How To Deal With Feeling Unmotivated

11/05/2018 Discussions, Lifestyle, Personal 10

How To Deal With Feeling UnmotivatedWe all have those days we had big plans for – we were going to write a blog post and a chapter of our novel, and clean the car – that we ended up spending in our pyjamas, binge-watching shows on Netflix. I mean, sometimes we have whole months like that because motivation can be a fickle thing. Sometimes you’re feeling it, and sometimes you’re just not.

So what do you do when you feel unmotivated but have tonnes of stuff you need, or really want to do? Well, here’s a few tips for dealing with lack of motivation (something I’ve been experiencing quite a bit recently!):

  • Try and figure out where your lack of motivation is coming from.

Sometimes we’re just having an off day or week, and just need a bit of downtime, but other times a lack of motivation can have a deeper reason. Perhaps your lack of enthusiasm about carrying out certain tasks stems from a fear of failure or lack of confidence in your own abilities?

Understanding the underlying problem can help you work through it, and get your motivation back!

  • Break things up into smaller tasks.

Sometimes our lack of motivation comes down to feeling overwhelmed by what we have to do, and so we avoid it. Therefore it can help to break up bigger tasks into smaller ones so that it feels less scary.

For example, if you’re writing a novel, don’t put it down on your to-do list as ‘write novel’, put it down as, ‘write 500 words of Chapter 4’. That breaks it down into a smaller, more manageable chunk, and you can think of your project for that day as 500 words, as opposed to chipping away at a 90,000 word book.

  • Set a timer.

When you really, really don’t want to start work on a task, the easiest thing to do is set yourself a deadline so that you know exactly when you’ll be finished, and free to do whatever you want. For example, often with my writing, when I’m reluctant to start work on what I know is going to be a difficult scene, I just set a timer for 20 minutes, and write as much as I can, until the alarm goes off.

The great thing about this method is that number 1) you know you have a cut off point, which motivates you to get it done now, and number 2) often once you’ve done the initial time limit you’ve got into the flow and want to continue. Starting is the hardest part, so often once you’ve broken through that barrier, you feel more motivated to continue.

  • Use a rewards system.

So you really like chocolate cake? Or binge-watching TV shows? Well, use it as a reward!

Often the reason we find ourselves procrastinating when we have a task to complete is because we get distracted by things like Netflix (‘just one more episode and then I’ll do my writing!’) or social media, so it’s actually best to do that after you’ve completed your tasks, and use it as a reward instead of a procrastination tool.

So if you’re a Twitter addict, for example, tell yourself you’re allowed twenty minutes of scrolling, but only after you’ve written your next blog post, or completed your daily word count.

  • Go for a walk.

Doing something other than the task you’re unmotivated to do may seem counterproductive, but sometimes I think the best thing you can do is step away from it, and get out of the house for a while. Sometimes I think those sluggish, lazy feelings can be due to having not got out much, and not having enough stimulus, so a nice walk out and about in your neighbourhood can really help.

I also find that when I’m out walking my dog, I do a lot of thinking, and often find myself coming up with loads of new ideas, or finding the answer to a problem I’ve been struggling with for a while. Therefore when I get home, I’m usually excited to get to work!

So how do you deal with feeling unmotivated? Do you have any tips and tricks?

10 Responses to “How To Deal With Feeling Unmotivated”

  1. Vee @ Under The Mountain

    I wish any of this worked for me! I have days when I can actually do stuff but the rest of the time I just feel exhausted. I have family coming over and I was supposed to clean up a week ago and I’ve basically just left it. So now I’m still exhasuted and have an entire house to tidy up in a day. I just know I’m not going to get it done.

    Vee @ Under The Mountain

    • Laura

      Aww, I’m sorry you’re feeling so exhausted! Those kinds of days are the worst, and I think sometimes all you can really do is not force yourself to do stuff you really don’t feel like doing, and let it pass. I hope you feel better soon!

  2. jen

    Some great tips there! I’m feeling unmotivated lately, I think I’m just feeling lost with my writing and that it’s not good enough. I failed to get two stories ready for competition and my novel is all over the place. I think I need to just be kind to myself and make more goals soon.

    • Laura

      I totally agree with the being kind to yourself thing! We all go through phases like this sometimes and I think we just have to try and not beat ourselves up about it if we don’t get everything done that we wanted to do.
      And I think all writers tend to think their writing isn’t good enough (I know I do, all the time!), so I think we just have to remember sometimes that we’re our own harshest critic. I’m sure your writing is much better than you think!
      I really hope you start to feel better about it soon, and good luck with any competitions that you enter! 🙂

  3. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    I usually step away from the computer and social media and unplug. Sometimes it just gets too overwhelming, you know? I am also a mood blogger so I take things in stride and not try to pressure myself to do something, otherwise, I don’t do it!

    • Laura

      I totally get what you mean about social media being overwhelming, especially because we’re all so plugged into it all the time, what with notifications on our phone, and having constant access to it.
      And I think I need to adopt your approach to blogging, as I do sometimes feel like I’m pressuring myself to blog when I don’t always feel like it.
      These are some great tips! 🙂

  4. Ianthe

    I’m struggling to stay motivated to write and blog at the moment, and setting a timer always helps for me, too.

    • Laura

      I’m sorry you’ve been struggling for motivation recently as well! I hope you start to get your motivation back again soon!
      (And the timer thing really is so helpful, isn’t it?) 🙂

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    When I feel motivated I tend to talk a break from that which I’m not motivated to do. I figure a short break is always the best option. It usually works but it’s no guarantee. I do find myself indulging in the binge rather than pinpointing my lack of motivation, though.

    • Laura

      I think a break can be a good idea sometimes. As much as I try all these techniques to get things done even when I don’t feel like it, often the best thing is to just run with it, and give yourself a break.

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