Top 7 Things To Do When You Can’t Get Motivated…

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Top 7 things to do when you can't get motivated | Follow @rachelrofe for more :)A few years ago, I had a business partner who simply couldn’t make himself get things done.

He told me he had the best intentions but simply couldn’t make himself do the things on his to-do list.

At the time, I didn’t have much empathy. We were under deadline and I could not at all relate. I’d always just gotten things DONE when I wanted them done, period.

But since then… I’ve definitely had reason to gain empathy.

In fact, just a few hours ago I was getting frustrated with myself. I wanted things to happen and I just couldn’t make progress.

So I asked myself a few questions, pulled out a few things from my bag of tricks, and presto… I’m here writing my second blog post in an hour.

Because of that, I present to you in no particular order –

 “The Top 7 Things To Do When You Can’t Get Motivated”.

7. Ask yourself why. Are you in alignment with what you’re working on? Is it something that truly revs you up and excites you?

One way you can find an answer is to take a couple deep breaths and just ask your gut – “Do I want to be doing this?”

Or, if you’re too stressed to get a clear answer, take out a piece of paper. Label it “Why can’t I get motivated?” and then start writing. See what comes up. If you stick with it long enough, you’ll get your answer.

If you’re not in alignment with whatever you’re working on, be honest with yourself.

It may be time to stop doing it – whether that’s abandoning a project (I have NEVER regretted canceling a project because it didn’t “feel right”… even if my logical counterparts couldn’t understand it) or outsourcing it.

Assuming you ARE in alignment with what you’re working on, here are some more things to do:

6. Listen to classical music at 60 beats per minute. Music at 60 bpm balances the left and right hemispheres of your brain and helps your thinking and creativity.

This type of music always helps me produce better results.

I’ve bought this before and really like it.

5. Work off of a plan. Sometimes to-do lists can be random gobbledygook that ends up just being busy-work. Tim Ferriss once said something to the degree about how being perpetually busy is LAZY. People fill themselves up with loads of crap to to avoid actually thinking.

Instead of loading yourself up with work that may have no rhyme or reason… work off a PLAN.

Set a goal, plan it out (#2 on this post may help), and then create your to-do tasks based off of your plan. If you feel purposeful and know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, you will likely feel a lot better about doing it.

(Bonus if you break up your plan into small, workable chunks so you don’t feel overwhelmed.)

4. Find inspiration. There are many ways you can inspire yourself:

– Visualize what you’re doing this all for. Think about the emotions you’ll feel when you reach your goal.

PLEASE (!!!) have an emotionally-driven “why” for doing what you’re doing… and remind yourself about it.

– Identify “role models” and model them.

– Read books that motivate you (I personally love Man’s Search For Meaning (which is not meant to be motivational but it inspires the heck out of me), Do The Work,and The War Of Art. I’ve heard some great things about Outwitting The Devil but haven’t read it yet.

3. Move your body. If you feel blocked, it only makes sense to un-block your body by moving it around. This can look like going for a walk, dancing around the house, or some other kind of exercise.

One thing I like to do is just jump around and move my arms, legs, jaw… just shake everything up. It looks crazy, but it ALWAYS snaps me out of a funk.

2. Create accountability. This can look like publicly posting your goal on Facebook, having an accountability partner, or joining a like-minded mastermind where you can share your goals.

If you know that you have to report to other people about what you’ve set out to do, you’ll think twice before ignoring it.

1.  Be OK with it. If you’ve tried to get motivated, and you know that you are in alignment what you’re doing… then just let go. Sometimes these things ebb and flow. I believe everything not only happens for a reason, but for our highest good.

And sometimes letting go and not beating yourself up about it can open yourself up to magic.

For example, a few months ago, I was in a hotel room doing my best to “force” myself to create a presentation. I was set to speak in a couple days and I just couldn’t get motivated to create my PowerPoint.

I pushed and pushed all day, and nothing was happening.

By nighttime, I was getting desperate. I bargained with myself that I would order room service, finish the presentation, and reward myself by getting to go out and play.

Thankfully room service didn’t offer any options I liked, so I walked over to the hotel restaurant. I brought my notebook with me, but mostly just concentrated on eating a fantastic dinner.

Somewhere in between bites of the delicious food and looking at the beautiful aquarium surrounding the restaurant, inspiration just jumped at me.

I got out my notebook and ideas flowed like wine.

It was amazing… as soon as I stopped PUSHING, the flow came.

I suspect the same may happen for you too. ;)

I hope these help you!

If you have any of your own tips, please post them below – I’d love to hear!

