How to get motivated to tackle your DIY projects

  • 4 minutes
  • 13 April 2018

Procrastination is the biggest reason that home DIY projects fail. Here are some of the most powerful techniques on how to get motivated about those home improvement projects that have been sitting on your ‘To Do’ list for way too long!

Swap the Master Plan for single-project To-Do lists

Having a mega-list of all the projects you need to do can actually be overwhelming, preventing you starting anything at all.

Instead, pick one project that you feel is a priority, and create a manageable to-do list of all the tasks needed to complete that project. Then, complete one single task a day until it’s finished. Something as simple as making a phone call or prepping the area can keep your momentum up.

Be realistic about timelines

Furthermore, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve in a specific amount of time. Trying to halve the timeline of a project, or over-committing at the expense of other aspects of life, leads to impatience, frustration and, ultimately, a spectacular burn out.

Set a timer

Thinking of completing an entire project, from start to finish, can sound cumbersome and flat-out impossible in between work and social commitments. But every has an hour on a weekend day, or half an hour on a work day, to spare on getting it done.

More often than not, if you’re almost finished anyway, you’ll work past that hour until it’s completed. If you just finish the allocated time, you’ve still stuck to your goals; that sense of accomplishment will feel like you’re right on track.

Have a reward waiting

At heart, there’s still that inner-child that responds to the promise of a sticker or a cookie if we tidy our room or finish our homework early. If you’re looking at how to get motivated about a tedious DIY project, try a rewards system. Treat yourself to a top shelf bottle of wine after you dig up that tree stump. Save that weekend trip for after you’ve finished repainting your boundary fence.

For larger projects, choosing milestones can help you keep the momentum up until you reach the big reward. For example, a total backyard renovation holds smaller milestones you can celebrate. Go out to a nice dinner after re-paving the courtyard, or only splurge on that beautiful water feature after you’ve replaced the crumbling retaining wall.

Have a DIY project progress board

A project status board in your kitchen is a great aid for to-do lists, easy project management and daily reminders. Arrange sticky notes of each chronological task in the ‘To Do’ column; then, move into the ‘Completed’ column once it’s finished. That way, more than one person can contribute to the project and you can visually see the progress.

It also works perfectly alongside the Reward technique!

Make the activity as enjoyable as possible

The right mindset needs the right atmosphere! Working in the garden all weekend? Play some groovy tunes while you work and organise an easy picnic lunch with your favourite foods or drinks for break time. That way, the experience can be just as rewarding as the final product of your labour.

Get your head in the game

Your mindset is the biggest tool you have at your disposal. A ‘can do’, positive attitude automatically boosts motivation levels. Whinging, groaning or negative thoughts about a project will either create an experience so painful that the feeling accomplishment will feel overshadowed by the ordeal, or it simply won’t happen.

Create an unmissable deadline

Time can also play a strong role in completing DIY projects. While it’s risky, setting an absolute deadline can push you to finish a job. Set a date for a birthday pool party and vow to have the pool area completed by then. Push yourself to finish the garden landscaping by the time your fencing delivery is scheduled. This way, there are outside factors to push you to complete the work.

The power of the collective mind

Never underestimate the power of community. Belonging to dedicated social media groups or pages, forums, blogs or clubs is how to get motivated when you’re feeling stuck.

Share your journey and accomplishments

On this note, your journey doesn’t have to just be celebrated by you. Share your progress with the people in your life, or on social media. The pride can feel from sharing accomplishments, or the feedback you receive if you’ve struck a rut in energy levels, can really keep you inspired to keep going.

We hope this inspired you on how to get motivated.