How To Motivate Yourself To Do Something Unpleasant: 14 Tips

If you want to know how to motivate yourself to do something unpleasant, you’ll love this article.

We all have some tasks that we find difficult to complete, for various reasons. These tasks may seem uninteresting, time-consuming, or simply not enjoyable, which makes it challenging to motivate ourselves to complete them.

However, there are ways to tackle these unpleasant tasks successfully. To accomplish an unenjoyable task, one can change their mindset and perspective towards it, make it more enjoyable, and take the first step towards completing it.

How To Motivate Yourself To Do Something Unpleasant:

1. Identify the “why” behind the task.

Ask yourself why the task is essential and how it will contribute to your future success. By reframing the unpleasant task as a necessary means to an end, you can motivate yourself to complete it.

Instead of focusing on the difficulty of the task, concentrate on the benefits that it will bring you. For instance, if you don’t feel like working on an essay for your college English course, remind yourself that completing the task will bring you one step closer to graduating. Additionally, practicing your writing skills through this essay will help you achieve your goal of becoming a journalist.

2. Imagine how you will feel once the task is accomplished.

Intrinsic motivation, which stems from the sense of accomplishment, can be a more effective motivator than external rewards or recognition. Consider how you will feel relieved, satisfied, or proud after completing the task. Visualizing these feelings can provide the boost of energy you need to overcome the challenge.

Intrinsic motivation is fueled by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Look for ways in which your task is connected to these three factors. Can you complete the task independently? Will it help you master a new skill? Will it bring you closer to achieving a goal that is meaningful to you?

Harnessing the power of intrinsic motivation is particularly useful in completing creative tasks.

3. Incorporate motivational mantras into your routine.

Repeating a positive statement to yourself can help you maintain a positive mindset. Over time, consistent repetition can reinforce a positive belief in yourself. Begin your day by reciting your chosen mantra upon waking up. If you need inspiration, consider using one of the following examples:

“I have completed challenging tasks before, and I am capable of doing it again.” “Mistakes are part of the process of making progress, and I am not afraid to make them.” “I prioritize getting things done because I value my time.”

4. Consider delegating or eliminating the task if possible.

Sometimes, feeling reluctant to perform a task indicates that your time could be better spent elsewhere. Evaluate the task’s significance to your project, and consider whether it can be delegated to someone else or completed more efficiently. Removing a disliked task from your to-do list can free up time for other activities.

For example, if you dislike doing laundry but your partner enjoys it, you can ask to switch chores. You can take on a task that your partner dislikes in exchange. Both chores will still get done, but you won’t have to perform one that you strongly dislike.

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5. Find reasons to be grateful as a source of motivation.

Taking a moment to appreciate the good things in your life can help you find the motivation to tackle an unpleasant task. Consider the task as an opportunity to recognize the things you are thankful for and take note of them.

For example, if you dread cleaning your room, you can remind yourself that you are fortunate to have a room to clean, which many people do not have. If you dread writing a lengthy paper for a college English class, you can acknowledge the opportunity to attend college (1), something that millions of people worldwide would love to have.

6. Establish a reward system to boost motivation.

Some tasks may not provide an immediate sense of satisfaction, but they are still necessary to complete. Motivate yourself by setting up a system of rewards and goals to keep you motivated as you work towards completing the task.

For example, you could reward yourself by planning a night out with friends after completing the first draft of your paper, or by treating yourself to your favorite coffee shop after finishing cleaning the kitchen. This helps create a sense of excitement and anticipation, making it easier to push through the challenging task at hand.

7. To boost your motivation, turn on some upbeat music that can help you get through an unpleasant task.

Listening to music can have a positive effect on your mood and help you feel more engaged and alert. You can choose high-energy tunes that get your body moving and your heart racing, such as dance music.

