How to Recharge and Get Motivated

When life gets hectic, recharge to regain motivation.

Posted Aug 24, 2010

Pause and Recharge

We aren’t machines. After participating in so many activities, we feel drained, emotionally flattened and stuck. Yet, we seldom stop to allow our bodies to replenish our energy. Too often, time dictates our breaks, not our body. We are conditioned to think that when more needs to be done, we must increase the amount of time spent working and decrease the amount of time spent refueling. This thinking causes a strange sense of obligation to sacrifice our wellbeing due to the time crunch and demands of the situation.

While it may seem counterintuitive, during the most hectic of times, we actually need more time to recharge.

We have a primal need for pleasure and recreation—but, as humans with free will, we can choose to ignore this need, to overcome our instincts and go against nature. We convince ourselves that there is no limit to how far we can push ourselves, that just as science produces better, faster, more reliable and steady machines, we too can hone our abilities through modifying our nature. Many of us attempt to train ourselves to need less down time—to sleep less, to rest less, to cease less—to do more and stretch beyond our limits. But, like it or not, there is a limit, and if we continue to violate nature’s demands, to abuse ourselves, we will pay the price—individually and as a society. –Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., Even Happier

In any area of your life, in order to recharge and get motivated, it’s important to give yourself permission to pause. These pauses provide you with the time and space needed to redirect your focus and energy. Over time, I’ve learned to take breaks and focus my attention on mini-activities that quiet my judgmental left-brain and ignite my inner passion. After these little timeouts, I usually discover that my productivity actually increases, as does the quality of my work.

A few activities in which I recently indulged:

Cleaning my office. Did I really need to re-organize all of my files last week? No. The files themselves could wait, but the act of organizing allows me to cleanse and recharge my mental energy. When I was done, I had the energy needed to get more done.

Creating a collage. I also didn’t need to make a collage, but the process of making art allows me to turn off part of my brain so that it can rejuvenate.

Writing in my journal. A couple of years ago, I started keeping a journal. It’s such a release for me at the end of the day to write, doodle, or tape photos to the pages.

In addition to taking breaks, it’s important to notice how you talk to yourself. Are you focusing more on what you don’t want to happen or what you DO want to happen? Do you ever say to yourself, “I am not going to procrastinate”? You probably have a laundry list of things that you don’t want to do. This list is draining your energy from what you want to be doing.

Pause and think about what you want to do. What do you want to work on today? Of course, you may not “want” to do everything that is on your plate; however, you do want to get it off of your plate, which will only happen if you take action. The key is to emphasize moving forward and to use language that supports your goals. You want to be your biggest cheerleader.

The Take-Home Message:

You are in control. Recognize when you feel drained and when you lack motivation. Rather than punishing yourself or focusing on what you should be doing, reconnect with your inner compass and determine what you want to do. Then, let the energy restoration begin!

When you are busy, what do you do to recharge? Leave a comment!

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Copyright Carolyn Rubenstein

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