Let’s be honest: we all have moments where we find ourselves in a rut. We feel burnt out. Uninspired. Unmotivated. Like even the smallest tasks are daunting, overwhelming, and unmanageable.
And as if this wasn’t common enough before, the pandemic–and all of the stressors, changes, and challenges it brought with it–has only served to supercharge it.
So, what can you do when you’re feeling unmotivated? How can you turn things around and reclaim your workday?
We’ve got a few ideas.
Start Your Day with “Why”
Real motivation is intrinsic, and that’s where you need to start looking for it. So, whether your day’s off to a rocky start or a good one, it’s important to remember why you’re working.
Don’t just think about the paycheck. Think about the intrinsic rewards you get from a good day’s work.
Maybe it’s growing your career, maybe it’s learning something new, maybe it’s the pride of building your own business.
Whatever it is, take some time to reflect on it each day. That “why” will help light a fire in you.
Shift Away from Seeing Things as Work
The mindset you keep when you approach your work is a make-or-break factor in your ability to get motivated.
If you tell yourself that a task is hard work, it’s drudgery, it’s something to be dreaded, you’re never going to feel inspired to do it.
But if you look at that task as another step up the ladder towards your “why,” then it becomes a lot easier to get excited about it.
Use a To-Do List
Your brain loves to-do lists, which makes them extremely motivating. Not only do they reduce the anxiety of a busy workday, but the actual act of checking items off your to-do list gives you a small sense of accomplishment and gets you excited to do it all over again with the next task.
Break Your Tasks Into Bite-Sized Goals
Looking at a massive task can be daunting and overwhelming which, in turn, makes it demotivating.
Try to see the forest for the trees. Break your big task down into achievable, bite-sized goals. Then, work on tackling them one at a time. Doing so will give you a ton of smaller victories on your way to completing your larger task.
And as we mentioned in the previous point, getting those small victories gives you a frequent sense of accomplishment throughout your workday.
Stop Giving Energy to Unnecessary and Unimportant Things
The reality is that people only have so much bandwidth. Our energy and focus are finite. That’s why it’s important to stop wasting that energy and focus on things that don’t really matter.
Take a look at your list of tasks. Try to eliminate (or at least push off) the things that don’t really matter.
One way to do this is using the 4D system which is based on the idea that your tasks can be categorized into four D’s: Do, Defer, Delete.
To do it, look at your to-do list at the beginning of the workday and assess:
- Which tasks can be done by you quickly right now (Do)
- Which tasks can be done quickly right now by someone else (Delegate)
- Which tasks don’t need to be handled right away and can be temporarily paused (Defer)
- Which tasks to drop altogether (Drop)
Looking at your tasks from this lens can help you allocate your energy and focus effectively.
Knowing that you only have important tasks to tackle will help make your motivation skyrocket.
This is simple in theory and more challenging in execution, but sometimes there’s nothing to it but to do it.
It can get so easy to put things off that the mere act of getting started seems like a task unto itself. But if you just sit down and get going, you’ll probably find that motivation you’re seeking and get it done faster than you imagined.
Immerse Yourself in a Professional Community
While the best motivation is intrinsic, getting inspired by others is also a great way to get your engine running.
Whether you’re a solo pro, an entrepreneur, or a remote employee, being on your own can be tough. But when you immerse yourself in a professional community like a coworking space, you’ll be surrounded by an abundance of people who are all working hard to achieve their own goals. And that’s a great way to get your engine revving.
Celebrate Your Wins
If you want to find motivation, celebrate your wins both big and small. Had a great call with a client? Take a minute to appreciate it. Won some new business? Buy yourself lunch or a treat. Got through a great workday and you’re feeling good about it? Pat yourself on the back.
When you celebrate your wins, you want to keep having things to celebrate. And this one sure-fire way to get your motivation going.
Know When to Call It a Day
On the other hand, sometimes you just need to know when to call it a day. There are times when you’re so demotivated or in such a bad headspace that your best bet is to simply disconnect yourself from it all, regroup, re-energize, and come back tomorrow with a fresh mind.
Everyone has bad days. But it all comes down to what you’re willing and able to do in order to turn that day around, get motivated, and make the most of it.
Interested in Joining an Incredible Professional Community?
If you want to learn more about why coworking spaces are such motivating environments, book a tour and check out Co-Balt.