 

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53 thoughts on “Top 7 Things To Do When You Can’t Get Motivated…”

  1. Great stuff, Rachel, as usual. We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell–purging, donating, selling, cleaning–and some days I just can't get motivated to do anything. I've found that eliminating distractions like the computer & TV helps a lot! Also thinking about the future–selling the house and finally moving to our new place–helps bring that goal so much closer and makes me want to work harder to make it happen. :)

  2. Great stuff, Rachel, as usual. We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell–purging, donating, selling, cleaning–and some days I just can't get motivated to do anything. I've found that eliminating distractions like the computer & TV helps a lot! Also thinking about the future–selling the house and finally moving to our new place–helps bring that goal so much closer and makes me want to work harder to make it happen. :)

  3. Its nice to be motivated at a times, its a factor that makes us more effective in which we are able to do thing worth effective… Very interesting post.

  4. Great tips, Rachel, thankyou. I find point #7 v-interesting: I think ALL emotions potentially contain valuable information – even the ’bad’ ones. Feelings of ennui MAY just be a passing mood, but they may also tell us something important. I think it’s a very important point you make – to not just wallow in a funk, but to dig a little and find the lesson/truth/insight. Clichéd it may be, but clouds really do have silver linings (as Victor Frankl discovered).

  5. Wonderful and enlightening post with so many good tips. Like many of the others I really liked the music idea.
    Thanks,
    Casey

  6. Thanks Rachel for sharing with us your 7 tips. I frequently encounter the dis-motivation blocks as well, having too many thing/roles to fulfill in short period of time, and is jumping mad and angry with myself. Time to have a good reflection and follow your tips. :)

    Cheers,
    Lester

  7. Awesome reminders Rachel, thanks! One kicker for #5 that helped me a lot today is to reduce my to-do list to just 1 single item… then do that! Instantly rewarding to see the end of the list that way (and more often than not, I can't stop at one ;o).

    • I have seen an improvement in speed but, only sotemimes. I have noticed that when I have a lot of tabs open(say 10 or so) then, my computer slows down dramatically. Not sure why. Wouldn’t mind some insight.

  8. Awesome reminders Rachel, thanks! One kicker for #5 that helped me a lot today is to reduce my to-do list to just 1 single item… then do that! Instantly rewarding to see the end of the list that way (and more often than not, I can't stop at one ;o).

  9. Very insightful & inspirational, Rachel! Thanks for not delving into "shiny object syndrome" & "close your IM and email accounts", all of which I have been afflicted with, and where I thought this was headed.

    This might be just what I needed, to get going. #5 is SO me… I've NEVER considered myself lazy, in fact quite the opposite when I know exactly what I'm doing, but I get what you're saying. And for the sake of motivation, I will consider myself LAZY from now on when I've had an unproductive day. THat'll get me going. "Small bites" often works for me, I just forget to look at the smaller picture sometimes in order to accomplish the bigger….

    MY personal funk, is often the road block (excuse) of… "this looks like a steep learning curve, will it be worth it if I CAN push through it, I'll start it tomorrow when I'm "fresh". Yeah, right… that'll happen.

    I know though, that as frustrating as things can get, there is no better feeling than ACCOMPLISHMENT and sometimes, when I'm "in a funk", I lose site of that!

  10. Very insightful & inspirational, Rachel! Thanks for not delving into "shiny object syndrome" & "close your IM and email accounts", all of which I have been afflicted with, and where I thought this was headed.

    This might be just what I needed, to get going. #5 is SO me… I've NEVER considered myself lazy, in fact quite the opposite when I know exactly what I'm doing, but I get what you're saying. And for the sake of motivation, I will consider myself LAZY from now on when I've had an unproductive day. THat'll get me going. "Small bites" often works for me, I just forget to look at the smaller picture sometimes in order to accomplish the bigger….

    MY personal funk, is often the road block (excuse) of… "this looks like a steep learning curve, will it be worth it if I CAN push through it, I'll start it tomorrow when I'm "fresh". Yeah, right… that'll happen.

    I know though, that as frustrating as things can get, there is no better feeling than ACCOMPLISHMENT and sometimes, when I'm "in a funk", I lose site of that!

  11. Thanks Rachel,

    I hope you and I aren’t the only one’s who enjoy listening to classical music while working. I’m still a decent guitar player after all these years too.

    Being a lefty, my creative brain parts interfere with staying on point for ANY project – I’m trying to launch a WSO this coming week ( should have been in MARCH though! )

    With your suggestion, I will be moving forward.

    Matt

    P.S. Nice touch with the check box below the posting box! I see it!

  12. Thanks for the post Rachel….
    I also love your living example of not waiting ( procrastination) for things (blog site) to be perfect before you take action.. good one ! …. and thanks for reminding me of the music on my hard drive :-)

    Cheers

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