8 ways to get things done even when you’re totally unmotivated

Right, today is not just one of those days you feel like doing anything. Getting things done can be such a big ask when faced with a to-do list. There are days when the mind has to wedge serious bruising battles just to get things done. Your resistance mount on when you are faced with activities, tasks or even things that seem boring or just tedious. Resistance can plague you. They are days you can’t even push yourself to get out of bed, to do your business accounts, to train in the gym or to even be at work.

They are those days some of us take Bruno Mars  “Today I don’t feel like doing anything” literally and just feel like doing nothing. I am mean nothing. The days when your motivation hovers around zero and nothing gets done. Any sort of affirmations will definitely fall short. All you are saying is you can’t get yourself to feel like doing these things. Here is the tough bit, who said you need to wait until you feel like doing something.

When you think about it, it’s nonsensical that one can only do something when they feel like. Some of the most successful people are where they are because they grew into routines.  Yes you can’t take away the place for passion, but it is not every day that you are driven by some form of motivation but rather working through the routine, clocking those hours and working towards getting the results.

Imagine the relief you get when you do the things you are supposed to when you are meant to. You feel less guilty, no shame and happier that you got those things done. How can you still save the day and get results? Of-course you can still get sh*t done and here is how:

Make stuff pleasurable to do

It’s a given that some things can be boring and doing them takes away everything from you.  There is a tendency to associate such things with pain and not pleasure. Its easier to associate demanding things with discomfort. Doing mundane work can shutter your interest, going through a training workout can just seem painful, studying whilst others are having fun can be unthinkable.

Why not think of ways to bring a bit of pleasure to it. If you are thinking of losing weight but don’t fancy dealing with weights or the sweaty smells in gyms, why not take advantage of that sport you love. The result is still the same, it doesn’t matter how you go about. Why not listen to the jams (songs) that gets you going? There is something about music, it motivates, inspires, gives us energy and even push us. It doesnt matter if you are having a rainy day, or feeling tired or bored, playing your favourite music sends you into a parallel universe where everything is great – you can be lost in it. In those moments you wouldn’t certainly mind getting on with what ever needs doing.

If music isn’t your thing, why not invite friends over. Some things are easily done when you do them with your friends. Think of an event you can bring your girl friends over for and help you get the task at hand done. Having a laugh with friends whilst revising for your degree, getting the paint job done or fixing your garden can bring a different experience.  Before you even know the work is done and the results are here.

Give yourself incentives

Just imagine on the day you don’t feel like it, someone all of a sudden dangles cash in front of you. Put money on the line and we all get our feet up, we start counting even the things we are gonna get. It’s funny how motivated you get when there’s money on the line. There is something in you that just says, geez forget about my feelings I am going to get this done right now. Money can indeed ‘bribe’ us to get things done.

In the same way, find incentives that can ‘bribe’ you to get things done. “I am going to train so hard and then treat myself to a cheat meal, I am going to get this work done and get myself a 15 minute break on social media”. Even the smallest things like an extended rest period can change your attitude towards getting things done. Its about luring your mind with something irresistible and getting it focused to getting the things done. In some cases for those in relationships or married, your partner can offer something that, that THING you cant resist in exchange of you completing your tasks- you know what you can’t do without. The carrot approach can be a damn good motivator.

Nurture your inspiration

Your levels of motivation takes a swing, shooting up and down without the needed warning. It is just how the world is, mind you we experience different things sometimes a multitude in a day from painful experiences, disappointments, excitement, and the unexpected. Your levels of motivation are prone to the variations in your every day life experiences. To keep going you need to constantly and continuously nurture your motivation. One way of getting your motivation at peak is to think of the end result, getting that business going, getting the job done, getting the degree class and looking your best. Its about results. Focus on results not the pain, disappointments or the difficulties.

Manage your time on social media

For some social media is about business and making money but for many others social media is a distraction that has morphed into an addiction. A necessary ‘evil’ that keeps our minds and fingers hovering from one social platform to the next. There is no doubt social media has taken over our lives. It is what it is, some wake up to social media and wrap up their day on it. Well you cant blame anyone, the platforms carries everything you want to know from catching up with friends, gossip, news, even checking out trending movies or products.

So I cant even ask, given a choice, getting things done or social media, what gets done. Seriously no need to ask. So everything gets parked, today, tomorrow until you feel like there is no more choice. So if social media is the evil, why not cut it off. Don’t frown I don’t mean completely. As you shove your mind around, it too loses the flow of what you want to accomplish. Choose times when you can turn off those notifications, turn off even the messages from Facebook, Watsapp your DMs on Instagram. This frees you up and get your mind set on things that need doing. The best solution I’ve found is to turn off ALL notifications from social media apps and only check at certain times of the day. As fun as social media is, it doesn’t bring the same satisfaction as getting things done!

