you feel quite confident about the upcoming tasks. However, in time issues start to appear, the prewritten scenario often changes and naturally, as psychology specialist say, motivation can lower due to these obstacles.
A drop in the motivation level occurs sooner or later when we talk about long term projects. Everyone has experienced that and has wondered how to deal with it. And here comes the basic clue – when trying to solve a problem we should look deep in its core. In our case the core motivation is inside us – the way we think and the way we work. That means that we pretty much have control over the situation and we have the ability to take actions in order to change and better it. Here are 3 tips for staying motivated during long term projects that everyone can easily apply:
- Remember the purpose
Go back to the beginning and think about what excited you about the project. Probably the chance to work on something meaningful? Or the possibility to expand your knowledge and experience? Working on everyday tasks has probably made you forget a little bit about your purpose so you have to constantly remind yourself about it in order to stay motivated. If you are a software developer, for example, and you work on an application that will facilitate people’s lives, emphasize on how meaningful your work is. Think about the experience you will gain from this project and the opportunities that it can provide to you.
- Create milestones
When working on long term projects you usually have the overall view of it. You start from point A and you know you have to reach point B. However, your final destination might be far away looking from your position at the moment and sometimes that feels a bit discouraging. How to deal with it? Let’s change the landscape a bit – imagine that you are hiking in the mountains. You see the mount but it is too far away. Instead of making the mount your goal, make the tall tree on the hill in front of you your goal. When you reach it, make the big rock on your way your goal. And then the next and the next…Everytime you reach such a milestone on your way you will feel satisfied and proud of yourself and this will keep you motivated during long term. It is the same with working on a project – just split the big task into smaller ones.
- Completed tasks – write them down!
А time comes when we find ourselves in the middle of a project and start wondering if we actually have done something valuable or we have lost our time. Yes, we have worked for 5 months on a project but feel like we haven’t done so much. And thoughts like these might have a bad impact on our mood. Here is an ultra simple thing you can do in order to keep your motivation levels high – just write down every task you complete. If you start doing this you will be surprised when you realise how many things you have done in the particular period of time. People are disposed to forget the small things they do but every small thing is part of the game. Creating the habit of measuring your progress is a great way of keeping yourself motivated.
In conclusion: Motivation is something that pretty much depends on ourselves. When it happens to lose it you just have to change the way you look at the situation. Focusing on your purpose, working manner and measuring progress will surely have a good impact on keeping yourself motivated during long term projects. Do you have experience on the topic? Share it in the comments.