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I've got a problem. I'm pretty productive, I have a zillion methods to make me pretty uber productive, however at the moment I have almost no motivation.

Productivity and motivation are different clearly... does anyone have any tips to overcome this malaise?

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I have sort of a similar problem. I have a lot of long-term motivation. I am studying for a big test, and I'm really good at making study materials and preparing to study, but I have to force myself to sit down and actually's not that I don't like the material, I just get distracted, etc... – silvermaple Jan 16 '12 at 21:35
Overcome what malaise? Motivation is what makes you switch between your work and your life, there is no magic tip that gets everyone motivated. Do it on time, or suffer the consequences... :) – Tom Wijsman Jan 17 '12 at 15:40

It's a good question. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like much but we have to do them. Certainly productivity and motivation are very different but they are inter-related and when you are both motivated and productive, the happiness factor comes in.

I would suggest to give yourself prizes for partial completion of a long task. Let me give an example:

Suppose you have to write 50 essays or build a software etc. Break them down into smaller milestones and assign a prize (however small they may be - a ticket to a movie, an evening off from work etc.) to each of them depending on the complexity involved. As you complete the milestones, please give the assigned prize to yourself (don't skip that part - it is important).

And give a nice reward to yourself for a tough task. As you continue doing this, you'll see the magic. When you do the same thing but with a prize (given to yourself by yourself) attached, you'll not feel the boredom, instead you'll have the end in mind... and that it how it works.

Please make the prizes attractive to yourself... don't make those small prizes boring one, then the whole thing will not work. Now what prize you give to yourself depends on yourself. If you were wondering about a new movie for a few days, after you complete a milestones... go for that movie... and tell yourself "I deserve it... I worked hard for it"... In fact this will make you work faster too...

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Lack of motivation may stem from lack of goals and dreams/visions. For me, whether work related or in personal life, it is much easier to find motivation and energy if I set up goals and allow myself to dream a little.

As an example, a professional athlete knows very well how to train and get the most out of training sessions. However, without goals, such as "winning a medal at the Olympics", and a mental picture of winning and receiving the gold medal, all that knowledge is of little use.

So, try to set up some short and long term goals - think about what you want and why you do whatever it is you're doing :-)

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I think I need to understand that productivity and motivation are different... I think momentum is a key trigger for me. When I get the sense that I'm 'on a roll' and lots of things are in motion and GETTING DONE that is motivating, conversely when things are in motion and things aren't getting finished that's demotivating in many ways.

The 99percent guys say surround yourself with progress (signs of completion, finished TO-DO lists etc.) a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

Unfortunately too many things these days are digital and there is no tangible sign of accomplishment.

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You can and should surround yourself with all this stuff, but at the end of the day motivation is internal. You can use these external things to help motivate you, but the decision to act on these motivations is still a function of your habits, attitudes and mental state. – Dallas Jan 18 '12 at 6:47

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