Refresh yourself on why you are doing it

Someone remind me why I should write this business report, why does this need doing, why do I have to train always, why do I have to write the book or study? It is important to face the questions and ask why you are doing these things. Your questions will help you to focus and keep in mind that it is about the RESULTS. The reminder can help you understand the importance and purpose of getting stuff done. “I am putting the extra hours on the business proposal so I can increase my chance of getting a business loan, I am forever drenching in sweat so I can get a position in the team, I am forever in the library to ace the exam that will get me the degree and career I want”

The daily and constant reminders nurtures and drives you to get the boring stuff done because by the end of the day it is about the result. By looking at the bigger picture everything else becomes less cumbersome.

 Get yourself an Accountability partner

No matter how bored or tired you are, there is nothing as difficult as escaping accountability. There is something about accountability that can even make you move mountains. How would you feel when you look bad around people you regard as friends and family. You would hate to look bad, to be seen as lazy and with no motivation or desire to do any better.

So you would agree there is something about accountability that makes you do stuff. Find someone, a friend, partner or family member who takes no NONSENSE, the one who can push you through and make you accountable for the time you spend. Start by sharing your plans, goals and things you want done.  Having such friends or partners around can provide you with the much-needed accountability and increased the chances of you getting most stuff done. By doing things to avoid being shamed, you become accountable to you what needs doing.

Change your physical environment

A change in location or scenario plays a huge part in shaping your habits and behaviors. Your physical location can either drive or stall your desire to get things done. What the mind does subconsciously is exceptional. Without paying much thought to it, you assign behaviors to certain places even in your home.  Certain places can boost your motivation and drive your desire to get things done. Instead of looking at the tasks as mundane by varying your scenario its as if the task gets more do-able, easier, enjoyable and worth doing. There is a place that you connect with – some writers gets inspired when they sit in cafes or coffee shops, some entrepreneurs find it easier when they mix with other business people in hubs, or you could be a nature enthusiast who finds peace and tranquility motivating.

You will be surprised how changing your location can help you to get stuff done. You get into a state of flow. Without doubt where you are affects how you get things done. Certain places just gets you into the zone, the moment you step in the mind shifts and focuses on what needs doing. Time to find what works for you, what locations motivates you to get stuff done?

Strategically match your energy and focus level

 Some of us like to have an early start to the day, some prefer to work late. “I am a morning person before the world is up I am already grinding and hustling, I am a late person more like nocturnal-I am my best when everyone has retired to bed”. I am sure you have heard such statements and declarations. You don’t have to do what the next person is doing, because its not about them its about you giving it your best. When is your energy levels at its peak,or better still when do you start feeling weary?

Its about knowing yourself and understanding how your mind and body works. You need to find out what works for and when you are buzzing with higher levels of energy. Its about you and not me because we are all unique. Are you a later afternoon person, a Monday person, a mid-week person. How does your mind and body operate. Take a step further and be more strategic to make the most out of your energy levels. So why not schedule your work to match your energy levels and focus on more demanding tasks, get them done and over leaving the less demanding things when you are hovering near zero energy level. Think of it as a way of getting organised.

You also need to understand your mindset and how it affects your focus. If you can only focus for a limited period, break your day into shorter periods. Give you self 20 minutes to focus taking a break of 5 minutes or so doing something that dazzles you before going back for another 20 or 15 minutes. Its not about how long you are doing something but whether you are actually getting the results.

‘Finished last’ will always be better than ‘Did not finish’, which always trumps ‘Did not start.’-Unknown

© 2017, sheconquers. All rights reserved.

16 Comments on 8 ways to get things done even when you’re totally unmotivated

  1. Thank you for this nicely detailed, I have to agree with the change of environment, it has helped through writing of long dissertation, almost there

  2. Been feeling unmotivated lately this came at the right time I always have to remember my why and keep going thank you ladies you have no idea how much you motivate me ❤

  3. My excuses gone, can’t talk about why l am not done doing stuff, what l needed is what you dished out here, bang on stuff

  4. Wow I’m so motivated. For the past few years I feel I have lost my drive and touch I’m not the same goal driven and motivated person I used to be i want my old self back. I’ve giving up on my dreams. I need help.

    • Its often sometimes we get diverted from our paths due to a number of reasons. A number of militating factors can cause your drive to wean off. As you will notice, even the very most motivated person can sometimes feel down. Its about constantly reminding yourself of your purpose, goals and vision. Reading affirmations and networking with positive and driven people are just but a few ways of how you can kick start your drive.

  5. Nice article. I really like the ‘ refresh your self on why you are doing it’ part. I guess with the end result in mind, I see myself achieving so much more. Incentives have always worked for me and I think an accountability partner would too.

    • Hi Zulie, it always help because along the way we forget why we started on a project or business. So sometimes you need to remind yourself about the very reason so it will give you a the kick you need most

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