Whether it’s studying in the classroom or laboring in the workplace, staying motivated and productive can be a challenging task. Energy and focus may be lacking, depression may be bearing down – there are a number of factors that can impact your daily performance.
The question is how to make improvements that not only work instantly, but are sustainable over the long haul. In this article, we’re going to show you how to increase motivation, drive, and productivity using healthy, natural strategies.
5 tips to improve motivation and productivity
We’ll first start off with some basic tips and then later present the natural products we use for improving energy, focus, drive, and motivation. There has been extensive research on each of these techniques, all of which can provide instant results.
Some of these strategies take only a matter of seconds; others will require a little more effort on your part. All of them stem from the findings of legitimate scientific studies.
1. The “Power Pose” for confidence
Body language can have a profound impact on the brain. And while body language can say a lot about someone else, your own body language can impact your internal chemistry. Believe it or not, positioning your body in a certain way can, quite literally, change the way your brain functions.
On a 2012 TED Talk, Amy Cuddy outlined the significance of body language, presenting a study that showed the impact of non-verbal communication. In her presentation, she described the “power pose,” which is a pose you can make your body do to increase motivation and confidence.
Holding a high-power pose for as little as 2 minutes actually boosts your testosterone levels while decreasing stress levels. Try out a high-power pose for yourself by pushing your chest out, with your back straight and arms spread out.
2. Reframe your mindset
It can be fun making New Years’ Resolutions, even when we know we’re not going follow through. Look at this strategy through a similar lens. Except know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you will follow through.
By keeping your mind in a “fresh start” mentality, you’ll gain a burst of energy. This is a temporal landmark that motivates aspirational behavior. The technique works in two ways: first by allowing us to disconnect from past failures (improving self esteem), and second by offering a larger perspective of our overall lives (looking to the future with positive emotions). Note that it can help to write out your “resolution” on paper.
3. A dopamine-releasing award
Taking a bite of chocolate, or some other dopamine-releasing food, can improve levels of motivation. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that can stimulate the brain through things like pleasure and cognition.
The impact of chocolate on the brain has been thoroughly researched. When you take a bite of chocolate, this is what happens: serotonin and phenylethylamine are increased, which can promote stimulation; it then triggers dopamine, which increases your heart rate; lastly, it produces a mild antidepressant effect, which can relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.
4. Establish routines & rituals
Having some form of routines or rituals can keep you inspired while helping you to migrate toward a certain goal. While they will vary from one person to the next, feel free to experiment with different routines. For instance, you might go for a daily morning jog to clear your mind and get ready for the day. Or, to promote a sense of self improvement, you might read a chapter of a book every night before bed.
Regardless of the routine or ritual, be sure that it is something that promotes happiness and peace. After all, if you are in a more relaxed and blissful state, the motivation will naturally follow.
5. Set reasonable goals
Setting measurable goals (which you truly believe can be reached) gives you an “end in sight.” The key is to start small. If you’re not a runner, don’t make a goal to run a marathon. Start with a 5K and then build from there.
By setting and achieving goals you develop a sense of self-worth, which can transform your outlook on life. As you tackle these goals, your motivation and drive will develop.
A natural remedy to supplement your efforts
In addition to these 5 strategies for improving motivation, you can complement your efforts with natural remedies – such as aromatherapy. Essential oils, in particular, offer a wealth of therapeutic benefits. And you have many options to choose from when seeking a solution for things like energy, focus, and blissful emotions. For instance:
- Lavender: With sedative properties, lavender offers a sense of peace and relaxation.
- Frankincense: Used for centuries, frankincense can help ease tension while promoting positive emotions.
- Orange: With a sweet, citrusy scent, orange can increase energy levels while improving your mood, focus, and concentration.
- Ylang ylang: Popularly used in fragrances, ylang ylang can promote a sense of serenity and self improvement.
In addition to using these oils singularly, many essential oil manufacturers offer blended products that combine multiple oils for a more targeted purpose. For instance, if you were to make your own blend, you could mix lavender (for peace and confidence) and orange (for energy and mood enhancement).