Motivation guide
Image: Stokkete/Shutterstock

The motivation guide: How to work when you really don’t want to

16 Jun 2017

From the Monday morning blues to getting that Friday feeling, there will always be times we don’t want to work. Here’s how to get on with it anyway.

We’ve all been fed up going into work sometimes. Even when we love our job, we can all have those days when we have zero motivation and can’t seem to get anything done.

None of this means you’re bad at your job, or that you’re in the wrong line of work. It’s completely normal to feel unmotivated from time to time.

Future Human

A lack of motivation could be from external factors such as stress at home. It can also be from a particularly busy period at work where you’re feeling run down.

Whatever the reason, the nature of our work often doesn’t lend time to those unmotivated moments. Therefore, we need to find a way to power through them.

When you have a looming deadline or a big project but you have no motivation to work on it, you need to find a way to drum up some productivity.

Luckily, we have some tips that will help you pull through.

When you’re stuck on a particular task, leave it and come back to it later. Starting afresh with something different can give you a new perspective and help jump-start some productivity.

Rewarding yourself is good, too. Sometimes you can decide to work through something until it’s done and reward yourself afterwards, but when your motivation levels are at rock bottom, it can be more beneficial to give yourself the treat beforehand.

When you have a giant task in front of you, even just the thoughts of it can drain the motivation from your body. Try to break it into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can tick off in stages to help yourself get through it.

If you already have a to-do list that’s giving you stomach pains, tear it up and write a new one. Write it in a more manageable way, taking into account your current motivation levels. Break up the big tasks again and keep it realistic.

If you’re still feeling distracted, take a walk. Even when you feel like you don’t have time, a proper break can help you get straight back into the zone when you return to your desk. If you can go for a quick stroll outside in the fresh air, that’s even better.

For more tips on how to keep working even when you don’t want to, check out the infographic below.

The ultimate motivation guide

Infographic: NetCredit

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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