How To Be Productive Even When You Feel Unmotivated

Nobody feels motivated all the time… do they? Even if you’re generally a go getter and are very driven, you don’t necessarily feel motivated 24/7… at least I don’t anyway. Some people struggle to feel motivated at all and it can be difficult to get things done. I find that I’m motivated a lot of the time, but sometimes I need to really focus and motivate myself if I want to get all the things done that I want to do.

If you are creative and your work resolves around creativity, not only do you need the motivation to do what you want to do, you also need inspiration, you need ideas, maybe you need to draw inspiration from thoughts, feelings and memories. How can you feel motivated to create something without feeling inspired? And how can you feel inspired if you aren’t feeling motivated to create anything? What you create has to come from somewhere and you need to feel motivated in order to actually create something and bring an idea into reality. 

If you run your own business and you are working by yourself, there are so many things that need to be done and only you are in control of your own productivity. It can be difficult to be productive when you aren’t feeling particularly motivated. Lack of productivity can leave you feeling unmotivated and lack of motivation can lead to a lack of productivity.

So how can you boost creativity, be more productive and get things done, even if you aren’t feeling motivated? Here are a few things you can try to help you feel inspired, motivated and raring to go.

Keep Yourself Accountable

If you work for yourself, you run your own business or you just simply want to get stuff done, it can be difficult to stay accountable when there is no one else there to give you a push. By keeping yourself accountable, you can get into the habit of giving yourself a push when you need it. I keep myself accountable by setting myself a few ‘non negotiable’ tasks each week. I write them down at the start of the week and I keep these tasks in my mind as things that I must get done. Sometimes I find that sharing things on social media or in supportive groups online helps too.

Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination never got anybody anywhere. There really is no point in making excuses and putting things off. Maybe you are worried about doing something or are scared in some way. Maybe you just feel tired and put things off. Whatever the reason for procrastination, try to be aware when you are doing it and avoid making excuses for not doing something. I know it’s easier said than done but if you feel yourself thinking negatively, making excuses and avoiding things, try to turn your thoughts around and just do it anyway. What’s the worst that can happen?

Understand Why You Feel Unmotivated

If you are struggling with lack of motivation and are finding it hard to get things done, try asking yourself why you feel unmotivated. If you become more aware of the cause, you can work on alleviating it. Fear of failure is a common reason for not doing something or maybe there is something else you are worried about. It could be that you simply just don’t have the time. Once you know why aren’t being as productive as you’d like to be, you can work on making some small changes to resolve it.

Feel Scared But Do It Anyway

Fear is one of the biggest causes of procrastination. You may feel unmotivated because you feel scared. Fear doesn’t have to mean really big fears like losing everything you’ve worked for or going bankrupt (these are quote extreme fears), it can also mean small worries that are bothering you. You may just be worried that you’ll be wasting your time in case you don’t achieve the outcome you’re looking for, or you may be holding yourself back because of what people might say or think. Maybe you are scared about spending money and not making a return on it or spending too much time working and not enough time doing housework. 

There could be any number of thoughts, fears or worries that are resulting in a lack of motivation. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever come across is to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. If you aren’t sure why you are feeling scared, write things down, create a journal, ask yourself what you are really worried about (the answer might surprise you). It can take time to address your fears but once you accept that you can do whatever it is you are scared of, you will become far more productive and motivated.

Love What You Do

If you find yourself making excuses and avoiding doing certain things on a regular basis, ask yourself how much you actually want to be doing whatever it is that you do. Could you be feeling unmotivated because you don’t enjoy it anymore? Is your creativity being hindered because you feel like you need to do what you think you should do not what you actually want to do? Maybe you feel like you are going in a direction that you don’t want to go in… In order to feel motivated, you need to enjoy what you do, you need to feel passionate about it and love doing it. If you are lacking motivation, maybe you need to reassess and pivot. There is nothing wrong with that at all, you just need to steer yourself back in the right direction.

Work In Short Bursts And Stay Super Focussed

Sometimes lack of productivity and feeling unmotivated can be as a result of being overworked and overwhelmed. Take some time out, take regular breaks, instead of working for hours on end, work in short bursts. You may find you remain a lot more focussed working for smaller amounts of time. It’s important to clear your mind, destress and alleviate any pressure as much as possible.

Focus On Your Goals

If you are feeling unmotivated, remember why you do what you do. Your goal may simply be to create something awesome, or to earn money doing what you love. Or maybe you want a new car, a bigger house or a holiday, perhaps you goal is to work whilst travelling the world. Keep your goals in mind and focus on what it is you really want, you’ll be more inclined to put the action in to make it happen. Focusing on what you want can drastically increase motivation as it spurs you on to make it happen.

Celebrate The Small Wins

Not all goals are huge goals. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and look how far you’ve come. You may feel unmotivated and deflated because you aren’t giving yourself enough credit for everything you’ve done and everything you’ve achieved! Celebrate every small win and be proud of where you are and what you do.

Inspiration is Everywhere

Lack of inspiration can result in lack of motivation. Inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest of places at the unlikeliest of times. Change your surroundings, take a walk, do something different, visit a new place, do something out of your comfort zone. You never know where you’ll find the inspiration to create something new.

Exercise and Eat Healthy

I genuinely feel a lot more motivated to do things when I feel good about myself. I know that I personally feel better about myself when I know I’m exercising and eating well. Motivation comes from within, it comes from wanting to do things and wanting to take action. A healthy lifestyle may not be the most obvious thing to help keep you motivated but I do believe it helps. The better you feel, the fitter you feel and the more energy you have, the less likely you are to feel lack of motivation.

Collaborate

I’m a firm believer in the power of collaboration. Sometimes you need someone there to give you a push, maybe they also need you to give them a push to get things done. The best ideas often come from collaboration as other people can bring something new to the table. A fusion of minds, thoughts and ideas can often create something a lot more awesome than one mind. Other people can help refine your ideas, provide constructive criticism and make positive suggestions. Sometimes you need that in order to bring your ideas to life. Some people prefer to work on their own and some people prefer to work collaboratively, but there is nothing quite like a shared vision to keep you motivated.

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