Getting Things Done: The Science Behind Motivation Or Lack Thereof

Motivation is a strong yet elusive thing. Sometimes it's incredibly simple to become inspired, and you end up being caught up in a frenzy of enthusiasm. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to find your own motivation, and you find yourself mired in a procrastination tail spin.

But where does inspiration come from? How does this happen?

It's simple to understand how the brain processes motivation, and we're here to guide you through the process. It makes no difference what your job is, where you reside, or what your interests are. Understanding the science of motivation benefits everyone.

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What is motivation?

Motivation is the power that propels us to act on our wishes or anxieties. It is an external driving force that prompts people to feel compelled to act, whether it originates from internal or external stimuli. The reward network is a mechanism in your brain that influences your levels of motivation.

The prefrontal cortex and the striatum are two regions of the brain that are crucial for motivation in this reward network. Developing judgments, using logic, and making long-range plans are all tasks that the prefrontal cortex is in charge of. The striatum plays a crucial role in automatic behaviors or the things we perform without thinking.

Another crucial element of this reward system is the neurotransmitter dopamine. The prefrontal cortex and striatum are particularly sensitive to this chemical, which is released whenever we engage in enjoyable activities, such as eating a satisfying meal or jogging.

Dopamine floats through the reward system, teaching our brain to associate this brain activity with pleasure. It keeps us searching for more dopamine in all of the brain's regions. In turn, this inspires us to work harder. You are motivated to repeat the action once you have that dopamine surge in order to feel it again. However, you won't experience the dopamine surge until you start the behavior. It is regulated by the hypothalamus and activated right before a reward is provided. It is also active under stressful situations, after a loss, and when we are in good moods.


Why motivation is difficult to maintain?

You may still encounter mental obstacles to reaching all of your goals even if there is a lot of dopamine produced at the proper time and location. Why? The act of actually "getting things done" demonstrates how motivation and willpower interact. You must be devoted to completing the task at hand in addition to having the motivation to achieve it.

The understanding that willpower is a limited resource has been one of the most intriguing discoveries of recent years. This means that you have a limited quantity of willpower each day, and once it is depleted, you will find yourself feeling much less able to make the proper decisions and act on whatever motivation you may have.


How to trick your brain to stay motivated?

Build routines. We are constantly faced with decisions, such as whether to wear red or blue clothing or opt for pancakes or cereal for breakfast, from the time we wake up. Sticking to routines reduces the number of decisions that must be made, allowing us to conserve energy for more vital purposes.

Keep track of little successes. A to-do list underlines how you're making progress toward your goals. You'll experience dopamine's effects more strongly when you start to feel like you're progressing.

Reach out to others. Discuss your objectives and how you intend to achieve them. This offers a number of advantages. You could get useful input, and by committing publicly to what you intend to do, you're less likely to back down because you've stated it 'out loud.' Discussing your goals and objectives with others is also a terrific method to refresh them.

Prioritize key tasks first. You'll probably still feel tired at the end of the day, no matter how effective your routines are. Therefore, ensuring that you take care of your top work priorities first thing in the morning will guarantee that these duties receive your full attention.

Try out new tools for productivity to make difficult chores more manageable. These technologies can help you cross items off your list more quickly, increasing the flow of dopamine. This is true whether you're dealing with an overcrowded email, missing communications with coworkers, managing time zones, or attempting to better engage with your clients.

Remove any pointless commitments. How many activities have you agreed to undertake while not truly having the time? Each of these responsibilities drains your willpower, allowing less for other, more crucial aspects of your life. Make it a habit to refuse. Although it is a challenging talent to learn, it is crucial for your overall productivity.

Add foods that are high in dopamine to your diet. Make sure you consume foods rich in natural probiotics, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, as well as natural glucose, which is found in raw fruits and nuts, for an added boost.

Nap for ten minutes. According to research, 10 minutes is the ideal amount of time. After then, "sleep inertia" may set in and render you ineffective and sluggish.