This post is all about how to become more productive and motivated when you feel like doing Nothing!
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Ever had one of those days, or Weeks where you just don’t feel like doing anything? Like you know you’ve got things to do but you can’t find any motivation to actually start working.
And no amount of ted talks and planning seems to help?
I know the feeling. I was in a similar funk just 2 weeks ago. And no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get myself in the groove to start doing things, and wondered how to become more productive and motivated.
Luckily, I found a way that actually got me out of that phase (given it took over a week or so haha), but I went from wanting to do nothing for weeks to finishing everything on my to-do in just 4 days. *gasp*
Here’s the exact process broken down in 6 simple steps that saved me from becoming a crazy maniac. And I’m sure, will work for you too!
Oh, and I’m also spilling 12 genius productivity tips on how to be productive everyday that every productivity maven needs to know, at the end of the post. 😉
This post is all about how to become more productive and motivated when you’re in a funk.
How To Become More Productive And Motivated?(6 easy steps)
Here’s a step by step process that’s guaranteed to get you from pathetic to productive, even if you don’t feel like it!
1. I’m going to be blunt & say it, stop relying on motivation
Basically, stop waiting for the perfect moment when you’d finally feel motivated to start doing things. It’s not going to come and waiting for it is just a waste of time.
I know what you’re looking for! I’ve tried watching YouTube videos from my favorite influencers to get inspired. And it works sometimes, for a few hours but then we’re back to sqaure one.
Actually, the funny thing about how to become more productive and motivated is that it comes afterwards, when you start seeing the results. (That’s why #6 is really helpful) But we keep on searching it before even getting started.
So, just get started without wasting time on finding the motivation. Instead, rely on a different feeling, say discipline.
2. Just start for 15 minutes
Convince yourself to just get started for 15 minutes. A lot of times, we get so overwhelmed looking at our big fat to-do list, and end up doing nothing at all.
So, tell yourself that you don’t need to worry about the entire list, you’re just working on one task for the next 15 minutes and after that you’ll decide if you want to continue or not.
Put your phone aside, block all distractions and really start working.
Getting started is the hardest part. So, this 15-min hack helps you cross the initial resistance and after 15 minutes, you’re already in the zone to get things done, and don’t want to break the momentum.
This tip has always helped me specially when I’m feeling too lazy and overwhelmed.
3. What are you exactly thinking
I say this all the time, inside Take Your Weekends Back, that our thoughts hold us back big time! So, sit down and really focus on what you’re thinking right now that’s making you procrastinate?
Here are the most common ones :
‘I don’t wanna work right now.’
‘I’ll start in a few hours/ tomorrow/ when I feel motivated’
‘I’m tired right now’
‘I don’t know how to do this’
‘It’s a lot of work, I don’t have enough time’.
Really pinpoint on the exact thought you’re thinking and then how does that thought make you feel? Is it – ‘Overwhelmed’, ‘Stressed’, ‘anxious’ or ‘lazy’.
A lot of the times, we think that these thoughts are helpful, like the thought ‘I’m so tired’. Ask yourself, are you really tired? Would you still be tired if Oprah called you right now to get on a plane, pull an all-nighter, and meet her tomorrow?
Probably not. So, if you can show up for her, you can show up for yourself.
Start questioning the thoughts that you believe are true. And a lot of times, you’ll find that these thoughts don’t even make sense.
4. Now pick a better thought
Now, that you know what’s holding you back, pick a better thought.
A thought that’ll help you get started, at least. Pick up a notepad (or this funny one) and start writing what thoughts you can pick.
Last week, I was feeling overwhelmed with work, but instead of getting stressed and being all dramatic, I picked the thought ‘I’m just gonna do one thing at a time and finish as much as I can’.
To my surprise, I ended up finishing the entire to-do list before Friday and had the whole weekend to chill.
You just need a thought to get you started, the rest will follow. Trust me this tip will help you on on how to become more productive and motivated.
5. have a plan on paper
You may think that you have it all figured out in your head, but that’s not really how it works. What I’ve found is that writing things down on paper really simplifies them.
We’re visual people so it’s easy for our brain to understand what needs to be done when you put it on paper.
Maybe you’re not someone who time blocks her entire week, fine. Just brain dump your weekly tasks and every night, figure out what you want to finish tomorrow.
At least have a plan. Don’t just roam around aimlessly, trying to finish tasks as they come. This will help you with how to be productive everyday.
6. ta-da list everyday
Basically, every night create a list of things you got done today. This is the best hack on how to be productive everyday.
We often think that criticizing and comparing ourselves would motivate us to do better but it’s actually the opposite.
THIS is what will motivate you and give you the answer to how to be more productive and motivated. Looking at all the things you accomplished even on days when you were not a 100% productive.
And of course, also focus on how you can do better tomorrow?
12 tips on how to be productive everyday
Here are 12 daily productivity tips that go beyond the basic put your phones away advice, haha.
1. don’t make to-do lists in the morning
It’s kind of an unconventional productivity tip since everybody raves about to-do lists, but here’s what works for me.
Always plan your day the night before. This way you wake up knowing exactly what your day is gonna look like.
