1. Have a mission
Perhaps the single most motivating factor is the sense that you’re fulfilling a greater purpose. A lot of people have taken a page from the corporate world and written a short, one- or at most two-sentence mission statement, against which their actions can be evaluated.
2. Measure improvement
Personal growth is an important motivating factor. Set goals whose progress you can measure, according to whatever metric matters most to you, and keep track of your progress.
3. Make learning a primary goal
An important part of personal growth is achieving or moving toward mastery. Ask yourself, as you start a new project or a new job or anything else, “What three things am I going to learn from doing this?” This will put you in a mastery frame of mind so that you’re aware of the learning you’re doing as you move through your various tasks.
4. Examine your life
Ask yourself what gets you out of bed in the morning, and what keeps you up at night. When you get out of bed eager to tackle the challenges of the day, and lay awake at night dreaming up new challenges, new projects, and new directions to take your life in, motivation comes pretty easily!
5. Separate work from rewards
Procrastination comes not from the nature of the work but from your relationship with it. Change the very language you use to talk about your work, emphasizing that you choose to work on a task or project. Work you choose to do rarely suffers from motivation problems!