How To Be Productive When You’re Not Motivated

Motivation is something that constantly needs refreshed and inspired. But some days even when you try, it can feel impossible to be motivated. Though, you probably still have tasks and work that you have to get done that day. Regardless of a lack of motivation. So what do you do? I have compiled 7 helpful tips for what you can do when you just can’t get up the motivation but you still need to be productive and get your work done! Keep reading for how to be productive when you’re not motivated.

I am completely aware that some days that productivity just isn’t there.

But these are the tips and steps that I follow when those days really hit me. So that no matted my motivation level every single day can be a productive day.

If you find yourself in need of productivity tips for days when you are lacking motivation then keep reading these helpful tips on how to be productive when you’re not motivated.

How To Be Productive When You're Not Motivated

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How To Be Productive When You’re Not Motivated

Productivity tips for days when you feel lazy!

1) Create a to-do list

The first and arguably most important step for being productive when you really are not feeling motivated is to write a to-do list with what you have to accomplish today.

This will help allow you to be able to create a plan for your day. And either formally or informally plan out the hours in your day. You can look at the items and think about how long each task is going to take and work out a logical plan based on those estimates.

Another great bonus to using to do lists is being able to cross things off makes you feel more productive and accomplished. If you are starting this list mid-day it is totally fine to add items that you did earlier and then cross them off! It will remind you of what you have accomplished and lower your stress levels regarding what else is left in your day.

For more on to do lists then check out How To Write Weekly To-Do Lists + Free Template and How to Make an “Every Day Goals” List.

How To Be Productive When You're Not Motivated

2) Focus on prioritizing

Prioritizing is a huge part of having a productive day and it is especially important when you are not feeling overly motivated.

The first part of this is that when you prioritize your day you assure that you accomplish the most important tasks. So that if you really can’t motivate yourself to finish everything, then at least the most important tasks of your day have been completed.

The second part of this is it will make you feel more accomplished to compete important tasks that are weighing on you. And even that little bit of motivation that comes with feeling like you accomplished something can help push you to finish everything else you have to do.

Not sure how to prioritize? Here is a couple guides for improving your prioritizing skills:

Learn to Prioritize: Say No

Learn To Prioritize: Delegation

How To Be Productive When You're Not Motivated

3) Hype yourself up

Hyping yourself is is super important for getting things done when you really don’t feel like doing anything.

Give yourself a little pep talk! Remind yourself that you can do this and that you are GOING to accomplish everything you want to. There is serious power in positive thinking.

Remind yourself how great you are and that you can do anything that you want to do.

It’s great if you can do this little pep talk out loud but if you are in a work environment where you can’t then either say it in your head or write it down.

Similar note- it can be really helpful on a day when you are feeling unmotivated to write down some motivating words on a sticky note and put it around your desk/computer/workspace.

How To Be Productive When You're Not Motivated

4) Don’t forget to take breaks

Taking breaks is important any time you are being productive (read more about it here) but it is an extra level of important on a day where you really are not feeling motivated at all.

Taking breaks helps to let your brain unwind and detach from your work for a little bit which allows it to re-set itself. Sometimes your lack of motivation happens as a result of feeling over-worked or burned out. Which is why taking breaks throughout your day is so important.

Try to incorporate scheduled breaks into your day so you can let your brain re-set and help you return to a more productive mindset.


5) Reward yourself for accomplishing certain tasks

Everyone likes to be rewarded for their hard work, adults included!

So assign some rewards to certain tasks. Make sure that you pair them correctly. Larger tasks should get larger rewards.

Overall these rewards are small though! It is not a sustainable pattern to reward yourself with say new shoes every time you finish a project. It’s better to do things like “spend 10 mins on Instagram after finishing all emails for the day” or “grab a Starbucks drink after running all your errands”.

Rewards help to act as a bandage over your diminished motivation!


6) Turn off your phone

Your phone is a huge distraction! And unfortunately when you are feeling unmotivated but still need to be productive then you really can’t have any tempting distractions.

If you do need to have your phone on so you can get calls/texts then try your hardest to minimize the amount of time that you are actually on it.

An important element of this is to limit your social media time. It is so easy to intend to just glance at Facebook or Instagram. And then end up accidentally spending 30+ minutes on them. Those kind of distractions are much easier to fall into when you are feeling motivated.

Your brain does not want to be productive so you have to really fight the temptations, especially the temptation to spend unnecessary time on your phone.


7) Remember your dreams

The final thing you can do to help turn your day around when you are feeling unmotivated is to take 10 minutes to really think about your dreams.

Remembering your dreams and goals is one of the best ways to get yourself going and motivated.

You are doing things for a reason! And even if the dream or goal is small it is still important.

If you have the time it can be very helpful to write down 10 of your main dreams or goals that you are working towards right now. I have this list as a note on my iPhone. And it’s great to glance at it when I am feeling unmotivated to help re-motivate me.


Finally, remember that this bit of un-motivation is just a bad day. And a bad day does not need to define your week or month and tomorrow is a fresh start!


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