How Can I Be Productive Without Motivation?

Motivation is rather hard to catch though, isn’t it? Some days you feel it, and other days you can’t grab an ounce of inspiration no matter how hard you try to be productive. You stare at the computer screen, forcing yourself to type, create, develop, and instead you find yourself simply going through the motions, endlessly scrolling through your social media feed, barely caring about the work you’re producing. Needless to say, you’re totally uninspired, and you don’t know how to make yourself feel otherwise or how to be productive at work.

Well, worry not, because we’ve all been there. And we have real and practical solutions for getting back that lost motivation and getting a job not just done—but completed with a sense of achievement. Read on for four (4) tips and tricks that’ll get you motivated and how to make your day more productive.

1. Try Some Project Management Tools

To stay on task, ensure you’re using a project management tool like Wrike, Trello, or Asana. With these apps, you can learn how to improve efficiency at work by letting it help you track your priorities. Even when you don’t have the capacity to continue with a project, use an app or a tool to jot down your ideas and better sort your list. Instead of being overwhelmed by everything you need to do, spread out tasks and prioritise, and determine steps that can be broken down into smaller tasks, and what can wait until later.

A project management tool provides you with the ability to easily establish a hierarchy of tasks for effective and efficient completion. It also lets you indicate which steps are sequential and which tasks are dependent on one another. In turn, this makes it easier for you and the team to do their work.

2. Change your environment

Being in the same place for the majority of your work can drain productivity. Instead of confining yourself to the same area, opt to work in a new corner of the office or in your home, at a different coworking table, or work remotely if possible. Try different coffee shops, bookstores, or outdoor balcony if you have one. If you’re stuck in a cubicle or at a desk, be sure to set timers to take periodic breaks during the workday to freshen your perspective.

Making changes to your environment makes it easier to do what’s right without having to think about staying motivated. If you set up your surroundings that fits, making the best decisions comes easily, then you can set yourself up to practice better habits. Often, we think that change comes from within.

3. Set yourself a time limit

Instead of forcing yourself when you’re unmotivated to begin a task you’re dreading, use timers to break down the project. For example, when writing a long proposal or report, set a timer for 15 minutes to work on an outline. Then set another 15 minutes to work on the introduction and conclusion. Then another 20 for the body of the report, and so on. Place your phone away and keep only the tabs you need open on your computer. Keep your head down and work without allowing yourself to get distracted. When the timer beeps, see how far you’ve come and feel good about the progress you are making. Take a quick break and do it again. This is one of the ways in how to stay focused and productive at work.

The important thing in here is to stick to your schedule. Don’t let yourself stray off the course that you’ve mapped out. You have a limited amount of time. Don’t ruin the schedule. Take your schedule, allow it to guide you, and you’ll be able to accomplish more.

4. Take A Stroll At The Park Or In Nature

A change of scenery, fresh air and a little exercise can do wonders for your motivation. Walking in nature—as opposed to a busy urban street—can be especially beneficial.

A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that walking half a mile through a park reduces brain fatigue. Being in nature offers a calming effect that rejuvenates the brain—which can help motivate you to tackle a tough task.

So rather than walk down a crowded street, go to the park or a botanical garden instead. Being surrounded by nature can provide the mental escape you need to return to your project feeling more motivated than before.

Everyone has dealt with motivation issues at one time or another. The way you respond to your lack of motivation is what matters, however. Be kind to yourself, experiment with strategies that increase your motivation, and ask for help if you need it.