For most people, there are times when a lack of motivation prevents you getting things done. The ability to become motivated to complete even the most boring of tasks is actually very simple. The key is to understand the process of being motivated and then apply that process to the more mundane tasks.
Typically there are just two things that motivate people: Inspiration, and Desperation, but applying these to tasks that really don’t excite you won’t necessarily help you getting them done.
Motivation is directional. You are either motivated towards some positive outcome, or away from a negative one. Everyone uses both directions to some degree, but most people have a preference for one direction over the other. It’s therefore important to learn which is your preference. One way to learn which is better for you is to think about how you get up every morning. Do you wake up with, or before, the alarm, jump straight out of bed not wanting to miss a second of the day, excited about all the things that you’ll achieve? [Toward] Or, do you wish the alarm hadn’t gone off, hit the snooze button several times, and wait until your imagination runs away with all the bad things that will happen to you if you don’t get up? [Away from].
Once you know which direction you typically use, you can apply the directional process to boring tasks. Think about household chores… If you are ‘toward’ motivated, the idea of receiving a reward on completion of the chore will probably be sufficient to motivate you (although the reward must be carefully chosen in relation to the effort required for the task). If you are ‘away from’ motivated, then things are a little more difficult. You need to consider all the bad implications of not completing the task to develop the motivation to get it done. This often results in a very uncomfortable feeling, which then spurs you into action.
Learning the preferred motivation direction of others can also help when it comes to asking them to do things. Bribing people who have an ‘away from’ strategy won’t usually be very effective, whereas reminding them of all the problems that will occur if the task doesn’t get completed should be enough to motivate them.
Clearly there are times when the opposite direction becomes more effective, and can provide a significant level of motivation, but for the majority of the time, learning how to use your preferred motivation direction will help you to get a significant amount done and put you well on the way to achieve the goals you set yourself.