Motivation. It’s something we all have lost somewhere in lockdown. Whether it’s because of the never-ending list of things to do, or maybe, the total opposite, you are bored, with nothing to do.
The motivation to study, to exercise, to do anything at all has gone out of us and down the drain. At the start of lockdown, I found myself having goals to achieve and do things as best as I can. I studied from day to night, and I even made a whole timetable of things to do each week. But now, I don’t even have the willingness to work. I force myself every day to do all the work that is given to me. Every day feels like a cycle, just things repeating themselves, nothing new or exciting to motivate me. I started to think, why do I have to do all these things? Why can’t I just stop doing everything? What is the purpose of me doing all this work?
Now, let’s think together about this simple question: why are we losing motivation? I’ve personally never thought about this question until now. I've always focused on how I could keep going with my work even if I didn’t have the will to do it or how I could fix this problem of losing motivation. But now, I realise that we can fix the problem if we know what is causing it. So right now, it’s not the matter of where can we find the motivation or how can we fix the problem, but the important question is, why are we losing motivation?
This reason seems obvious. We lose motivation because we are lazy. We find ourselves scrolling through Tiktok and Instagram or watching our favourite movies and TV shows on Netflix. We all know that infamous excuse, “just a couple more minutes” or “just one more episode”, but we still end up sitting there looking at our device for hours —no wonder we lose motivation. We all know that we would rather sit down and watch things rather than do our work, and when we are forced to study or do other things, we don’t have the motivation to do those things. All we want to do is just sit down and relax.
It’s very much like a cycle. We feel tired from doing our work, then we look at our devices for breaks, we grow more tired, and then we have no motivation. We need to stop this endless cycle. My parents always say that when we want to take breaks from studying, it’s much better to do other things rather than look at our phones because it will drain our energy more than before. At first, I didn’t listen to my parents, thinking that it’s not actually real. But two weeks ago, I put that statement to the test. I banned myself from using social media such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and basically my whole phone (I put my phone in aeroplane mode). I felt more refreshed and more motivated to do work than when I constantly look at my phone for ‘rest’.
We need to get rid of this laziness. It is the reason why you don’t have the motivation to do anything. the lazier you get, the more motivation you lose. “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys” (Proverbs 18:9). Let’s work together to break this cycle.
Another reason why we don’t have motivation is that we have lost the purpose to do things.
You might be sitting there thinking, what does motivation have to do with my purpose? I mean, what is the relationship between purpose and motivation?
When we lose our purpose to do things, we have no more motivation to do these things that are meant to be done. We lose the path where we are heading, making us have no more motivation to do these things. I mean, think about it, if someone is studying for a big exam like the HSC, they keep studying day and night. But then, if there was an announcement that HSC was cancelled, you would see those people that had been studying day and night for this exam all stop studying. Why? Well, it’s simple, because they won’t have a purpose to study anymore. It’s the same with us. We lose our motivation to do things because our purpose to do those things is gone or the purpose is not clear anymore.
So, what is our purpose? What is the purpose of us doing our everyday things in lockdown? It might seem pointless or just plain meaningless but remember, we do not do these things for ourselves, we do these things for the glory of God. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) and “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23-24). This life is not just for you to waste. We must always remember that our life is short. We do not know when we will die. It might be tomorrow, next week, or even today. So, we need to use our time wisely.
There is much more to discuss about purpose. But in summary, we need to remember our purpose, that way we know where we’re heading, we can see a clear path. Even then, we will still have trouble getting our motivation. But without a purpose, we will be lost and we will slowly but surely lose our motivation to do everything.
Do not give up
It’s very easy to give up and just stop doing these things in lockdown. Especially, it is very easy to lose your motivation in these times because you are just staying home and doing all your work from home.
Remember this, do not give up. Keep pushing and keep doing your work to your best capacity. Do not give up, even if you are drowning with work. Do your best in everything, try not to excuse yourself from your commitments. Do your best, even if that means you take time off your social media. I had this one friend and she said something that I will never forget. She said that we all have 24 hours a day, what we choose to do in that time will determine our future.
One thing is for sure, you cannot do this by yourself. You will not have the strength to figure everything out by yourself. That’s why in these times, it is very important to have a relationship with God. You need a connection to God everyday, which is personal devotion and prayer. If you don’t do these things it’s just as if you are in a war without contact with your commander. You will have no idea what’s going on and you will be lost.
Honestly, in these lockdown times, I’ve been struggling with my daily devotion and my spirituality has been going downhill. So, I'm not writing this article because I have been through this or mastered this struggle. But, I write because I know we are all going through this and these are the things I have found in my struggles. You are not alone, we are all in this together.
One step at a time
We need to take one step at a time, these steps should not be too slow or too fast. Make small goals each week, put it on a small paper and stick it to your wall. It can be from catching up on school work, or cleaning your room to finishing a book in one month or finishing a math chapter this week. I encourage all of us to try to do this, so that we can get rid of our laziness and we can build our motivation back up, so that we can glorify God even in lockdown times.
Ivana Santoso (16) is a writer in Regeneration-Z. She hopes that through her writings she may learn more about the truth while bringing more teens to Christ. You will often find her playing with her guinea pigs or sleeping in her room.