How to Motivate Yourself When You Feel Like Doing Nothing

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I feel like the last year has taught me so much about motivation. In particular, self motivation.

Since I essentially run my own business and work for myself, there is no one here to kick my butt and tell me what to do. There’s no one here to motivate me or give me orders and deadlines. This is both good and bad. Good because I’m not too fond of people telling me what to do, & bad, because well, I have to tell myself now.

Don’t get me wrong, as much as I preach motivation there have certainly been many days/week/months where all I want to do is lie on the floor for five years and do nothing, you know?

There are days where I’m exhausted from editing, emails and taking photos that I am REALLY NOT feeling inspired to sit down and write an essay of a blog post. There are times when working out is the last thing I want to do & the thought of stepping on a treadmill could probably make me cry.

But I pour a cold brew coffee & do it anyway. Why? Because it’s all up to me in the end. If you want results, you have to put in the time & effort, especially when you don’t feel like it.

For those times you’re feeling unmotivated, like you want to binge watch an entire season off netflix instead of crossing off your to-do list, here’s a few things that might help.

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Remind yourself of the end result: Ask yourself, what do you want to gain from all this? Why do you want to be motivated? A lot of people tend to lose sight of what they’re goals are which is often why they lose motivation. If it’s blogging you’ve lost motivation with, find out why you’re blogging to begin with & where you want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

Workout: Nothing makes me feel more productive than working out. Seriously though, if you’re ever in a rut, sweat it out. I’m really enjoying swimming to clear my mind lately, running to alleviate stress & lifting weights to get me focused. Do anything that gets you moving and active. A hard workout can keep me motivated for days!

To-do lists: The night before or as soon as I wake up, I write down 5 things that I have to tick off. I usually start with the hardest because once it’s done, it makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something so that gets me motivated! I’ve been doing this for the past few months and it’s really helped a lot with being productive. I literally feel so lost when I start the day without a list… like where do I even begin? This type of system also helps a lot if you tend to feel overwhelmed when it comes to tackling tasks.

Reward: Give yourself something to look forward to in the end. A netflix binge and glass of wine feels SO much better when you know you’re deserving of it.

Time management: When I have a task on hand, I usually create a deadline for myself (it’s what would happen in a normal 9-5 job, right?) I use a time-block which is just life changing when it comes to efficiency. I’ve mentioned before, I use Google Calendar to basically organise my life. I switched over from the apple calendar as I find it so much better – you can colour coordinate everything (yes yes I’m very OCD but what’s new), it syncs to your phone and google maps, it automatically adds events from your email, & I just find it much more professional.

Don’t leave things to the last minute: In fact, don’t leave them at all. When something pops up on your to-do list, even something as simple as doing the dishes, don’t opt for the “I’ll do it later” approach. Things build up and that’s how you get stuck behind. Do things right away, keep on top & the accomplishment you feel will keep you motivated.

Find inspiration: Instead of scrolling endlessly through social media, use it to inspire you! Visualization is very powerful. I usually rely on images to help me stay inspired, which then of course gets me motivated. For example, if I need motivation to take photos or write more blog posts, I’ll start looking up bloggers on Instagram – I do this weird thing where I scroll back to their beginning days & see how far they’ve come. Creepy? Maybe, but I swear it works. It makes me realize how much someone can improve and accomplish & usually in such a short amount of time. I find photography inspiration and quotes on Pinterest to keep me going, and I’ve recently been using my tumblr as a new outlet. I think it’s important to tap into new outlets to stay motivated and create fresh content.

Create a morning ritual: My morning routine is everything. I mentioned in this post that it literally shapes & sets the tone of my day. I have a very specific routine when I wake up that involves no technology, a workout (the best time to clear my mind), essential oils (love this one for mental focus), COFFEE, an energizing breakfast & writing my to-do list.

Step away: Sometimes you just need to take a break to feel refreshed and ready to get back into it. Breaks are essential to regroup but just don’t stay away for too long, that can end up doing more harm than good.

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That’s it from me! SO tell me guys, do you have any secrets for getting yourself motivated? Please do share!

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  • jodie.keith

    To do lists massively help me – I have a massive one on my phone I work through. I love the idea of adding things as soon as you wake up, though!

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

    • They’re the best! I keep mine in my “reminders” app in my phone :) it’s so effective – you need to try!! Xx

  • Such a good post! My number one tip for getting motivated is working out (just as you mentioned). Not only makes it my body feel good but I don’t get as restless when doing other things which keeps me focused and motivated! :)

    Ellen x
    http://thatsellen.blogspot.com

    • Thank you Ellen! Yesss totally agree. It’s my number one tip too :) healthy body = healthy mind! Xx

  • Camilla

    Really great post! Lately i’ve read a lot of articles about motivation but you really capture the essence! My problem is the “why are you doing this”. I’m studying to be a veterinarian, and I absolutely love it. Yet the dream-job is like 6 years away. Any suggestions to smaller goals I can reach? I feel so unmotivated when I know how far away my goals are.

    • Aw thank you so much Camila! I can actually relate to you a lot, I have the same thing with the gym (it feels like my end goal is SO far away) but you just have to remember NOW is the time that’s most important – it’s when you’re putting in all the work that’s going to pay off later. Every life changing goal is achieved by a series of tiny steps and every day you’re getting closer. Celebrate small achievements too, like handing in assignments, & going through exams – learn to love the process! Good luck with your studies, it seems like forever at the time but nothing once it’s over! xx

  • This is me everyday haha. Great tips, especially the first one x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    • Haha it’s so hard to snap out of. Thanks so much Lauren! xx

  • I really appreciated this post today! I have so much to get done and am not feeling motivated at all. Thank you for reminding me to focus on the end goal!

