How to Gain Momentum in Life & Get Things Done

You may have read a lot about how we need to build up momentum in our lives in order to find success. What does it mean to gain momentum? What benefits does having momentum give us in life?

Why We Need Momentum in Life

Think of momentum this way. Say you’re riding a bike. If you pick up lots of speed early on by pedaling harder, you build up energy. This energy, known as momentum, allows you to maintain a certain speed while having to actually pedal less later on.

Momentum is particularly important when you’re biking uphill. It’s also the key to long distance bike riding. You can do something similar with driving a car, speeding up fairly quickly then sort of coasting. This saves on fuel, too.

The beauty of concepts in physics is that the ideas can be applied in other forms. You can actually build momentum mentally and emotionally, as well. Say you have a big project coming up. It doesn’t matter what it’s for. If you get started on it right away, you have a much higher chance of seeing it through to completion.

Momentum Can Get You Ahead in Life and Keep You Ahead

One of the beautiful things about momentum is you can actually conserve energy if you build it up correctly. The longer that you put off a task, the more energy you’ll have to burn later to get it done. It’s like you’re pedaling casually, even knowing that a steep hill is coming up along your way. Once you get there, without the proper momentum, it’s going to feel like you’re going uphill both ways.

When you put off a project, something similar happens. You have to use a lot more energy to make up for lost time, even if there isn’t a specific deadline. Sometimes that thing doesn’t even get done.

So, how do we find the momentum to get something done and done well? There are a few ways to build momentum without going overboard. If you get just the right amount of momentum in whatever you’re doing, you’ll find yourself not only seeing things to completion more quickly and effectively, but that momentum can carry into other things you have to do, too.

Ask Someone to Help You Get Started

It sounds like common sense to ask someone to help you with a task. But, people often don’t think of asking for help in order to achieve something. Having another person or persons help you get started is the best way to pick up momentum. For some tasks, more people becoming involved can create both greater momentum and focus on the task at hand. Some tasks that may take a single person the better part of a week could take a handful of people working together the better part of a day. Having momentum involves being as efficient as possible, and asking others to help can improve momentum in life for everyone involved.

Start Work at a High Energy Time

Know yourself and when you have the most energy. Starting something when you’re feeling sluggish or not at your best often keeps you from gaining the proper momentum. If you can choose when to get started, start when you have your best energy. Then, if you do need to take a break, picking up later will be a lot easier, as you already have momentum going with the task. You may not always have this choice, but do so when possible.

Avoid Distractions Whenever Possible

One of the biggest threats to productivity is distraction, especially when it involves your work phone or notifications. You also want to keep your working area as clean and organized as possible. Even if you may be one who loves to work in chaos, you may need to change some habits in order to find what you need quickly. Take steps to limit distractions before you start on an important task. Otherwise, you’ll find that distractions kill your momentum by dispersing your energy in multiple directions.

Put a Time Limit on Your Task

Even if you only have twenty or thirty minutes to dive into something, that’s enough to get something at least underway. Actually, it’s better to spend even just twenty minutes completely focused on a task than three or four hours of constantly being interrupted and having to keep refocusing. By setting a short time limit, you can allow yourself to take short breaks without losing your momentum.

Visualize the End Result

One of the keys to building momentum is focusing your energy, and a good way to do this is learning to always keep the end goal of your current task in mind. “When is this ever going to get done?” you may ask yourself. Even with something as mundane as sweeping the floor, if you learn to visualize the end result, you will stay more focused on the task. You’ll feel a lot happier when you realize the end result if you were keeping it in your mind all along. This is a key to being successful with even the most humdrum tasks. For bigger projects, visualizing the realization of your goals is especially important.  

Being Prepared Keeps You Focused

There’s nothing more frustrating than not being prepared when you’re setting out to work on something. If you go to get started and you’re missing just one tool or don’t have all the info you need to get started. These moments drain momentum. Even if you have to take some extra time to get what you need set up, it’s worth it to set yourself up for building the right momentum.

Whatever You Do, Just Get Started

It’s common sense that the only way to get something done is to get started. But sometimes, you can’t choose when to do something. Many times you have a certain deadline. Even when there isn’t a set time, you can’t get any momentum if you don’t just get started. While high energy times are best for doing anything, you can only put off doing something for so long. Even if you’re not at your best energy level, if it’s on your mind, and you have the desire to do something, just break the task down into smaller parts. Whatever momentum you can build is worth it.

The key to building momentum is to make progress every time you work. If you don’t have to, don’t try to finish a task all at once. There’s great benefit in having the end in mind, but also learning to pace yourself. It’s very possible to wear yourself trying to finish something all at once and actually end up losing momentum.

How each person gains and maintains their own momentum is different for everyone. But, once you find a balance between energy level, desire, motivation, and momentum, you’ll find yourself getting things done a lot faster and better. You don’t have to own a business or be a budding entrepreneur for a change in your work habits to produce results. Every time you mindfully take a step towards success, even the simplest actions in your life suddenly become much more productive. 

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

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