Your Ultimate Guide To Increase Motivation

Motivation is a universal problem which affects everyone. Multiple factors including emotion, health, mindset, and patience will determine how motivated you are to achieve any goal. It takes an incredible amount of motivation to achieve success and many watch on the sideline wondering where it comes from.

Here are a few examples where motivation is mandatory:

  • waking early
  • exercising
  • eating healthy
  • losing weight
  • changing a habit
  • studying more
  • increasing happiness
  • being more productive

You are human though and procrastination has a sneaky way of mentally overtaking the motivation to get started. Over the last year, we have studied why this happens and this post breaks down intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation, hacks to increase motivation, and practical solutions to stop procrastinating. But first, let’s start by discussing the two types of motivation and which will work best for you.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Consider the motivation to read this amazing article our team has put together. If you are reading this for personal interest or knowledge then it is based upon intrinsic motivation. On he contrary, if you are learning about motivation in order to write a paper for a class, it would be an extrinsic motivation.



“Intrinsic motivation refers to the reason why we perform certain activities for inherent satisfaction or pleasure; you might say performing one of these activities is reinforcing in-and-of itself.”

(Brown, 2007)

Intrinsic motivation is great because of the simple pleasure, enjoyment, and reward you feel from performing an activity. It is easy to skip over this type of motivation because we are internally rewarded when completing the task. Experts suggest people are more creative, work harder, and with higher quality when they are intrinsically motivated. This can be associated with any task you find rewarding, joyful, pleasant, interesting, or even challenging, you are more likely to stay motivated to finding a solution.




“Extrinsic motivation refers to our tendency to perform activities for known external rewards, whether they be tangible (e.g., money) or psychological (e.g., praise) in nature.”

(Brown, Psychology of Motivation, 2007)

Extrinsic motivation is the reward. Instead of explaining this, here are a few examples.

  • You worked out today so you can have the donut.
  • Win the contest with your project, you will get $500
  • Participating in the tournament for a trophy

Lastly on this topic, a common term used with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is the over-justification effect. Offering excessive rewards will lead to decreased intrinsic motivation by decreasing the personal satisfaction.


  • “The overjustification effect imposes a limitation on operant conditioning and its effectiveness in applied settings. It tells us that we need to be careful in our use of operant conditioning so that we do not undermine intrinsic motivation. It also tells us that we must consider the possible cognitive consequences of using extrinsic reinforcement.”

(Griggs, Psychology: A Concise Introduction, 2010)

Now that we’ve covered the types of motivation you can have, here are a few quick ways to increase your motivation as well as decrease procrastination – making you a force to be reckoned with!


20 Simple Hacks to Increase Motivation

  • Someone else out there is working harder than you right now.
  • Do not fear failure and welcome adversity.
  • Write down your goal and why you are doing it.
  • Calibrate your schedule ahead of time
  • Watch this motivational video.
  • Get optimistic and excited about the goal.
  • Set a reward, although keep it controlled, do not be excessive.
  • Accountability partner.
  • Tell people about your goal and why you want it.
  • Research everything about your goal.
  • Stop watching TV.
  • Start meditating: Headspace, Calm.
  • Wake up earlier.
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Eat healthier: Wheat Belly, Bulletproof, Grain Brain.
  • Make every day count.
  • Look up quotes.
  • Think about your legacy.
  • Our time is limited, what will you do with it.
  • Start small and start now.
  • Visualize.


20 Practical Ways to Stop Procrastination

  • Set your schedule.
  • Know the deadline.
  • Create a challenge.
  • Switch up environments to keep it fresh.
  • Find a friend.
  • Publicly announce your goals to stay accountable.
  • Remove distractions such as Facebook, email, twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
  • You are a bad ass, force yourself to keep going.
  • Give yourself a reward.
  • Remind yourself, tonight you get to sleep in your bed.
  • Be more self-aware.
  • Embrace imperfections.
  • Stop second guessing.
  • Make a To – Do list.
  • 5- minute Journal
  • Ask for help.
  • Come up with a consequence.
  • Eliminate temptations.
  • Think about the negatives.

Brain dump over. Motivation will be an ongoing topic covered by the Data Nerds as we are constantly finding new hacks. Remember that everyone is unique and will have a different technique of obtaining motivation. We would love to hear tips, tricks, hacks you use to stay motivated!


Published by:

Shaylee Field

Shaylee is the social media manager for Data Nerds. In her spare time she likes to hang out with her cats, work on her Beauty Blog and be a giant nerd.

44 comments on “Your Ultimate Guide To Increase Motivation

  1. That’s a reminder we all need from time to time. It’s so easy to lose motivation, isn’t it? But once you think about why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place, you’ll realize you need to move.

  2. Oooo this one hits close to home. I am a procrastinating machine. I’m adding a whole bunch of these hacks to my arsenal though. One thing that helps me is to take small bites out of my task list when my motivation levels dip. Feeling overwhelmed causes me to procrastinate (and the irony isn’t lost on me, haha) but when the wheels start to slow, I throw myself a softball task that I can crunch through quickly and keep momentum in my day.

    1. These are awesome ways to keep yourself motivated Sean! I find that if I write a list I’m much more apt to get things done throughout the day because I can see what I’ve accomplished and what I still have left 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing such useful tips of how to increase motivation! Sometimes it is so difficult to do, but I’ll work on it

  4. I am not a procrastinator – actually I believe that it is not a bad thing to procrastinate sometimes. Balance I think is key in all aspects of life.

  5. I need to start working out again it’s true that the lack of excercise can bring you down emotionally and affect your overall motivation. Love all the awesome tips and hope to apply them soon

  6. So strange, usually Monday’s I totally lack al
    Motivation, but I’ve been on a roll today!!! Now if this can stick all week, that would be pretty fab 🙂

  7. Yep – just bookmarked the s**t out of this guide!

    Be careful with making just any ‘To Do’ list (it’s one of your points under stopping procrastination) Because:

    Humans LOVE the little dopamine hit you get from crossing points off a ‘to do’ list. Silly humans – Just because you are crossing out tasks, does not mean you are doing the right thing.

    Here’s my tip, thanks to Tim Ferriss, et al. :

    Fold a piece of paper three times so that it ends up the size of roughly a credit card (a little larger) – this is now your to-do list, and you have to be disciplined and ONLY work on what you can fit on this list each day.

    It’s small, yes, but that’s the point: You’ll have to list down only the most important tasks, and eliminate the trivial ones.

    Works for me!

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