How To Motivate Yourself To Be Productive & Work Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Do you often find yourself looking out for ways to be productive and motivate yourself everyday in the middle of important work? Have you ever questioned what you are even doing with your life? Well, if you have, don’t fret as we all have.

According to a survey, 21% of employees suffer from stress and fail to meet deadlines at work.

We all have days when we feel under the water, hampering our productivity levels. It can happen due to lack of sleep, excess workload, stress, or other unexplained reason. It’s normal to feel the energy drain out from your body even when you’re doing nothing. But at times like this, you always gotta remind yourself not to be hard on yourself.

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On such ‘off’ days, we sit and contemplate our lives. We get frustrated by each and everything and feel sorry for ourselves. But at the end of this phase, we realize that the day just went by, and we might have wasted a perfect, productive day. You need to give yourself a slack, dust off, get up, and play.

For some, this phase may not last long, and for others like me, I may need a couple of days to feel better. But here are some ways that could help you turn the switch back on and motivate yourself to sail through the day.

Read on!

How To Motivate Yourself On ‘Off’ Days?

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1. Take A Deep Breath

Did you know that breathing exercises help you remain calm and focused on your work?

Breathing exercises can help calm your mind and instills a sense of tranquility within you. Whenever you feel overwhelmed between a task, sit straight and take long deep breaths.

If possible, you can take a stroll, listen to a great song, spend time with your children or pets, and do things that relax you.

While your mind is relaxed, try to determine the reason for your discomfort and lack of will. Don’t get anxious about it either. Clear your mind and try to unburden yourself.

2. Set Small Achievable Goals And Tell It Your Friend

Writing your goals down in a physical notebook is a good habit to cultivate in your life. It helps you keep track of the progress you make in achieving them. Often, goal setting can be an overwhelming task for many.

Start writing down daily S.M.A.R.T Goals.

  • Small: Goals that are specific and only involves one task.
  • Measurable: A goal should be measurable that help you keep track.
  • Achievable: Keep it achievable and something that is not hard to accomplish.
  • Realistic: A goal should be realistic, propelling you to act on it and not run away from attaining it.
  • Timely: Give yourself a deadline to achieve your goals at a specific time.

Also, tell a friend about your goals because when you keep your targets to yourself, there is a scope of getting overwhelmed with it.

Simultaneously, if a friend or co-worker is made aware of what you plan to achieve, they will help you stay on track and not have a low day.

How To Set SMART Goals?

  • If you want to wake up early, try to hit the bed 15 minutes sooner than you do and set your alarm clock 10-15 minutes in advance than you usually wake up.
  • In case your goal is to eat healthily, try the elimination strategy first. Eliminate eating all the unhealthy food first and then start including one healthy food item at a time.
  • Break down your goals into smaller tasks and accomplish them step by step.

3. Cultivate A Do-It-Now Attitude

Now that you have the perfect strategy to set SMART goals, it’s time to take actionable steps in achieving them.

We understand that taking that first action is the toughest job. That is why we have come up with another strategy. You can use the TIME Block strategy to complete a task.

What is the TIME Block strategy?

For example, if you need to prepare your meals for the day, block a time for 1-2 hours and give all your undivided focus to cooking meals during that blocked time.

By doing this, you save yourself from the wrath of procrastination, and you get the job done before you even realize it.

4. Celebrate Small Wins

The power of small wins is impeccable as they later compound into achieving your big wins. So don’t just sit and wait to celebrate your big goals.

Whenever you accomplish a goal, give yourself a small reward. Celebrating small wins doesn’t only make you feel great, but it also propels you to strive for success and overcome challenges.

For instance, if you’re a student and have an exam, you can reward yourself for watching one episode on Netflix every time after revising a lesson chapter from your book.

Doing this will always keep you motivated and be productive in finishing your work.

5. Start Moving

Sedentary lifestyles have halted our body from moving, and when there’s less body movement, you’re putting more stress on yourself.  Therefore, stop procrastination and move yourself off from the couch or bed and up on your feet. The most prominent hurdle is to start.

As per Harvard Health, your mind and body are intimately connected, and the way you move can affect your thoughts and feelings.

The human body is built to move and hunt. When you indulge in active body movements, your brain produces endorphins responsible for inducing positive feelings. And when you feel positive, you feel more motivated to complete your tasks.

Just start rolling.

When you are having a bad day and push yourself to finish off pending work, you can get over your anxiety and do your task with proper dedication.

6. Dress Up

Dressing up well is one of the best ways to motivate yourself every day because dressing up well can really make you feel good about yourself. If you keep wearing sloppy clothes and PJ’s, chances are you do not want to get out of this mood.

The psychology of dressing well is real because our attire sets the right attitude. Always go for a dress that makes you feel comfortable and confident inside out.

When you feel low, your looks might give you the push you need. Whenever you have low self-esteem, it is a great idea to wear a good outfit, put on a little makeup, and wear your favorite perfume.

You’ll be ready to take on the day within no time!

7. Be Disciplined With Yourself

Most of us lack discipline in our daily life. We are constantly exposed to social media, which further becomes an obstacle for us while completing a task. If you find it hard to motivate yourself every day, you need to introduce more discipline to your work.

