Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
How To Get Through Your Day When You Have No Motivation
Published Feb 25th, 2021 & updated on Jan 19th, 2022
Finding the interest to tackle your to-do list and accomplish all of your goals can be really challenging. Maybe you’re having a hard time focusing on your work, so you start scrolling through social media instead of meeting that important deadline. Or you might be struggling with boredom while studying for an exam — to the point where you’re considering just calling it a day to binge some Netflix instead. But deep down, you’ve got that nagging feeling inside that won’t let up. You know you HAVE to get your stuff done, or else there are gonna be some serious consequences. The problem is? You’re not sure how! You have absolutely no motivation.
We’ve all been there. It might feel impossible to get through the day when you have zero motivation, but you can get through it! Here are some ways you can accomplish what you need to, even when you don’t feel like it (at all).
1. Find The Reason Why You Have No Motivation
You might write off your lack of motivation for one simple reason: I just don’t feel like it. But your lack of motivation is probably deeper than that, so let’s dig some more. WHY don’t you feel like it? Are you a perfectionist who’s afraid you won’t meet your own high expectations? Have you convinced yourself you don’t know what you’re doing, so instead you’re choosing to not try?
Maybe there’s some discomfort there because it’s a mundane task, so you feel bored or frustrated and just wanna avoid it altogether. Whatever it might be, unpacking the real reason you feel no motivation to do anything can give you the clarity you need to overcome it!
2. Don’t Wait For Motivation To Come
Waiting to feel motivated to do something sounds like a good idea in the moment, but it’s really just setting yourself up to fail. When it comes to getting shit done, we don’t just magically WANT to do it. Instead of procrastinating and waiting for that fire to be lit under our asses, we’ve gotta do it ourselves. So don’t wait until you feel like doing it ‘cause chances are, that won’t happen. Reframe the task you NEED to do as something you actually WANT to do. It might take some convincing, but it can really help. Be your own firestarter!
3. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Sometimes, tricking our brains is the best way to get shit done! Ask yourself: If I was motivated, what would I be doing right now? Chances are, you wouldn’t be lounging around in your pajamas as you scroll endlessly through TikTok. Instead, visualize what a productive day looks like for you. Maybe it’s starting the day earlier, having an organized workspace, or eliminating your most tempting distraction (again, lookin’ at you TikTok!). If you pretend, maybe you’ll convince yourself the motivation was there all along! Funny how the brain works, huh?
4. Be Kind To Yourself
When that drive is lacking, chances are you’re probably being hard on yourself. Remind yourself that, sometimes, it’s totally normal to have no motivation to work! In a perfect world, we’d all feel super motivated 24/7 and productivity would skyrocket. But that’s just not reality! We’re all just doing our best to get through the day, so show yourself some kindness. Try repeating these compassionate phrases out loud: Even though I feel unmotivated right now, I can get through today. I can push through and do what needs done. I am strong and capable!
5. Incorporate Some Fun
Incorporating a lil’ bit of fun into even the most boring tasks is a great way to build some intrinsic motivation. Play some upbeat music while you work. Move your work setup outside if the sun is shining. Have a quick brainstorming sesh with other people. There are so many different ways you can make your goals more enjoyable and these simple solutions can make a huuuge difference! You’ve just gotta get that mood shifted, and that spark will get going in no time.
6. Make Sure To Take Enough Breaks
Another reason you might have no motivation? Your. Brain. Needs. A. Break! And no, we don’t mean the kinda break that involves watching “just one more episode” and then suddenly hours have passed and holy shit you’ve accomplished nothing you said you would (no judgement, it happens to the best of us!). Set up designated breaks throughout your day so that your mind can rest and come back to work feeling refreshed and energized. Just make sure to set those limits and stick to ‘em!
7. Think Of How It’ll Feel Once You’re Done
That feeling when you’ve accomplished everything you were supposed to at the end of the day — what an ahhhhh-mazing feeling! Try to visualize how it’s gonna feel after you crush your goals. You won’t be stressed or anxious about what you didn’t get done. Instead, you’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment! Then, you’ll feel no guilt about relaxing and taking some time for yourself ‘cause, after all, look at what you’ve achieved! Props to you and all of your hard work.
8. Reward Yourself
Lastly, you deserve to reward yourself with some self-care for getting through the day like a total boss. Even though you didn’t feel motivated, you still managed to pull through and get shit done! That’s pretty incredible, if you ask us. It’s so important to practice self-care and make it part of your regular routine. Feeling unmotivated can be related to feelings of stress and anxiety, so make sure to nurture your mental wellbeing. Self-care isn’t just candles and bubble baths — it’s a way of life, baby!
We hope we’ve inspired you to cross off the many things on your to-do list. It’s not always easy, but the results are so rewarding. You’ve got this!