Productivity

Top 10 Tips To Keep Yourself Productive When You Aren’t Motivated Enough

Would you like to become productive? Here are the top ten tips on how to stay productive even if you aren't feeling motivated.

First published

07.04.2020

Last edited

20.09.2022

Read time

7 minutes


    By Tiffany

    Tiffany studied Language and Economics, and now likes to write about business topics and conduct interviews with interesting people. She spends her free time looking after her plants and with her dog.

    We all have our down days, and even though it may feel like the world is ending, it’s actually not.

    In fact, while you are lying in bad feeling demotivated, everything around you continues moving on and you will simply be left behind unless you don’t get back to work.

    Here are the top ten tips on how to stay productive even if you aren’t feeling motivated. ?

    Analyze Your Feelings

    More often than not, the problem in your situation will actually lie in something simple rather than a year-long existential crisis.

    Think about it: how are you feeling? After all, thinking positively is a fundamental part of being motivated, so if you are feeling depressed, you may have a problem with that.

    On the other hand, you can simply be hungry.

    You might have slept not as much as usual and feel tired because of that or you were postponing something for too long and your brain is telling you to finally go and do that task.

    Whatever it is, try selecting it beforehand so that you get rid of it easily later.


    Detect Triggers

    If this is not the first time such a thing happens to you, then this may be an unconscious habit you’ve developed.

    Look for the triggers that usually cause you to feel tired and demotivated.

    Without even knowing it, you might have taught yourself to react to different triggers that you encounter on a daily basis.

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    For example, if you notice that you are usually less motivated after lunch, then it may be a good idea to start teaching yourself that working after lunch is the same as working before it.

    You’ll need some time to make your brain learn to perceive the situation as you want it to be perceived, but it will pay off in the end.


    Change the Environment

    It’s amazing how sometimes the colors may be the cause of all the problems you are experiencing at work. Our environment influences the way we feel more than we think it does.

    But if you tried working in bed, you would probably be very unproductive as your body and mind would relax on instinct.

    Likewise, working at your desk in an office would make you more alert and attentive to what you are doing.

    Sometimes it is a good idea to simply change the scenery. If you work from home, try going to a public workspace or to your local café.

    If you work in an office, ask whether you can work in a different room for some time. Anything helps.

    Image credit: https://asmithblog.com/change-of-scenery/

    Start Out Small

    One of the most difficult stages of working is starting out with a task. Sometimes we are merely afraid of the responsibility or complexity of the task, so we put it off for as long as we can.

    But sooner or later the time comes and we are caught in this situation with no way out.

    This is when demotivation kicks in and we don’t want to do anything anymore.

    To battle, such overwhelming feelings, start out small and choose the tasks that are easier and faster to complete. This will encourage you to be productive later on.


    Improve the Little Things

    Changing your environment may help, but have you thought about your working conditions?

    Maybe you are taking too much on yourself. Similarly, you might only need to improve some small things like changing your old desk for a new one.

    For example, you have loads of work to do and you know that you won’t have time to do all of it so logically you aren’t motivated.

    Give a part of it to someone else, say, the writers to be done by a professional writing service, and get on with whatever you need to do.

    By decreasing your workload, you will raise your hopes of completing all the tasks in time.


    Get Rid of Distractions

    The most well-known way to kill time is to grab your phone, log into your account on your favorite social media platform, and spend hours scrolling through your feed and liking random posts.

    But it gets much worse if you have your phone simply lying by your side while you are working as the notifications distract you every other minute.

    The best solution is to turn off your phone completely.

    Alternatively, turn off the Wi-Fi connection or mute it. If there are any other distractions, get rid of them right now!

    The best solution is turning off your phone completely.”


    Take Baby Steps

    Yes, you heard it right. In order to be productive, you must be slow. But rather than being slow, you should just complete tasks by taking baby steps instead of biting off more than you can chew at a time.

    There is really no need to try and make yourself motivated by doing the most difficult thing because it simply won’t work.

    Make baby steps and start with smaller tasks. Even when you run out of those, continue doing one thing at a time when dealing with bigger tasks.

    After all, each of them is comprised of little details.


    Create Urgency

    Unsurprisingly, very many people work well under stress. This is usually due to the fact that they are used to working under stress and can’t function in any other conditions.

    Logically, creating urgency may be the best way to make yourself motivated again.

    Set an alarm clock or a timer and start doing the tasks from your to-do list.

    If there are some whose deadlines are fast approaching, make sure to do them first and remind yourself that you must be in a hurry to complete them in time.


    Use Tools to Aid You

    If you are really hopeless (or even if you aren’t), try using some tools to aid you. For example:

    • Todoist: This is a to-do list app known for its ease of use, efficiency, and overall quality.
    • Any.do: A calendar app with reminders and a very pleasant interface.
    • The Fabulous: And finally, a goal-tracking and habit-building app that functions as a virtual assistant.

    Get a Fresh Look

    Last but not least, get a fresh look at the situation from your friend or colleague. You may be feeling demotivated because of the whole mundaneness of what you must do.

    People get sick of repeating the same thing over and over again, so getting a different perspective may inspire you to continue working with new energy.

    FAQs

    How can I be productive when I am not motivated?

    Being productive when you’re not motivated to work can feel like an impossible task, but it’s really not. You can help yourself get things done by:

    • Notice and name your feelings. Think about how you’re feeling at the moment. Are you tired? Maybe hungry? Are you preoccupied with a personal issue or worried about someone you love?
      By noticing and analyzing your emotions you’ll be able to do something about them. Grab a healthy snack if you skipped a meal, take a short break if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or check in on the person you’re thinking of.
    • Eliminate all distractions. Sometimes, the easiest way to start and keep being productive is to get rid of the things that steal your attention.
      You should, of course, start by turning off your phone or at least your Wi-Fi connection. If you work remotely, getting rid of your home office TV might be a good idea, too.
    • Start small. Sooner or later, working when you just don’t feel like it is something everyone has to learn how to do.
      Starting small is one of the most effective approaches simply because it requires less time and energy, meaning you won’t get overwhelmed. Completing small and simple tasks also helps build your momentum and grow your confidence.

    How can I force myself to be productive?

    You can force yourself to be productive by creating a sense of urgency. You can do this by setting a timer or an alarm clock. For example, you can give yourself 30-40 minutes to complete a simple task.

    This will make you focus on what you need to accomplish and help you avoid overthinking.

    If you don’t manage to get the task done before the timer/alarm clock goes off, you should start working on the next item on your to-do list and revisit the first task later with renewed energy and focus.

    How do you stay productive when not working?

    Staying productive when you’re not working doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s how you can maintain and even increase your productivity while you’re unemployed:

    • Update your resume or write one from scratch
    • Create a LinkedIn account and search for job opportunities
    • Learn job keywords
    • Do mock interviews with a close friend or family member
    • Learn new skills
    • Take online courses
    • Visit public libraries to do some research on how to improve your job hunt
    • Expand your portfolio with imaginary projects (this is especially helpful for graphic designers and front-end developers)
    • Take proper care of yourself

    Final Thoughts

    All in all, staying motivated is really not that hard if you follow the tips in this article. Being productive is important not only for you but for your coworkers, your boss and the company you work in. If you don’t do your job properly, nobody will do it for you.


    Would you like to become productive? Download Mailbutler for Apple Mail, Gmail or Outlook and boost your productivity to the next level!


    Do you want to learn more about how useful emojis could be in Email Marketing? Keep reading this article “How to Effectively Use Emojis in Email Marketing” from our guest contributor Claudia Jeffrey.

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