For eg, If you have a meeting at 9, you know you gotta wake up at 7 and get ready. Whereas if you don’t have anything going on till 12, you can take your mornings slow.
Also, I’ve found that planning my days in the morning, results in me scheduling the important tasks for later. My fellow procrastinators will relate!
2. productivity hack list
Basically make a list of things that make you feel productive. Be more aware of your patterns and notice,
What time of the day are you the most productive?
Is there something you do or someone who inspires you to get more done?
If some of your habits are working for you, why not replicate it?
Do a weekly review every Sunday and answer these questions based on how your week went and it’ll help you find exactly what works for you. This genius tip will help you on how to be productive everyday.
3. Create a focus corner
Sitting on the couch in your pjs to get work done doesn’t sound the most productive, does it?
The thing is that our brain recognizes patterns. You can’t expect to do productive work on the same couch you sleep on at night.
It’s better to set up a focus corner – yk, a distraction-free zone where you set aside your phone, put on some focus music, and your brain knows it’s time to get sh*t done.
It could be your office desk, a café where you work, or an online co-working space; whatever works for you. This will solve your problem of how to become more productive and motivated.
4. focus on task at hand
This is something that really helped me get over my overwhelm recently. If you have a long to-do list and your brain is constantly telling you that there’s no way you can finish it, try this.
Convinced yourself to forget about the big fat to-do list. And just focus on one task at a time and see how much you can get done.
Trust me, sometimes the only way to climb a mountain is by taking one step at a time! This is the answer you need for how to be more productive and motivated.
5. set clear goals
People keep worrying about not being productive when the real reason why they’re not feeling motivated to work is because they’re working on things that don’t mean anything to them.
And who wants to do that kind of busy work?
So, get very clear on what is it that you actually want and then, take a hard look on your actions, if they’re helping you get any closer to your goals?
When you set clear goals that mean something to you, you automatically feel inspired to work on them. Your vision drives you!
Of course, you’ll still have off days, but the clearer you are the easier it is for your brain to generate new ideas and create a plan to achieve them.
If you’ve no idea where to begin, try these goal setting sheets from the 2023 Ultimate Planner.
6. guilt free rest time
Another unconventional daily productivity tip!
But I truly believe that the better you rest, the better you work.
Having rest days where you’re constantly thinking about work or feeling guilty about taking break is doing you no good. It’s the most important tip on how to be more productive and motivated.
Prioritize your rest time and be f**king unapologetic about it. If you can’t show up a 100% on your rest days, there’s no way that you’re showing up a 100% on your work days.
7. organize your shit
Idk about you but planning and organization get me in the mood!
So, if that sound like you, try this.
After giving yourself some space (much needed!), start planning your goals, and organizing your weeks.
Maybe do it in a fun way – like creating a vision board or playing with Notion. You’d immediately start feeling motivated and it also adds a sense of structure to my days.
8. use an actual timer
This small change might be the exact productivity tip you need!
Swap you mobile phones with an actual timer.
A lot of times we pick up our phones while working to check ‘What time is it?’ or to set alarms for deadlines and stuff.
And that’s fine. But the minute you pick up your phones, your fingers immediately tap on the Instagram icon and . . . before you know it, half an hour is passed.
This alarm clock will solve that problem for you and help you with how to be productive everyday.
9. use a notebook for your extra to-dos.
Write everything down! Don’t rely on memory for stuff. Carry a small notebook with you so at all times, so that you write down everything that comes to your mind.
Whether it’s a task you keep forgetting about, or important reminders you need, or if you get an idea.
I know you can use your phone for that too, but for me, there’s so much in my notes app that I never go back to check on it.
This notebook would be really helpful especially when you’re working. Because your brain starts reminding you a 100 different things that need to get done, every time you sit down to work.
Now, instead of getting up to get them done, you can simply write those tasks in your notebook and deal with it later.
Related Post : How To Be More Productive If You Get Distracted Too Easily
10. have deadlines
Ever wondered why the week before the vacay is the most productive one? Because you have a strict deadline.
Try to set more such deadlines in your daily life as well. Because honestly, things take as long as you let them.
Have a work cut off time, eg : After 6 pm you can’t do any office work, come what may. Also, make plans for the weekends so you don’t leave your work for the weekends.
This would not only increase your productivity but also give you space to live a life outside work.
11. batch similar task
It’s so hard to jump from admin tasks, to creativity, to writing all in a span of a single day.
It doesn’t work for me and I’m sure it doesn’t work for you either. Here’s how to be more productive and motivated – it’s better to batch all your similar tasks in a single go.
Instead of checking emails every hour, just check them twice a day and get them done with. Similarly, if you have lots of admin tasks, just assign a chunk of time to finish them.
12. rely on discipline, more than motivation
This might be a hard pill to swallow but your discipline will take you place motivation can’t.
Be committed to YOUR goals – If something needs to get done, get it done, instead of procrastinating it or making excuses.
Think about it like this – if your boss called you up right now to get something done, you’d do it right? So why not show up for yourself the same way?
You might have a bad day today and things might not be going as planned. It’s okay, you always have a choice to get back at it the next day. This is your ultimate answer to how to be productive everyday.
This post is all about how to become more productive and motivated when you feel like doing Nothing!