How To Get Motivated When You Really Don't Want To Work

How To Get Motivated When You Really Don't Want To Work

Are you feeling worn out from end of financial year? Or feeling the tug of a Netflix binge? If you're struggling to get motivated to work when you really don't feel like it, I get it. And here's how to try and overcome it. 

1. Reward yourself

I’m a big believer in the persuasive power of rewards. Mine usually involve a glass of cold bubbles. This time (you know it), it’s an episode or two or my favourite bad guys, Walt and Jesse. Hank, when are you going to catch on?

2. Break down the job

Then it doesn’t feel so much like work. This is especially helpful if you haven’t started it yet. We all know that starting is often the hardest part. So, maybe I’ll think I have to write a blog post so I’ll start with the title. Then I'll check the title in Coschedule and do a graphic in Canva. Then I’ll jot down some bullet points around the post. Then find a few images. And then flesh out the content. By that stage, it’s pretty much done! 

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3. Make a list

The power of lists! I love them. I’ll write done the most inane things like “send that email”. But writing lists motivates me to get on with the job. Just the process of writing them down fuels my enthusiasm for a project, if only for a short while! I’d write down all the steps from the point before and then take great satisfaction in ticking each one off.

4. Remember why you’re doing this

Maybe it’s for the money. Or a cause you believe in. Or you want experience in a different area. Or because you know you enjoy it once you get going. Take a moment and think about why you’re doing this particular job and keep that in mind. There was a reason you said yes to this job and client. Keep your eye on the prize. 

5. Have a whinge

There’s something so liberating about getting things off your chest. That’s evidently why water coolers were invented - a means of bringing together colleagues for a good old whinge. Call up a sympathetic friend or just your hapless partner and let it all out. You’ll feel much better and hopefully motivated to get on with the job. 

6. Take a break

Go and have lunch or coffee with a friend and talk about totally unrelated matters. Go for a walk. Read a book. Have a nap. Cook dinner. Just switch off for half an hour. Sometimes you can get too fixated on everything that needs to be done which is a surefire way to overwhelm and exhaustion. 

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7. Cut the crap

Look at your to do list and see what’s just taking up vital space? Prioritise what you need to do and do that first. For example, deadlines are more important than non deadline work, paid jobs more important than blogging. 

8. Put yourself first

This is a hard one especially for working parents as we regularly tend to put ourselves last! This week I was going to set up activities for my kids but then I thought, “actually, they can just stay home and play together.” Let’s keep it simple: no driving, no pickups, no coordination. One less thing. Phew. It was a relief. 

9. Set a knock off time

As freelancers, we often tend to keep working till the cows come home. And then some. But we also need to relax and get our beauty sleep so we can keep going the next day. Plus, by setting a end time, we’re effectively giving ourselves a deadline. Which is often the best motivator of all. 

What lights a fire under your unmotivated bottom? 

About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, SEO copywriter and Squarespace web designer based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves boosting freelancers and small businesses with web designSEO content and digital marketing strategy. She writes an awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff". Lilani also blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.