We’ve all had unproductive days. No matter how much work you need to get done, you just don’t feel like doing anything at all. Just thinking about your to-do list becomes overwhelming, not to speak of actually ticking items off of it. So, even though you know you should get yourself together, you end up doing nothing instead.
It’s next to impossible to work with the same level of productivity all day, every day. But there are some days when getting anything done feels like an Olympic challenge. If that’s the case for you today, then here’s what you can do to find the motivation to work and improve your productivity.
Let’s start off with the basics. I’ve done a whole article on how to beat procrastination, so I won’t get into many details about it here. Instead, I’ll challenge you to take a different approach: learn how to get motivated to get anything in life done, not just work.
1. Where Is Your Resistance Coming From?
Whenever you have a strong resistance to doing something, there’s probably something else that’s causing it—and that you’re avoiding to pay attention to, consciously or not.
For example, if you don’t feel like creating a plan for your next project, ask yourself some introspective questions like: ‘What about this project is causing me to avoid it?’, ‘Is it something about this particular project, or can I spot a behavioral pattern regarding my work?’, etc.
You can zoom out even further and investigate if there’s a pattern that you can find from previous jobs. If you’ve always had a problem with motivating yourself to get work done, then maybe there’s a bigger issue that you need to resolve.
On the other hand, if it turns out that you have no motivation at your current workplace, dig deeper with questions like: ‘How do I feel about this place?’, ‘Do I feel fulfilled with my job?’, ‘Do I feel challenged enough with my work?’, ‘Is there a problem with my colleagues or my boss that I need to address?’, etc.
If you need some help in finding what you’re actually running from, book a free session with me and let’s see how we can bring more clarity into your life.
2. Negotiate with Yourself
Once you find where your inner resistance is really coming from, it’s time to look objectively at the situation. If you have a problem with a certain type of tasks and you want to get motivated to do them, think of a reward that you’re going to get once you do it.
For one person it could be going out for a drink with friends after work. For others, it could be indulging yourself with a small gift.
Think of that part of your brain as a little child that you need to bargain with. Click To Tweet
You won’t bargain with a child by introducing them to horrible, boring things all the time, right? If you want to negotiate with a little kid, you need to offer them something in return. Offer yourself some delayed gratification and start doing the work.
3. Change Your Attitude
If you label yourself as being lazy, it’s very likely you’ll look for opportunities to be lazy and prove yourself right. If you believe that your job is boring, then you’ll most probably avoid work like the plague.
How can you change your attitude and get motivated? By bringing awareness to your negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs. Become mindful of your self-talk, the stories that you tell yourself on a daily basis, and identify the stories that you need to change.
Watch out for sentences like, ‘I don’t want to do this, it’s so boring’, or ‘How did I end up doing this?’, or ‘Will I even be able to do this task?’.
Replace them with sentences like, ‘I have the opportunity to do some great work here’, ‘I want to contribute to this project with my input’, or ‘What I do matters’, etc.
4. Break Large Tasks into Smaller Pieces
One of the reasons you may not feel motivated to work is because you’re overwhelmed with the task you have in hand. What you can do, in this case, is to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. By doing that, you’ll not only manage any possible anxiety you may have but also have a more structured approach towards your project as a whole.
Here’s how to break a large task into smaller pieces:
Take a pen and some paper, and write down your task in the middle of the sheet. Then, write down the first step that you need to take to get it started. Then, the second, after that – the third one, etc.
It’s not that hard now, is it?
And, finally, put some music on (if you like listening to music while working) or think of something exciting that you’re going to do on the weekend. Why?
Because you’ll change your brain chemistry, providing yourself with the much-needed boost of energy and happiness, and become less caught up in your mind chatter and more motivated instantly.
Now, let’s get back to work. Both of us 🙂