8. Collaborating with others can significantly boost your chances of accomplishing a task.

When you seek the support of others, it keeps you motivated, provides social and emotional backing, and creates a sense of responsibility. If you are unable to find a partner in real life, you can explore online groups that provide support and accountability.

Invite a friend to participate in your task by saying something like, “Hey, I need to declutter my closet today. Would you like to join me? We can play some music and grab coffee afterwards.”

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9. To increase your motivation to complete a task, consider making a public declaration.

When you share your goals and plans with others, you create a sense of accountability that can keep you on track. By making your intentions known to your colleagues, friends, or social media followers, you’ll feel more committed to your goal and more likely to follow through with it.

Moreover, talking about your plans can help you clarify your intentions and make your goals seem more real and achievable. For instance, you can announce on your social media pages that you’re starting a new fitness routine (2) and ask your friends to cheer you on or join you.

10. To make your task less intimidating, you can consider modifying your surroundings.

This may involve decluttering your workspace or having some form of entertainment in the background. You can also make a cup of tea, light a candle, and watch a favorite movie or TV show like Harry Potter that makes you feel good. However, you should choose something that won’t distract you too much and allow for breaks.

Another option could be visiting a nearby coffee shop where you can order a special drink and find a comfortable spot to work. Additionally, opening windows and playing music can enhance the ambiance and make the task appear more manageable.

11. Find an enjoyable aspect of the task to start with.

If there is a particular part of the task that you don’t mind doing, start with that to ease yourself into the less enjoyable parts of the task. This can give you the momentum you need to get started and keep going. For example, if you don’t like doing your taxes, start with organizing your receipts, which can be less daunting.

Similarly, if you’re struggling with a creative project, go back to what inspired you in the first place and see if you can use that to reignite your motivation. If you really despise the task, consider finding a different way to achieve the same goal, rather than forcing yourself to do something you hate.

12. Breaking down a daunting task into smaller, more manageable parts can help make it less overwhelming.

To begin, determine what your ultimate objective is and then ask yourself, “What specific steps do I need to take to reach this goal?” Focus on the first task on the list and start working on it. Making a to-do list can be beneficial in organizing and prioritizing these smaller tasks.

For example, if you need to pack up your apartment for a move, start by packing items such as off-season clothing, decor, and mementos. Then, gradually work on packing a few things each day to progress towards your end goal.

13. The Pomodoro technique is a useful method for overcoming procrastination and increasing productivity.

It involves breaking down your work into focused 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks. After four of these work sessions, you can take a longer break of 25 minutes before starting the cycle again. While the standard interval is 25 minutes, you can adjust the technique to suit your preferences and work style, such as increasing or decreasing the interval duration.

14. Even the most mundane tasks can become more enjoyable if you give them extra attention or creativity.

Instead of rushing through a task, take your time and focus on doing the very best job you can. For instance, if you have to clean the house, try rearranging the furniture or organizing your closet in a new way to make it more interesting. Or, if you have to work on a repetitive task like data entry, challenge yourself to increase your speed or accuracy.

This can make the task more engaging and rewarding. By finding ways to add a little creativity or challenge to even the most boring tasks, you can make them more bearable and even enjoyable.

Motivating oneself to do an unpleasant task can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help. Here are some of the tips discussed in this article:

  1. Set a clear goal and remind yourself why it’s important to complete the task.
  2. Use positive self-talk to boost your motivation.
  3. Enlist the support of others to increase accountability and motivation.
  4. Make a public declaration to hold yourself accountable and gain extra motivation.
  5. Alter your environment to make it a more pleasant place to work.
  6. Start with an aspect of the task you enjoy to ease yourself into it.
  7. Divide the task into smaller chunks and use to-do lists to stay organized.
  8. Use the Pomodoro technique to improve focus and productivity.
  9. Give the task extra attention or creativity to make it more bearable.

By using these strategies, it’s possible to overcome procrastination and get started on unpleasant tasks.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to motivate yourself to do something unpleasant. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here