How to Get Stuff Done When You Don’t Feel Motivated to Do Anything

This week, I shared a poll with readers over in our Facebook community.

The question was,

What’s your biggest challenge in time management?

Out of four selections, nearly one hundred percent of the responders chose:

  • wasting time/distractions
  • feeling unmotivated

A very few responded with either

  • not enough time in my day, or
  • too much to do

Of course it’s very human to feel unmotivated, or struggle to stay focused.

But do you know what’s also very human?

Work.

Lots of stuff to do.

Responsibilities, deadlines, and demands on our time and resources.

I think this is why we can feel so stuck!

The responsibilities of being an adult never end, they’re not always fun… and sometimes we don’t feel like messing with any of it.

Ever been there?

How to Get Stuff Done When You Don't Feel Motivated to Do Anything | Kristy's Cottage blog

Remember the post I wrote called Let’s Be Productive This Year, Not Just Busy

In that post, I shared another poll response from our end-of-the-year reader survey.

One-third of the women who responded to that survey described their biggest challenge in 2017 this way: 

  • I get overwhelmed thinking about everything I need to do, and then I give up and do nothing.  

Do you see a common challenge here? 

I see it.

And I’m pretty sure that we all deal with it.

So how do you get stuff done when you don’t feel motivated to do anything?

I can tell you what works for me, and I’d love to hear what works for you too.

Get up and Just do the Next Thing

I read about this concept when I was a young wife and mom, and it was life-changing! 

You know those days when I wake up and feel motivated to do absolutely nothing? (Do you ever have those?)

On those days, I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about how I feel, other than to own it (I feel yuck, and it stinks.) 

I think about whatever is “next” in my life, and I get up and start doing it. 

Sometimes that means I 

  • get out of bed and work out
  • get the day rolling with homeschooling
  • get dressed and fix my hair
  • prepare for a church service, and the responsibilities that involves
  • start a meal
  • enlist the the kids in putting away clean laundry
  • make a phone call, or tackle my inbox or Messenger
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On the days when it’s really easy to feel so overwhelmed by “everything,” I just get up and do the “next thing.” 

If you always keep a “next thing” mindset, then you’ll never sit down and quit.

Set a Timer and Go For It!

Sometimes, doing the “next thing” feels like a huge hurdle.

On those days, I set a timer and go for it.

I don’t always feel up to a huge project (laundry, a work out, cleaning the house, a work-related task).

How to Get Stuff Done When You Don't Feel Motivated to Do Anything | Kristy's Cottage blog

But I know I can work hard for fifteen minutes, an hour, or however long I set my timer for.

Most times, I end up feeling energized and work even after my timer goes off. 🙂

And if I don’t, at least I know I got a strong start.

By the way, this works with kids too. 🙂

Cultivate Habits

If there’s a challenge I really want to push through, I try to think of a habit I can cultivate to help solve the problem.

I recently read a fascinating article about the power of habits.

According to studies, more than forty percent of actions performed by people on a daily basis are not determined by actual decisions, but habits. 

In other words: we probably don’t really think about nearly half of the stuff we do every day.

We just do them.

Out of habit.

Think about it!

Everything from our thinking patterns and vocabulary, to the foods we eat and the stuff we buy at the storeit’s all powered by habits.

It just makes sense that developing new, positive habits will lead to positive changes in our lives.

Enjoy a Reward

Rewarding hard work is a tactic that moms and teachers use a lot with kids.

I think it works for adults too. 🙂

Now, I don’t reward myself with a donut when I work out.

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That would be kind of self-defeating, right?

But I do sometimes enjoy something fun or relaxing after I’ve pushed through a challenge, or completed a goal.

I’m sure you’ve heard the jingle,

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

It’s true.

Hard work and motivation have their place.

But it’s okay to re-center, enjoy some downtime, and even celebrate what you’ve accomplished.

How to Get Stuff Done When You Don't Feel Motivated to Do Anything

Proverbs 13:19 declares,

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul!

Nothing feels quite as “sweet” as finishing a task or reaching a goal!

Even God, our Creator, took pleasure in His work. 

At the end of the week of Creation, Scripture records that

God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Remember this, friend: 

We bring glory to our Heavenly Father, both through our hard work and our enjoyment of all that He has made for us.

Work hard, push through your challenges, and then don’t forget to celebrate and rest a little too. 

Here’s to living and loving well- 

xoxo,

Kristy

P.S. Want more inspiration for living well? 

“7 Surprising Habits of Productive Women”- your free gift for subscribing!



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