Skip to main content
Arts + Social Sciences › Criminology
SFU Alumni

Two girls motivating each other
Motivation is very much about mindset. With the right mindset you can become energized to do many great things, even the things you hate doing will be no match for you!

It is easy to get motivated and energized when you are doing something you enjoy doing. For a lot of us, there is no hardship or complaints if we are tasked to watch our favourite TV show or play our favourite sport. However, this is not the same if we have to do something we do not like doing - like cleaning the toilet or doing homework.

It is natural that you feel unmotivated when doing things you do not like doing because these activities just do not motivate you. In many ways, these activities become unpleasant and annoying to us. But what we need to keep in mind is that motivation is very much about mindset. How you view a problem - in this case - an unfavourable task, is important and makes the difference between achieving success or not.

Here is how to motivate yourself to do something you do not like doing: 

1. Ask Why

Whenever you are doing something, it is good to understand why you are doing it in the first place. This is even more crucial regarding activities you dislike doing. Why am I cleaning the toilet? Why am I doing this homework/report? Grasping the reason why you are doing the unfavorable task is just the broader level, to go deeper you must consider the activity's importance, benefits and priority.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the task important? Why?

  • Does it benefit you in any way (money, love, experience, fun, power, health)? Why do you need these benefits?

  • Where does the task fall in your priority list?

The rule of thumb is that if the task is not important, does not improve your life at all, or fall low in your priority list - just don't do it. The issue is that not a lot of activities we dislike are actually not important, beneficial, or not important. Many of them are the very opposite and we fail to recognize that. What we tend to do is use our emotions to judge the task instead of looking at it objectively. Once you understand the task's importance and benefits - instead of thinking about how boring or time-consuming it is - you will be able to power through it. 

2. It Is Normal And Just Do It

It is a fact of life that there will always be things we will not enjoy doing. We can't like doing everything and this is true for everyone. This is something we can't avoid. Even the most interesting job will have tasks you won't like.

Sometimes in life you just have to face the hardship. You just got to do it. The sooner you get the task done, the less you have to endure the boredom, agony, and hardship associated with it.

Many successful people face these tasks instead of avoiding them. They are able to finish unfavorable tasks by changing their mindset: Thinking about the sense of relief and satisfaction after completing it and the lessons you learned from the task. This is how they grow and progress as individuals.

3. Rewards

If you require an extra push, a reward system may be of help. Every time you complete a hard task or one that you hate doing, reward yourself. In order to make it more interesting, create a game out of the tasks. You can do this by assigning different levels of rewards for each activity in your to-do list. Doing something you don't enjoy and is difficult to complete would yield the greatest reward. With a reward system, you will become more motivated to complete those unfavorable tasks !

Motivation is very much about mindset. With the right mindset you can become energized to do many great things, even the things you hate doing will be no match for you!

SFU Alumni
Jason is a Criminology Alumni who is hooked onto policing as a career. But that isn't all, he is also hooked on helping others become the best and strongest versions of themselves. Through his blog, Brave-Up, he looks to educate, motivate, inspire and raise questions about counter-productive social norms within our society. "Man up" is now an archaic term - because Brave-Up is NOW. You can find Jason on Twitter at @BraveUp_jy.
visibility  47
Jan 20, 2013

You Might Like These... Professional Development, Personal Development, Career Exploration, Life Experience

Marble statue of Socrates
Know Thyself

So you have graduated from university and are hanging your well-earned degree on your bedroom wall, and all of  a sudden, a tiny, yet unavoidable voice in the back of your head is quietly screaming “No time to celebrate, you need to find a job!” or “I’ve got my degree…what do I do with it?!’.

Mike, author
Indigenous Stories: Mike, SFU Alumni

"I have no solid plans for the future and I love it...I know that every experience that I have had, every failed plan, was really an excellent mistake that gave me the skills I need to handle any situation that gets thrown my way in the future."  Read Mike's story of career exploration, and how to handle constant change.

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

You Might Like These... Interviews

Picture of Monique with a friend
Use Stories To Refine Your Resume

Despise updating your resume? Here's a technique that uses the stories from your life to bring new life to your resume. By thinking of each job on your resume as a small chapter of your work story, you can create a more impactful document, and you might even enjoy doing it!

A group of friends posing for a photo
Keep Sight of Your Purpose

As many university students know, the start of many major projects begins with a very simple thing -- procrastination. And that is definitely what Jeremiah did before departing for their co-op term in South Korea. However, they soon found that when it comes to teaching you have to have a plan. Read Jeremiah's story to learn more about Teach and Learn in Korea!

Eddard Stark
Stubborn or Persistent? A Stark Difference

Like most things, persistence is something of a double-edged sword: it can be either a huge strength when applied in a constructive direction, or an outright flaw when clung to too tightly in situations that call for more flexibility. Like Ned Stark's honour, it can earn you respect and carry you to high places, but it can just as quickly get you into serious trouble.