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5 Ways to Actually Motivate You to Get Things Done

I’m not going to lie: Even as an adult, doing chores is hard for me. It could be because I can become easily distracted (I am artsy after all), or because I simply do not find joy in cleaning and scrubbing things. Whatever the reason, it does not come naturally to me. As a result, I have had to find creative ways to get motivated. 

For those who identify with this, I imagine there are similar feelings of guilt, shame, or dread. Those feelings can feed into lack of production. This is something that I have had to accept in myself before being able to move forward. 

Here are some tips that have helped me: 

  1. Color code things. 

This makes it much more enjoyable to look at a calendar. Personally, I do not use a digital calendar for my personal items. I find it fun to write on paper, draw, color, and add icons to my planner. This makes it more like an art project, and sets me up for being excited to look at my to-do lists. 

  1. Look at ONE thing at a time.

Isolate the one thing you need to do. You can isolate items by the hour, or a small 

list for the day. Sometimes I like to write each task on an individual index card, and carry around that stack of cards with me. I will then take out one index card at a time (with one task), and focus on that. This is also helpful because you can put your items in order of what needs to be done first. 

  1. Listen to music. 

This helps to get your mind off of overthinking and making excuses. Get in the groove. Dance! Make it FUN. If you prefer, make a playlist that sets the mood for the tasks at hand. I like to have fun, upbeat music when I am getting the dishes and laundry done. Alternatively, I enjoy lo-fi chill music while I clean up my craft area. 

  1. Give yourself Star Stickers when you’ve completed a task. (I’m serious).  

This might seem elementary, but seeing how much progress you make is key to 

maintaining momentum, and keeping the spark of motivation alive. Sometimes it feels as if nothing has been accomplished. But if you have star stickers to prove the work you’ve done, you will feel really accomplished. 

  1. Redeem those Star Stickers. (Again, I’m serious). 

I’m not kidding. If you have trouble motivating yourself to get simple things done, 

there is nothing wrong with cashing in those stickers for something you’ve really 

wanted. Plan this ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to have different monetary 

levels. It will also make getting that one prize all the more satisfying. 

For those of you who are starting to judge these methods, remember that these tasks don’t come naturally or easily to some others. 

For those of you who struggle with this, remember that you aren’t alone, and that there are creative ways to work around the feelings of being unmotivated. Who cares if these are considered, “for kids”? If it helps you get your house together, then the goal has been met. 

How you got there does not matter. 

What matters is that you got there. 


Natalie Frazier, LMFT

Natalie's work is primarily focused on Couples and Individual Adults. She is experienced in grief and loss counseling, traumas (sexual and life-threatening), marital relations (including communication skills and infidelity), and emotion regulation (such as anger management and depression). She seeks to be an ally to all communities.


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