Blogger | Teacher
One of the biggest struggles that everyone must face sometimes is figuring out what to do on days where you lack motivation to do anything. Let me set the scene: you have a long list of chores, work, and responsibilities that you need to complete, but no motivation to get anything done. Instead, you feel stressed and anxious, unable to do anything. Sound familiar?
Trying to figure out what to do when you don’t want to do anything at all can be a tricky challenge. For those struggling with days when you lack motivation, here are some tips and tricks to help deal with your stressful slump and still make the most of an unmotivated day.
Make a List
The best way to try and manage the days where you lack motivation is to create a list of everything you need to do. Oftentimes, we have a general idea of what needs to get done, but we become overwhelmed when we try and think about everything at once. We have homework or chores, bills to pay and mouths to feed, or responsibilities and work.
Everything begins to feel like a mountain of responsibilities that need to get done all at once, and it can be hard to feel motivated when you start to feel overwhelmed. So the first thing you need to do when you feel this way is to make a list.
Write down everything you think needs to be done: laundry, making dinner, going to the bank, studying for your exam – whatever it is you need to do, write it all down. It’s a lot easier to manage things when you can see them rather than simply letting the list build inside your head.
Decide What Needs to Get Done and What Can Wait
After you’ve made your list, the second thing you should do to help deal with the days when you lack motivation is to decide what needs to get done and what can wait. A huge problem with lacking motivation and feeling overwhelmed is not recognizing what is a “must-do” and what can be pushed until later.
First, look at your list and see what has a deadline. If you have a paper or an assignment due, write down the date that it needs to be turned in so you can see what you need to finish first. Maybe you know that you’ve run out of clean socks or haven’t washed your sheets in a few months, so you should throw those in the washer first so that you have them available tomorrow.
If you have things that need to be finished first, start with those. It can be hard if you don’t have the motivation to do them, but crossing out the responsibilities with a time limit can really help decrease your overall stress and anxiety and get the motivation ball rolling.
Take a Break and Walk Away
Sometimes, the best way to handle the moments where you lack motivation and can’t find the energy to do anything is to simply take a break and walk away. Go read a book for a while or watch an episode of your favorite show. Maybe take a moment to paint or draw or re-center your energy with a yoga Youtube video.
It’s okay to take an hour and walk away – not everything has to be completed in one sitting. If you’re struggling to finish the last few work tasks or can’t concentrate on your assignment, step away and allow yourself a moment to breathe. Finding motivation also means recognizing when your body needs a break.
Forcing yourself to finish something when you aren’t in a good headspace will only make you more stressed and will produce subpar work. So take a break, breathe, and come back when you’re ready to finish.
Exercise, Sleep Well, and Eat a Well-Balanced Meal
One great way to deal with days when you lack motivation is to make sure you are taking care of your body. Sometimes we become so stressed and overwhelmed by our responsibilities that we set our physical needs to the side and forget about them. Then, when we lose steam and become unmotivated, we don’t even have the energy to make sure our physical needs are being met.
If you feel that you’re getting into a funk and need to find a way to get motivated again, taking the time to eat, sleep, and exercise can greatly increase your headspace and improve your energy.
Don’t put your physical needs second to your responsibilities – ensure that you care for yourself and your body. You may be surprised to find how much simply eating a good meal, going for a walk, or getting a good night’s sleep can improve your motivation.
Remind Yourself That You’re Doing Your Best
At the end of the day, dealing with days when you lack motivation can be difficult if you don’t take the time to recognize that you are doing your best. It can be easy to feel like you’re a failure or you’re being lazy when you can’t find the energy to do anything. We tend to blame ourselves when we feel like we’re not being productive enough
However, some days are just hard, and your energy might not be where it needs to be. You’re tired and overwhelmed and you can’t keep track of everything that needs to be done. It’s okay to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You got up this morning and did as much as you could and sometimes, that’s just going to have to be good enough.
Cut yourself some slack and recognize that you are a person doing their best.
Be Realistic About What Happens if You Don’t Finish Everything
At the end of the day, sometimes we lack motivation because we aren’t realistic about what happens if we don’t finish everything. We become overwhelmed by our list of responsibilities and don’t realize that not everything has to be done today.
What’s the worst thing that happens if you don’t wash the laundry today? You may have to wear dirty socks, but it’s still something that can wait until tomorrow. If you don’t go to the grocery store, maybe you’re stuck eating whatever you can find in the house. Whatever the consequences, more than likely leaving something until tomorrow won’t be the end of the world.
If you’re realistic about what happens if you don’t finish everything, you can start to relax and the stress will slowly fade away into something manageable. Once you feel calmer, trying to find motivation will be much easier.
You may even surprise yourself and finish everything on your list. But even if you don’t – even if you only do one or two things today – you still did the best you could and that’s good enough.
Do you know of more ways to deal with days when you lack motivation? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.