How to be productive when not motivated

how to productive when not motivated

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It happens to the best of us, there are days when you do not feel motivated and slag at work. You feel overwhelmed, uninspired and do not know where to start the work or feel why should you even work. The thing about motivation is that it is never consistent and hence you should not rely on it to be productive. In this post, I will share with you How to be productive when not motivated, I am sharing 10 Tips for being productive without motivation. These are based on 2 approaches one is by detaching your productivity from motivation to systems that keep you productive and the second is to keep motivated most of the time.

Let’s have a look at ways to help you get things done even when you are not motivated

What to do when you don’t feel like doing anything

Thinking about how to be productive when not motivated, Here are 10 ways to make you productive even if you are not motivated.

10 tips to be productive when not motivated

Tip 1: Find your why

Your why is the reason that should drive you. It is not just getting work done but the real purpose you want to do something. Everyone has a different why in their life it can be being successful, getting healthy, making more money, living a better life, being independent, or being more knowledgeable. We all have different purposes and goals in life and your why is the biggest reason to keep you productive.

So spend some time thinking about your why and next time you feel unproductive remind yourself of the WHY you have to do things and your productivity will sway back in.

Tip 2: Recover from burnout

Burnout can significantly affect your motivation resulting in reduced productivity and a decline in overall performance. When you are experiencing burnout it is challenging to find the drive and energy to do tasks and meet goals. Even the most passionate and motivated person can experience burnout that can make them unproductive.

So if you are experiencing burnout, take a break from your routine, take a few days off, and plan a small vacation to recover from burnout. If that’s not possible get enough sleep, and eat fresh fruits and juice to rejuvenate. Take a trip to a spa or get a head massage to release all the stress and get productive again. When you will recover from burnout you will feel productive again.

P.S. You may like to read 5 step system to help you relax and unwind after a busy day to avoid burnout.

Tip 3: Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself is a good trick to be productive. It can motivate you to stay focused and accomplish your goals. Rewards serve as a light at the end of the tunnel and excite you with positive feelings about completing things. It can be simple things like treating yourself with your favorite ice cream after accomplishing a critical task or taking a break to engage in a hobby you enjoy. Rewards provide encouragement and make you happy for completing a task. It brings positivity in you and makes you productive too. So this is a must to be tired if you want to be productive but do not feel motivated.

Tip 4: Practice Selfcare

A major reason for burnout and feeling unmotivated is neglecting self-care. There have been many times that I would end up feeling exhausted and not confident of being able to complete work only because I had not prioritized self-care and ended up feeling overwhelmed.

Self-care positively affects your productivity and makes you more efficient. Taking a small amount of time for self-care to rejuvenate your mind will boost your spirit too. Even on busy days, you can find ways to practice self-care in the small ways possible. It helps you manage stress, improves your mood, and boosts productivity. You should read my post 10 self-care at work tips for your wellness at the workplace to practice self-care in simple ways even during a busy work day.

Tip 5: Make routine

Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing

John Maxwell

I strongly believe in this quote, motivation comes and goes, but what keeps you moving forward and meeting your goal is discipline. The best way to practice this is by having routines. It is easy to get lost throughout the day. But when you build a routine including tasks that are important to you, they are no more required to be done but they get done as part of the routine.

Also, routine help you transition through the different part of the day, avoid procrastination and make your day more predictable and consistent. This makes it easier for you to stay focused on tasks and avoid distractions.

You can build a morning, evening, workday, or weekend routine as per your need. But I highly recommend making a morning routine that is right for your need to be productive and not rely on motivation. To make your morning routine you should read my post 5 steps to build a morning routine before work that is best for you and 50 Good morning routine ideas.

You may also read Simple After work evening routine to keep you sane and 10 productive things to do on weekend to manage a busy week

What to do when you don't feel like doing anything

Tip 6: Make a vision board

It is very easy to get distracted from your purpose and goals. Hence having a clear vision of what we want to accomplish will help you be productive. I find the vision board as a powerful tool to do this. It is a collection of images, texts, and quotes that represent your goals and helps you aspire to achieve them. The visual representation of your dream life is a great motivator and helps you stay focused and consistent.

