How to Stay Motivated When You’d Rather Do Nothing

I don’t know if it’s the winter weather or maybe my lack of a schedule, but I have no motivation to do anything! Do you ever feel this way? My productivity level is nonexistent. I haven’t written anything, gone anywhere or done anything in days. Days. I haven’t even watched Netflix. Mind you, doing nothing can be beneficial. However, it’s not good when you do it multiple days in a row and are slowly becoming one with the blankets, never to see the light of day again.

If you’re also feeling this way, I’ve created a list of tips and tricks to help us both get back on track. Hopefully something on this list will work and fast. Stay tuned.

1) Plan it Out

A written list of all the things you have to do is a double edged sword. While it is great to have everything written down so you can cross it off as you accomplish task after task, the size of the initial list can be paralyzing especially if you have a lot to do. Something that I like to do when I make my to do list is to fold the paper in half. On one side, create the big, scary to do list that has everything on it in no particular order. Then on the other side of the paper, section it off into days (or hours depending on how much time you have) and separate the tasks into those days. That way, you don’t have to do everything all at once and the list becomes more manageable.

2) Have a Clean Space

The more disorganized I am, the less productive I am. Because there are dishes in my sink and clothes on my floor as I’m writing this, my need to write this article is dwindling by the second. Trust me, I know that the correlation between my dishes and my writing is zero, but that does not stop my brain from going, “You have dirty dishes?! You can’t possibly write because there’s a mess in your apartment and therefore your thoughts will also be messy!” And then I stop writing.

So go clean up and do those petty tasks first. If your work space is clean and organized, you’ll probably have an easier time getting your work done. Plus, it’s a productive procrastination tool: you’re still getting small tasks done on your list while avoiding the larger, more intimidating ones until you have the courage to face them.

3) Clean Yourself Up

Yes, I can see those clothes you’ve been wearing for the last three days. If you go clean up, you’ll feel better and smell nicer. You’ll probably be more productive too. Just a thought.

4) Work in Short Increments

So now your living space is clean, you’re clean and your to do list is ready. It’s time to really sit down and work. You know that phrase “work smarter, not harder?” Well, one way to work smarter is by working in short bursts. How short? Well, no less than 15 minutes but no more than 45. Then try to take a 10-15 minute break after each work session. The time limitations are up to you, really. The longer you work, the longer your break should be.

I’m a big fan of working in 20 minute increments with a 5 minute break in between. It’s just a long enough period of time for me to make some serious progress on my work but short enough that I’m not exhausting myself either. Again, every person is different, so make sure your set your time constraints to what works best for you.

5) Acknowledge Your Progress

Did you get all of your work done? Congrats! You did amazing! We are all very proud and you should be too.

If you’re like me, maybe you didn’t get as far in your to do list as you had planned today, but you did do something and that’s awesome too! Especially since a few hours ago there was nothing crossed off your task list and your living space was a disaster. Be proud of the work that you did get done today and start again tomorrow. No worries.

6) Reward Yourself

If you got some of your work done, a little reward. If you got all of your work done, a bigger reward. You earned it. Enjoy it!

 

I hope this list helped you as much as it helped me. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go do my laundry and clean my dishes so I can continue working! I hope your day will be as productive as mine!

 

Until next time,

Dana

 

 

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