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

    • Ohh thank you so much! That makes me so happy, I’m glad I could help a little :) !! xx

  • Allison

    Ugh I reaaaally needed this today!

    • So glad I could help you out a bit! Starting is ALWAYS the hardest!! xx

  • Ashley Christabelle

    I was in a blogging rut after finishing posts about my trip in London and found myself scrolling through Bloglovin to find a myriad of inspiration! Totally worked out. And sometimes, when I lay awake at the middle of night, that’s when a good idea will pop up in my head, haha!

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

    • Oh I’ve been there so many times.. not fun! Bloglovin is great to find inspiration. I find myself scrolling through it every now & then too! YES I totally agree with the middle of the night thing – all my best ideas come then too :) xx

  • I hate feeling unmotivated it’s such a horrible feeling to shrug off especially when it’s SO easy to just sit around and watch one more episode! But it always feels amazing when you’ve had a productive day and can reward yourself afterwards! I always find getting into a good sleeping pattern and waking up earlier the best way to get stuff done :) xx

    • Almost too easy!! Yes totally agree Daisy – so spot on :) getting into a good sleeping pattern works wonders xx

  • love this! i’ve been trying to get my morning routine down but I still have issues with being on my phone HA.

    • Ha you and me both! SO HARD to put down sometimes, right? It’s definitely a work in progress for me haha xx

  • The career path I hope to take means I would have to work for myself (which does sound very appealing not having anyone telling me what to do!) but it is definitely essential to keep yourself motivated! This is such a brilliant post with some stunning photography!

    elwillmer.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

    • Ooh what’s your career path? :) working for yourself definitely has it’s pros & cons, but then again so does working for someone else! Aw thanks so much Ellie!! :) xx

      • I really want to become a photography, specifically a wedding photographer! Yes definitely there are always pros and cons to everything, just have to pick the one you think is most suited to you :) xx

  • Such a helpful post! I’m defiantly struggling with some laziness and lack of motivation, but this has helped me look at it in a new mindset. Going to go get productive!
    xx Dany | The Queens Empire

    • Thanks so much Dany! I’m so glad I could help. <3 xx

  • Great post and the tips. Staying motivated can be so hard sometimes!

    • Thank you!! I know, it’s such a struggle! I definitely have my days but it’s nice to know we’re not alone :) xx

  • Working out makes me feel so good too, i especially like to go on a morning run and the rest of my day always becomes more productive x

    https://wineandwhine99.wordpress.com/

    • YES! Totally agree – it’s the best thing ever! Always gets me into a good mindset :) xx

  • This post is simply the best. That’s exactly what I needed to read! I’ve had quite a few times recently where I didn’t feel like I was being productive and doing my best, but in September I want to start afresh, set new goals and be more efficient in my day-to-day tasks. I really need to stop leaving things last minute, I do that all the time and I always regret it in the end. I’ll be taking in all your advice to hopefully be more motivated! What also helps me sometimes is music, either pop music when I need a boost of energy, classical music to work in a quiet environment… I think this could help a lot as well! :)

    Julia xx
    Last post: Madrid Photo Diary | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/holiday-diaries-hola-from-madrid.html

    • Ohh thank you Julia! I’m so happy for you – starting afresh will do wonders :) the start is always the hardest, you just have to get into a good routine. YES completely agree, I love music to keep me motivated! Great tip! xx

  • This post is amazing! I think that everyone definitely feels unmotivated at times (I know I definitely do, maybe too often!) and this kind of inspiration is always so useful in those times :) Thanks for sharing!

    Akino | akinokiki.blogspot.ca

    • Aw Kiki thank you so much, you are too sweet!! It’s so nice to know we’re not alone :) xx

  • whenever i feel not motivated to do something i like stepping out of the situation and taking a walk to just clear my mind and after, i usually feel so much better and ready to get work done.

    loovelle.blogspot.com

    • Yes, so true! I love that. Stepping away always gives me a fresh perspective. Thanks for sharing Elena <3 xx

  • I like the idea of stepping away, that always helps me
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    • It helps me too! Sometimes all you need is to take a step back to see things from a new perspective :) xx

  • Love these tips as I can relate to most of them!! My number one motivation tip is to CLEAN MY APARTMENT! Once I do that, and I have a clean space, I am so motivated to tackle my to-do lists! I also LOVE the reward system, I’ve been using that to motivate myself. Lastly, I’m starting to create a productive and ENJOYABLE semi-regular morning routine which will help me work on sub goal tasks and then reward myself at the end of the month! I think it’s all about consistency and rewarding yourself properly :)

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

    • Oh yes totally agree with the cleaning!! When I’m surrounded by mess I literally can’t focus. Thank you for sharing your tips Lisa – LOVE them :) xx

      • You’re welcome! Cleaning is AWESOME! It’s therapeutic, productive and then makes you want to work in that newly cleaned space! :D

  • These are such awesome tips. I always write a to do list and feel super accomplished when I can tick off a bunch of items off my list. I hope you have a great week.
    Elise xo
    http://www.thewaterwanderer.com

  • Mandy DeFabrizio

    I LOVE this!! You def just topped my all time favorite bloggers list! You’re so personable and relatable.. like literally everything you say in your posts I’m like YUP, MHMM. (Like the staking bloggers to their beginning days.. I do that all the time!) It’s crazy! Love your blog. Keep it up girl :)
    Amanda
    http://www.carmelalatte.com