Even if you find yourself distracted and unproductive when you look at your vision board each morning you will feel the urge to get going and take action to meet your goals. So start making your vision board and get productive and manifest your visions. You should read my post Steps to create Vision Board that manifests your dream life to make your fun, motivational vision board. It also includes a free printable to get you started.

Tip 7: Plan your day

One of the things that help me get things done even on the days when I don’t feel like doing is a schedule for the day. You should try and plan your day the night before. This way you know what can be expected from the next day. This has 3 benefits.

  1. You do not get carried away by the day. At times when your day starts on the wrong foot or you are not experiencing the best of your energy, you tend to lose your focus for the day and get distracted. A plan for the day does not let this happen, it reminds you of things that need to be done and avoids slipping in the day.
  2. It keeps you excited. There have been times when I am not very energetic in the morning but some things planned for the day excite me to look forward to them and make me productive.
  3. Planning your day helps you manage your time better and makes you productive.

You should read my post on How to have a productive day to plan your day well.

Tip 8: Get Organized

Lack of organization can be a major hurdle to staying motivated and productive. It distracts you, wastes your time, and eventually makes you give up on doing work. On moments when I am not organized, I find myself overwhelmed, distracted, and unable to get things done. Having a place for everything and decluttering is just one part of organizing but having systems to organize your work and space can help you get over the feeling of being unproductive. An organized workspace and organization system for your work will help you stay motivated and focused to get things done.

So, make your environment and your work style more organized to be productive and not get demotivated. You can read my following posts to get organized.

The Ultimate Guide to Stay Organized at Work

14 Tips to organize your work desk

10 ways to organize a notebook for work

Tip 9: Make your work desk motivational

Your work desk plays a significant role in your productivity and how you feel for the day. A cluttered desk may end up making you feel overwhelmed. Whereas, a clean and organized desk will help you be focused on your work and make you efficient.

It is not just the organization and cleanliness of the work desk that affects you but your work desk has the potential to affect your mood and spark motivation. You should organize and decorate your work desk to your personal taste and add decor that will motivate you. A well-organized and decorated work desk will make you feel pleasant and encourage you to work on the desk and not let your motivation fall. It is such a fun thing to have a work desk with a personal touch. You should read my post 20 Inspirational Work Desk Decor Ideas to curate a motivational work desk, that will kickstart your productivity, and help you stay motivated.

If you do not have a work desk I highly recommend having one to be productive, you can set it up even in a small space. You can read my post 10 Work From Home Desk Setup Ideas That Boost Productivity to make your workspace.

Tip 10: Keep a To-Do list and break down tasks

Sometimes you do not need motivation to drive you but the responsibility to deliver makes you get going. When you have a list of things to do even if you feel sluggish and unproductive it will help you realize you need to get going. Also, another reason for people to feel unproductive is that they have many things to do but are not aware of where to start. The best way to deal with this is to have a running To-Do list. Make a note of all the things that you need to do in one place and plan your work accordingly. You can read my post 10 Ways To Make An Effective To-Do List to know more about making the right To-Do list.

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You should also break big tasks into smaller tasks. Often a reason for demotivation is the overwhelming feeling that you feel when you have big tasks at hand, it can also make you procrastinate the work because they seem unattainable. But when you break them into smaller tasks they are less overwhelming and feel real and achievable. Also, the feeling of striking off a task from your to-do list is so good.

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how to stay productive even when you are not motivated


So these are the 10 simple ways that will make you productive even if you do not feel motivated to take action. Motivation is not consistent in life but building a system that helps you stay productive is a better way to be efficient and productive. Following these tips will make you productive when not motivated and also help you stay motivated most time. Save the pin to refer to this later.

Related posts you may like:

Understanding Procrastination And Effective Solution To Stop Procrastinating

How to prioritize work tasks

12 tips to boost your productivity at work

20 Time Management Tips to Boost Productivity

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