3 ways to be productive when you’re not feeling motivated

How to be productive when you lack motivation

Being productive when you’re not motivated can be challenging.

Sometimes, you wake up and can already feel that this day is not going to be a productive one. This is what happened to me this morning: I got up, got ready, but didn’t feel like being creative or doing anything at all.

I was planning on writing a couple of posts, work on my SEO and proofread a bunch of texts. Well, I don’t feel like doing any of this. I just want to sit on the couch and watch YouTube videos.

This is why I sat down at my desk and started writing this article. It wasn’t on my to-do list, and I’m not even sure how it’s going to end yet. How am I going to motivate myself when I don’t feel productive at all?

Especially since I’ve been working from home, I have come across two major problems:

  1. Since for now, my work doesn’t generate any money (which is normal, I haven’t published anything yet), I often feel like I’m just fooling myself. Like I’m doing stuff that doesn’t lead to anything and doesn’t have a point. If what I do doesn’t have a point, I could just as well watch YouTube, right?
  2. No one asked me to do anything. I’m merely doing it for myself, and when you’re your own boss, and you don’t yet have clients, it’s easy to forget why you made the decision to do what you’re doing.

While writing this, I decided what I’m going to start with. I’m going to remind myself why I want to create this blog.

The truth is, I hope to create a community of people who have the same issues and aspirations as me, and I want to do my very best to help them reach their goals.

Writing this down actually felt very good. I have always been passionate about helping people, and I really hope that my efforts can actually help someone in the world.

I’m glad I reminded myself of my initial motivation for this project.

I will now create a valid to-do list for the rest of the day, and I’m not going to sit down and watch YouTube until I’m done with it.

First, I need to do my daily Yoga practice. Then I need to write an article about the stress-reducing power of to-do lists (I already feel a lot less stressed while writing this). I need to make myself some food because all I ate today was granola. And I actually just remembered that I had some great ideas for my article about stepping out of your comfort zone.

There are only 4 items on my to-do list because I don’t want to overwhelm myself right now. I already don’t feel productive to begin with, so there is absolutely no need to try and build Rome on such a day. I feel like I can do this, and I also finally feel like I have a plan.

I’m just quickly going to summarise this article and get to work!

So, here is how I just motivated myself to get off my ass and be productive (even though I’m technically still on my ass but oh well):

  1. Remember the motivation you had in the first place

If you decided to do something, chances are you had a good reason for it. Writing this reason down or saying it out loud (thinking won’t suffice here, believe me) makes your brain actively reprocess that information. If your goal is exciting to you, you’ll feel a little more motivated to be productive after this exercise.

What if your reason for doing something is because your boss told you so? Remind yourself of the general goals you have in your job: getting promoted, getting a raise… If you want to achieve that, you have to show your motivation and be productive. Same goes for studying. If you want good grades or even just a diploma, you’ll have to do the work!

And if no matter how hard you try, you cannot find any good reason for doing the task you’re supposed to do, maybe it’s not that important after all. Maybe you’re following an old goal of yours that isn’t exciting to you anymore. Or you’re following someone else’s goal that you thought was yours too (I’ll touch on that in a future post). In that case, spend some time re-evaluating and don’t bother doing something that actually has no point!

  1. Make a to-do list to organise your thoughts

Making a to-do list is a great way to organise your thoughts and all the different tasks fluttering around in your head. Make a to-do list, but make it short. If you’re not feeling motivated today, you probably won’t have the most productive day in the history of time. And you know what? You don’t have to. No one is productive every day, and if you manage to accomplish a couple of tasks even on your worst days, then this is a great achievement in itself!

So, create a short and easy to-do list and start on it right away. Putting a task down on paper helps your brain picture it better, which in turn makes starting easier, and you’ll become productive on your unmotivated day in no time!

  1. Reward yourself once all your tasks are completed

When you’re not motivated to be productive, you usually crave another (probably unproductive) activity. Don’t do it now, but do it as a reward as soon as you’ve finished a small to-do list. And you’ll actually feel good about it because you accomplished something! Isn’t this so much better than just lounging around and feeling guilty? I sure think so.

Let’s do it together. We’ll both just finish this sentence, get up and get to work. Ready? I am!

Oh and if you liked this post and my tips to be productive when you’re not motivated, I would be so happy if you could share it with your friends!

3 ways to be productive when you're not feeling motivated

23 Replies to “3 ways to be productive when you’re not feeling motivated”

  1. Thank you, you made me to get out of bed🙌

    1. Thank you for your comment, that makes me very happy! 😀

  2. Since I started using a To-do List, have seen completing all the important and listed tasks without failing to the trap of forgetting or leaving tasks out. I too recommend it as one way of improving productivity.

    1. Yes, it’s so hard to keep all the information in your head, you’re bound to forget something! To-do lists are life saver.

  3. I’m such a fan of to-do lists, they are a great way to find focus and prioritize 🙂 and I agree that they should be short, I always stick to 3 main tasks that are the most important/urgent, so it doesn’t get overwhelming 🙂 great post!

    1. They are 🙂 Starting with important and urgent tasks is a great idea! It’s easy to fall into the trap of starting with the easiest tasks but then you might not have time for the truly important things!

  4. Yes – being motivated is the aim. It’s not good when you aren’t feeling that way. All good points you’ve made. Now to find that motivation!

    1. Thank you! I really hope you found that motivation 🙂

  5. I love this post, I can relate so much! Literally, before reading it I was watching Youtube videos and feeling lazy. And sometimes I feel like I am the only one who is lacking motivation, since everyone around me seem to be doing (and achieving!) so much! But yes, doing something and feeling proud of it, that is a lovely feeling and I think it is my biggest motivation. And I like your tip about writing not too many tasks into the ‘to do list’, writing less but achieving all that is on the list is super motivating.

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m glad that I’m not the only one who watches Youtube videos when I should be doing stuff. But I’m working really hard on being productive!
      I totally get the feeling that everyone else is doing so much while I’m not achieving enough, but then I force myself to stop for a second and realise how far I’ve actually come. I think that everybody feels that way sometimes, but I’m also pretty sure that no one is motivated and productive all the time!

  6. Hairmakeupsfx says: Reply

    This is really useful, I will have to try this.

    1. I really hope it works for you!

  7. Great post! I’m also working on my blog as my business and can find some days to be a bit sluggish. Writing things down definitely helps.

    1. Thank you & good luck with your blog! 🙂

  8. Loved this post! I would definitely share this to my friends. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!


    1. Thank you! I will definitely check out the portal, thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  9. Thanks for writing this down! I woke up today feeling dont want to do anything. I don’t feel good at all. Glad you bring this topic out. Thought I’m alone in this kind of situation!

    1. You are definitely not! Some days are just harder than others. It really helps to not beat yourself up about it and just do what you can.

  10. I feel you so much on that one! Sometimes I also ask myself, what’s the point? But yes, I’ve been doing all I’m doing right now for a reason, a reason I believe in. I don’t make money out of my blog yet but I want to get there. And get out of the 9-5 rat race. So let’s keep working at it!

    1. Yes! 🙂 Let’s keep going and find ways to progress!

  11. Great content! This really motivated me to start blogging again! 🙂

  12. I love the tip of going back and getting in tune with your motivation to begin with. You’re so right, if that something lights absolutely no fire inside of you, it’s time for something new! Here’s to taking leaps.

  13. […] have established that to-do lists are a great tool to be more efficient. They also help you be productive when you’re not feeling motivated. But it won’t work if you give yourself 65 things to do in a […]

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