Large tasks:

Some things aren’t so much difficult as they are long. Getting through a large amount of paperwork or cleaning a whole house. The age old trick here is to divide it into smaller parts and tick these off the list as you go. There is some measure is satisfaction in this, but not a lot. It helps if the large and time consuming task isn’t the only one you have to do. Have a few other tasks that are personally satisfying, and tick these off the list as you go.

Tedious tasks:

Doing the tax is the classic one. Even when I know I’m in for a refund I still never find myself procrastinating. The tax isn’t too hard to figure out, but I resist it. Thinking of the tax as the end of a process sometimes helps; I’ve done the tax, now the whole year is complete! Else, just find a way to reward yourself when it is complete.

General Tasks:

Thinking about the results helps. Anything you concentrate on before sleeping tends to get into your mind. Think about the end result and how you will feel about it. And when doing a task, try to be a little Zen and enjoy the process.

DIY hobbies:

It is a quirk a human nature that we can avoid something we consider enjoyable. Really, we just want the short term satisfaction. I find it helps if I am waiting on the components of a hobby; the anticipation of waiting for the postman to deliver the next part actually helps. Else, try to get a something small done, and remind yourself that you are supposed to enjoy this.

One technique for this motivation is the 2 minute rule. Find something that can be done in two minutes and do it right now. Not all tasks can be divided into such small chunks, but some can. You may find that you end up doing a lot more than two minutes work.

Motivation is getting things done. It should not be confused with knowing what to do; though sometime both of these problems occur simultaneously. Deciding what to do is important; you need to know what to do before you start putting in the effort. Sometimes making decisions is more important than just pushing ahead.