This one is for all us weak girls, whose hearts cry out for sleep and food, both in bountiful amounts. Having strong willpower is wanting so bad that topping-laden pizza, but for the sake of your waistline you exercise restraint. Or, instead of avoiding that horrible project until its imminent deadline, you make the wise decision to tackle it step-by-step. If your willpower is waning or you want to motivate yourself more, here are some simple tricks to strengthen your resolve.
Remove all temptations
Easier said than done in a world full of apps designed for time-wasting. But there are ways to bulletproof yourself against these distractions so your willpower isn’t spent fighting the urge to procrastinate. The game-changer for me: StayFocusd, a Chrome web extension that allows you to block out chosen websites during select periods. Instant productivity boost. You can read our article here to find out about more apps that can improve your motivation.
Train your mind
If you’re lacking self-discipline, you can train your mind into having more self-control. Often, I will make a deal with myself – I can only watch another episode of ‘Sex And The City’ when I’ve ticked this and that off my to-do list. It’s all about rewarding restraint with treats – it may sound a bit childish but it does work. You can tempt yourself into doing a task if you associate it with something you enjoy. Why not try out these easy ways to treat yourself?
Set unbreakable deadlines
This method is brutal but effective. We are all guilty of the “it can wait” attitude. However, by engineering a situation you can’t get out of, it will push you into work-mode. Sign yourself up for a charity run or organize a strict deadline with your boss. It’s amazing what you can do when there is no escape route.
Just five minutes
A trick I frequently use is saying to myself, I’ll only reply to one email, or just write the introduction to an article or run once around the block. For most people, starting a project can be the hardest thing but with this mind hack, you will end up going way past the 5-minute barrier. And when you’re in the flow, it’s easy to carry on.
Visualize the target
Sometimes, the most successful solution for instant willpower is to visualize the end goal. For example, I will never be a fan of exercise, but I know that I’ll feel worse if I don’t do it – this is all the reasoning I need to get my lazy ass moving. When the temptation to give up is strong, fight it off by reminding yourself what it is you to achieve and what you want. Needing more inspiration? Check out our article on how to stay productive even when you’re unmotivated.
You have more willpower than you realize, you’ve just got to harness it.
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