How to be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

Most people in the world have had those low points in life. Those points where they are almost completely unmotivated to do anything. Where you’d rather stay in bed than tackle that endless to-do list. It is even worst for those with depression, when those negative, crippling thoughts entire your mind. It causes self-doubt, feeling and hopelessness and guilt.

I used to think before that I was lazy, or that I lack drive. However, I started to realise that I wasn’t alone in this feeling and so many people around me also suffer from this. Depression is an illness that many people gloss over because it doesn’t manifest itself physically like other common illnesses do. Regardless, it is just a serious and can affect one’s livelihood.

In recent times I have tried to make the conscious effort to stay productive even when I’m not motivated. I share this with you in hopes that something on this list may improve your day-to-day living. As we work together to beat this slump and depression. I know that some of the items on the lis might be difficult, if not near impossible for those with intense depression. So don’t force yourself, just do your best and celebrate what you’ve accomplished for the day.

How to be productive even when you're unmotivated via Naomi 'N Doll

How to be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

Start With Your Most Challenging Task

I know, why not start with the easier, smaller tasks? However it has been shown that we as humans like to put off our most difficult tasks off for last. You think, ‘oh I have time, I can do this tomorrow’. But tomorrow is always a day away, and you end up putting off that task till the very last-minute. So why not do the opposite and tackle it first? After accomplishing that tedious task, you’re bound to get that feel-good feeling. That is going to motivate you and your other tasks will seem like a piece of cake in the end.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Remember what I said above about celebrating what you’ve accomplished for the day? This helps with productivity as you’re able to motivate yourself. Say you’ve cleaned out your room after it being in array for weeks, that’s something to get hyped about. You’ve tackled something new, something big and you should feel proud of yourself. Your accomplishments are never too small to celebrate as it will motivate you and fill you with positive feelings. If even for just the time being.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t force yourself, just do your best and celebrate what you’ve accomplished for the day” quote=”‘Don’t force yourself, just do your best and celebrate what you’ve accomplished for the day'”]

Give Yourself Breaks In Between

There’s nothing worst than tackling a lump sump of tasks all together. You’re more likely to throw in the towel that way, I know I have. When I was at university, I used to hate sitting down and studying. I quickly lost interest if I sat down for long periods of time, trying to study. To combat that, I do the 15:5 ratio. Which is I studied for 15 minutes, and then took 5 minutes break. That helped with breaking up my most text heavy subjects and it was like a work then treat method.

I try to apply that to my daily life now too. If I have a large load of laundry to hand out to dry, I’ll try to do as many as I can in 15 minutes. Then I’ll browse on my phone for 5 minutes, but I’ll try not to leave the immediate area, so I won’t forget that I still have a task to carry out. This method helps as it breaks down your tasks so they seem less daunting, and you’re less likely to abandon them.

Be Held Accountable

Some tasks are easier to get through when you have someone who will hold you accountable. I do it with my boyfriend, we tell each other our plans for the day, and we update each other on what we’re doing at the moment. However I believe you should be somewhat careful in picking the person that you want to share that with. You will want someone who you know and trust, who understands you. I say this as you’ll want someone sensitive to your state, especially if you’re depressed. You don’t want someone who is going to berate you and make you feel sucky for not doing what you said that you would.

You’ll also want someone who won’t quickly forget about you, thus causing you not to be held accountable.I used to use my blog as a way to be held accountable, but it didn’t work out for me. This was because I didn’t have anyone checking up on my progress, so the big fanfare that I made, went to the wayside.
So tell someone you trust your goals or tasks (even if daily), let them check in on you. Having someone there is going to make a world of difference, trust me.

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you have a friend hold you accountable, you’re more likely to accomplish your goals” quote=”‘If you have a friend hold you accountable, you’re more likely to accomplish your goals'”]

Make A List

I just love lists, you can tell from this blog alone. When you write things down, you’re more likely to remember them. I like to keep mine in a notebook where it’ll be safe and where I can easily check them whenever. When you make a realistic list, all the things that you have to do is manifested in a tangible format. This also ties in with breaking bigger tasks into short-term goals. As you go through the list, you tick off each item, accomplishing each short-term goal. This means that you will get more things done in the end and you won’t feel like you have an endless list of things to do. You can even expand to weekly lists, where everyday you have a set of things to do. Therefore the time spent wondering ‘what to do next’, is channeled into the actions.

Inspiration is Key

Sometimes when you’re down and out, you wonder, what is the point? I feel anyone can relate to having that feeling at least once. To combat that feeling, I recommend finding inspiration. It is something that has helped through so many days. You can start your mornings with motivational quotes, end your nights with a book about someone who started from the bottom and made it to the top. During your breaks and downtimes, you can start a Pinterest mood board (expect a post on this in the future). A little daydreaming never hurt a soul, and it can become the driving factor being what you do.

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you can dream it, you can do it:” quote=”If you can dream it, you can do it”]

How do you accomplish your tasks or get things done when you’re just unmotivated? I’d love to read the comments that you leave down below.

32 replies on “How to be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated”

I do agree with starting your “Most difficult” task first .I would say however that if you’ve been stuck in a rut for sometime (through depression, procrastination or something else) then accomplishing any task – no matter how small – can be enough to get you out of the rut, into the swing of things and ready to tackle larger items.

Thanks for sharing these tips! Often times I feel like I’m trying to juggling a bunch of things at once and create more stress for myself. This is a great reminder that it’s important to take breaks and not be so hard on myself!

That’s good advice – I’m not depressed but I can suffer from being immobilised from feeling overwhelmed by everything I have to do. Then I remember that I am the boss – everything I have to do is set by ME!

I need to remember to give myself breaks in between I always try to do too much at one time in one setting and that is not good. Thanks.

It’s really vital to stay productive even when I feel completely unmotivated sometimes. This content is very informative and helpful.

Great tips! I always try to celebrate my accomplishments, no matter how small they are because even if I feel like I haven’t done anything productive I can count something small as an accomplishment, which boosts my mood and confidence!

Good tips!

For me, what works best is realizing that I am just useless work-wise after about 4:30 pm. So I do the big or dreading tasks first thing in the morning (Eat That Frog). Sometimes, it helps ti just clean my home office up and add flowers. There is nothing less motivating to me than a completely messy desk. When my work space is clear, my mind is clear.

Same here. I hope to do a post on a clean and fresh work place. I think it has been affecting my product recently.

Great and easy ideas. Exactly what I needed to read right now. I am planning on being super productive those upcoming 3 days before my friends are coming to visit. Lets try out your tips right now πŸ™‚

Very good tips. I’m all for making a list and having an accountability partner. When you write things down and have someone to answer to, it definitely gives you an extra push to get them done! My fiancΓ© is that person for me.

These were really wonderful tips, I’ve found them really helpful! I’ve currently been in this unmotivated slump since the new year so I’ll refer back to these to sort me out πŸ˜€ thanks for sharing!


Lists are definitely one of my ways to get things done! Or I forget, I love the excitement of ticking things off when i get them done aswel haha. We do tend to put off harder tasks but recently I have been trying to start with the harder things.


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