You can be self-disciplined by:

  • setting more stringent deadlines for yourself,
  • crossing things off when you accomplish them.

It motivates you to do better and improves your mood through these small achievements.

Bringing some self-discipline will make your life easier in several ways and help you get out of the funk.

8. Take A Break

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We millennials are so busy with our work life that we often forget to do things that actually relieves us from stress. Self-care is an essential element to keep you sane in tough times.

Taking out 30-45 minutes every day to give ways to activities that motivate you is necessary to deal with stress and anxiety as they bring your focus to the present moment.

Pick a book, go out, meditate, choose to do something that you enjoy as these instantly lift your mood. You can even eat a chocolate bar as they stimulate the endorphins chemicals in the brain that promote pleasure feelings.

Do something exciting and be in the moment. You would get back on track in no time.

9. Find Your Motivation Playlist

Did you know that music can set the mood for work? Finding a playlist that propels you to get started with the work is a great boost of motivation when you don’t feel productive. Listening to a certain type of music can help you calm down and focus well on the task.

You can always put on a playlist on Spotify or YouTube whenever you’re sitting down for work.

  • Find a peaceful place to start your work.
  • Play background music with a sound volume not more than medium range.
  • Make sure your workspace is free of clutter.

10. Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are amazing to wire your brain in such a way that you overcome anything that’s holding you back from getting things done. It is similar to self-talk as how you talk to yourself dictates how your life will be.

There are many affirmations available online on YouTube that you can listen to while working.

11. Intentional Procrastination

Most of the time, we find it difficult to get out of the slump and resume our work, which leads to procrastination. There are negative connotations that are attached to the word “Procrastination.” But if you learn how to use procrastination intentionally, it will actually benefit you in getting things done.

For example, if you have homework to finish but don’t feel like doing it, you can set an intention that after 20 minutes, you’ll be doing it, and in that free time, you can indulge in any activities of your choice.

One of the advantages of this tip is that you’re setting an intention behind procrastination, which only helps you feel motivated to do your work and be productive.

12. Reflect Your Day

And lastly, never forget to reflect on your day as it helps you keep track of what worked and what didn’t work out. It an important thing to do and hardly requires 10-15 minutes of your time.

You can do it by journaling about how your day went by.

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself for self-reflection.

  • What did I do all day today?
  • How could I have made my day better?
  • What is the one thing I learned today that I would implement tomorrow?
  • What are the things I’m grateful for today?

Concluding thoughts,

The truth is you can’t be 100% motivated all the time.

While it’s normal to have cloudy days, it’s also necessary that you don’t sit and sulk all day. Take baby steps and set small achievable goals. It is okay to feel off, but don’t let it consume you. Stop procrastinating and work your way towards a great day. Sleep on it if you need to give yourself much needed rest.

But remember to bounce back and rock your day!

Key Takeaways On How To Keep Yourself Motivated And Be Productive At Work

  • Feeling a lack of motivation between tasks is a common issue these days, and you don’t have to fret about it.
  • According to a survey study, 21% of employees feel stressed out and do not meet deadlines.
  • It can happen due to a lack of sleep, excess workload, and stress.
  • You need to give yourself a break on days when you feel overwhelmed with all the pending tasks.
  • Take a deep breath as it relaxes your mind and relieves you from all the stressors.
  • For instance, take a stroll, spend time with your children or pets, and do things that calm you down.
  • Inform your goals to a friend to help you plan well in achieving them and keep you on track.
  • Move your body as the human mind and body are intimately connected, and the way you move your body can affect your thoughts and feelings.
  • Dress up well because your attire sets the right attitude for the day.
  • Introduce discipline in your life to tick off your small goals as it improves your mood and pulls you out from the funk.
  • One of the best ways to motivate yourself every day is to practice kindness towards your own self. Do not compare your achievement with others, as it’s absolutely fine to do things at your own pace.
  • Catch up with your loved ones and share your days with them as they are the ones who’ll always keep your sanity in check.
  • Lastly, take time out of your days to do activities that you love engaging in, like reading, singing, dancing, cooking, meditation, etc.

How do I stay motivated all the time?

Staying motivated every day can seem daunting and impossible. For sure, we will face days when things don’t go to our plan. But what you can do to help you sail through the storm is:

  • Indulge in self-care activities.
  • Talk to your loved ones.
  • Engage in physical activities.
  • Practice kindness towards yourself.

How can I motivate myself everyday while working from home?

Keeping yourself motivated while working from home is a challenging task as many of us have to look after our family. But you can always make things easier for you by:

  • Planning your day well.
  • Prioritizing the most important tasks.
  • Scheduling time separately for each task.
  • Implement the Pomodoro technique for greater productivity.

What are your thoughts on staying motivated on off days? What’s your way of getting out of a bad day? Drop your comments below. We love to hear from you. Have a nice day!

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Preeti is a stay at home mother of two boys, who keep her on toes. Writing and paper quilling are her passion. She loves to express herself through these mediums - use of words and paper filigree. Listening to music, watching favorite shows, and reading books are her hobbies that take her to a different plane.