I went through a couple of productivity slumps recently, and one happened just before Christmas. I actually planned to have the most productive month in December, but I felt so down, sniffly and all of my ideas and plans went right through the window.
From 8 posts I planned to write, I only wrote 4 and I completely stopped working during the holidays. So in this post, I want to talk about how to be productive when you do not feel motivated.
I have gathered a few methods that help me get out of the productivity slump and get me back on my feet and I want to share them with you today.
We have all been through it, I am sure. You have a long list of tasks you need to do, and yet you cannot get up and actually do them. Instead, you binge watch YouTube videos, chat with your friends and you cannot seem to shake that feeling off. You just move tasks to the next day, next week, or even next month.
I think that everyone feels that sometimes and it is impossible to keep that “drive” non-stop throughout the year. For me, these periods come when I feel overtired, when something stresses me out or when I am sick.
And I do not believe we should beat ourselves over this as it is just a part of life. But it is important to recognize these periods and prepare a way to get out of them as fast as possible.
How to be productive when you do not feel motivated
Find out why you are feeling this way
When the slump period happens, it is really important to determine the cause. It may be a good thing to pick up a journal and simply start writing about things that worry you or bother you. Do you feel tired? Was there an argument with your kid or husband? Maybe it’s just hormonal?
Once you start putting these things on paper, two things will happen. You will feel better because you got it off your chest, and you will see a pattern. For most of us, the causes of these “down” times are often the same.
Understanding the triggers for this feeling will help you overcome it that much faster. For me, the two main triggers are tiredness and sickness.
Come up with a plan
Once you pinpoint the cause and trigger for your unproductivity, it is time to work on overcoming it. Yes, you could wait it out. Spend a couple of weeks or even a month slouching on your couch and binge-watching TV.
But consistency in work and productivity is what brings success. It is not what you do sometimes that will help you succeed, but what you do consistently every single day.
So it is really important to sit down and test different things. I am going to talk about my favorite ways to make myself feel motivated and inspired. And hopefully, they will also give you some ideas on what you can try yourself.
Going outside and exercising if possible
If I am not sick then what I like to do is take a walk outside. It is amazing how much clearer I think after a walk. And a seemingly unresolvable issue can be solved within minutes.
Whenever possible, just go outside for a walk. It may seem like a waste of time to you, but what you are actually doing is setting yourself up for success. You are clearing your mind, you are exercising and the positive feelings will start to creep up on you slowly.
Since I work from home, I have a tendency to just stay home all day and that is really depressing. If I have a lot of work, it is easy for me to forget that I need fresh air and that leads to feeling down, and unmotivated.
We are not robots and we cannot work without any break. So especially when you feel down and unmotivated, make sure to get out and get some fresh air.
Giving myself a break and rest
I often feel sluggish and unmotivated when I am too tired. Sometimes I am not even aware of that feeling. But when you burn out and spread yourself too thin, you may start to feel unmotivated and unproductive. Because you overtired yourself, and you just cannot keep going with the same energy and rhythm.
Let yourself rest and do not worry about your work at least for a day or a couple of days if possible.
It is better to rest for a day or two, then to work unmotivated and without any drive.
Changing my schedule and planning downtime
But if this happens to you often, it is time to reconsider your work schedule, especially if you work from home. We cannot change our responsibilities and daily chores, but what we can do is make sure to get enough sleep and utilize the time we have the best way possible.
Perhaps you are not managing your time well? Think about your schedule and what you can do differently.
We often forget that when we are rested we do things much faster and we produce much better quality. So do not just fill your schedule with work and appointments, but with periods of rest and entertainment.
Reading motivational books
I like to read motivational and self-development books in general, but I especially turn to them when I feel unmotivated and unproductive.
When you read someone else’s story of personal growth and success, this inspires you to make a change. give your best and power through all tasks and goals you have.
I have a post where I talk about books that changed my life and helped me feel motivated and inspired. Find what type of content can help you feel the same.
Perhaps you prefer TED talks, motivational YouTube videos… Whatever it is, have them near you every time you start to feel uninspired.
It is a really great way to pick your self up and start working with new
I also like to keep inspirational and productive people on Instagram. And when I check what they are doing and see how hard they are working, that helps me keep moving as well.
Writing or reading motivational quotes and affirmations
Apart from motivational books or videos, I also like to read motivational quotes and affirmations and keep them near me. I use them throughout my journals, and I read them on Pinterest. I even have a few in my home office.
These short words contain a lot of wisdom and can often push you to work hard on your goals and dreams.
For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board Motivational quotes for success. And download my free printable motivational quotes for your home office.
Using a journal
What helps me be productive even when I am not motivated is my journal. It is my number one productivity tool and without it I would be lost.
This journal contains my goals, inspirations, to-do tasks and many ideas I should work on. So when I feel uninspired and unmotivated, I make sure to scroll through it, remind myself of my goals and follow my task lists for the day.
If you feel unmotivated and you do not use a journal, then you are really lost. There is nothing to show you what you need to do and you will just slouch around watching TV.
But your journal is your guide to success. So make sure to use it especially when you feel down and uninspired. And fill it with your goals, dreams, favorite quotes, and ideas.
Using the methods explained above, I rarely stay unmotivated for long. And when I do feel uninspired, I make sure to still do my work and still do my most important tasks of the day.
You cannot change your life and your circumstances, but what you can do is acknowledge what you are feeling and come up with a plan.
You have to train yourself to think in terms of solutions. What can you do to make yourself feel better? Sometimes, just one inspirational article you read may be enough to wake you up and help you get back on the right track.
And sometimes, you need to do everything mentioned above to see some progress.
But whatever it is, you have to keep trying. Positive mindset and inspiration cannot really exist without any help. You have to work on them every single day.
And once you get out of the slump, make sure to remember what caused it.
If you overtired yourself, come up with a different time management plan and give yourself rest when it is needed.
How do you stay productive even when you are unmotivated? Feel free to share your best tips below! And please pin this post if you like it!
- How waking up early changed my life
- Identify and fix time-wasting habits
- Change your thoughts to change your life