Jumpstart your motivation. 7 tips for getting going when you don’t feel up to it

The pandemic might have done a number on your “get up and go.” Here are some tips on how to jumpstart your motivation and get on with your life and career.

If you’ve lost your job during the COVID pandemic, or were unemployed before and haven’t found anything yet, you might be losing your mojo a bit by now. The job market is saturated, due to so many people being in the same boat, and the search can feel endless.

If you’re losing – or have lost – your motivation, take heart. You can get it back, but it will take some effort.

To jumpstart your motivation, just do something

The first thing you have to do is something. Just something. And that something will turn into something else, which will become something else. There are few things more demotivating than staring at the TV all day. Start using your time productively. It might be hard to get started, but when you do, you’ll do better.

Here are 5 activities that can help jumpstart your motivation.

Take a course

There are countless courses available online, many of which are free or cheap. Try Coursera, Udemy, MIT’s OpenCourseWare, and more. Learn a language or a coding language. Learn history, philosophy, economics, mathematics, Photoshop, design, or anything that could be interesting or useful. Interested in something a little more out of the ordinary? The following edX courses are listed on Mashable:

Read a book

Read books about your industry or areas of interest. Read about marketing, economics, business, human behaviour, career development and career change. Read about how to move your career forward and how to make your mark in the world. There are so many lists out there of the best books to read on career development and business that it would be redundant to create another one. Find what suits you, read it, and learn from it.

Put ideas into action

Then, put the ideas that you take away from your reading into action. If you are learning about expanding your network or using social media, move forward with what you have learned. If you’re learning about how to improve your self-esteem, do the recommended actions or exercises. It’s one thing to read about how to change or improve your life, and another thing entirely to actually do it.

Volunteer with your community

I do harp on about this but I can’t help but feel that there just isn’t enough altruism in the world. If you are looking for something to do, there is no shortage of people who could use your help. Volunteering with an individual or organization keeps you busy. It allows you to look into areas of society and the world to which you might not otherwise have access. It provides a feeling of satisfaction and can boost feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. Volunteering can also expand your network and career prospects, though this probably shouldn’t be your primary reason for doing it.

Start a new hobby

Have you always wanted to plant a garden or learn to knit? Do it now. Many people have been taking up hobbies during the pandemic and finding new parts of themselves and new interests. New hobbies can change the way you see the world and help you develop new skills that may be useful in your future career and job search. Take knitting for example it can help you develop your patience (knitting takes forever), problem-solving (you dropped a stitch ten rows ago. Now what!?), and attention to detail (it’s knitting. There’s a lot of detail). They can also connect you to new communities of people, again, expanding your network.  

Action begets action and inaction begets inaction. Once you start doing something, more motion will follow and you will find yourself filling your time more productively. Then you will have more energy to pursue your goals and also, ironically, more time. As someone, somewhere, once said (I heard it in a movie once, and not from Lucille Ball, to whom it is often attributed) “If you want something done, ask the busy person. The others never have the time.”

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