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17 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You’re Feeling Lazy

  June 22

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It’s never easy to motivate yourself, especially after a bad day or when you’re stressed, exhausted, or tired. Believe me, I experience this all the time, and over the last year, I’ve tried a ton of different ways to snap myself back into action even if I don’t feel like doing anything at all.

Here are some examples:

1. Take a Break

No, really. Sometimes you do just need a break. Taking an afternoon, evening, or even a whole day off won’t kill you and won’t cause your business to end or your work out regimen to get off track forever. We’re all human and we all need a break sometimes! Just don’t make that break too long! 

2. Exercise

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” – Legally Blonde

Truer words have never been spoken, amiright? Exercise is a great way to improve your mood and get you re-motivated when you just aren’t feeling it. Plus, exercising doesn’t take too much brainpower (just endurance) so it can be a great break from some of the brain-power-sucking activities in your day.

3. Organize Your Surroundings

Sometimes my desk and work area gets so messy that I just can’t focus anymore. When that happens, it’s time for me to sort through my stuff, throw away trash, and get re-organized so I can resume my work. My creativity just can’t flow when my work space is a mess.

4. Compromise With Yourself

When your to-do list is a mile long, like mine was the other day, it can be difficult to want to get started working. But instead of feeling overwhelmed, I compromise with myself. I focus on one task at a time and when it’s done I give myself a small reward, like a 5 minute Facebook break. Breaking up long work sessions with small breaks is a great way to stay motivated.

5. Fake It Till You Make It

Once in a while when I’m feeling especially lazy and unmotivated, I just fake it. I’ve found that when I decide I’m just going to pretend like I’m motivated and the hardest working person on Earth, I actually get motivated for real in a just a few minutes. Crazy how the mind works, right?

6. Get Dressed

Working from home can make it tempting to stay in your pajamas, or yoga pants, all day. Yesterday I spent all day in my husband’s big oversized sweatshirt and today I’m wearing a dress and amazingly feel so much better! Sometimes when I’m not feeling motivated I make myself put on “real clothes” and that gets me going.

7. Find Inspiration

When you are having a tough time staying motivated, one way to get back on track is to find inspiration. For some that may mean reading inspirational stories of others who’ve succeeded at what you’re working on, or it might mean reminding yourself of your own past successes. Other times it might mean writing down or repeating an inspirational or motivational quote. I have a quotes board on Pinterest that I love.

8. Set Goals

Setting specific goals and deadlines will give you something to work toward when you start to feel lazy and unmotivated. Also, my major deadlines (like creating my course) only work when I tell someone else about them and they can keep me in check.

9. Remember Your Why

It can be especially hard to stay motivated if you lose sight of your big-picture “why“. Try keeping a reminder of your goal, like paying off debt, building savings, losing weight etc. near where you work or wake up in the morning so you don’t forget why you are making sacrifices.

10. Have Fun

Finding a way to make your work fun may not sound possible, but it often is. Make it a game and you’ll b

Everyone feels lazy sometimes, but if you want to rock out your to-do list, then you need this 17 tricks to motivate yourself!

e more motivated to keep working. I have a friend that challenges himself to write a certain number of words in a specific amount of time. If he succeeds, he gets a cookie. Literally.

11. Try Something New

When your life or work gets monotonous, it can be hard to stay motivated. Maybe it’s time to try something new. Find a new side hustle, ask for more responsibility at your job, or create a new product for your business. New and exciting things going on in your life will help you stay motivated.

12. Cut the Clutter

It’s not just physical clutter than can be making your life chaotic. Cutting out things like watching TV, negative friends, and other clutter in your mind will save you energy.

13. Make Your Time Count

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and the same 7 days in a week. It’s what you do with yours that matters. Don’t waste your time on things you don’t care about. Don’t waste your time on people who get you down.

14. Meditate or Do Yoga

Ever since I found yoga, I can’t imagine my life without it. Yoga gives my mind something calming to focus on and let’s me “shut off” my brain once in a while. Meditation and yoga give your life focus when everything else seems hectic. I never though I’d be able to do yoga given that my brain works 100 mph but it works for me. Maybe it will work for you.

15. Try a New Environment

I do most of my work at my desk in my home office but sometimes I need a break from my regular surroundings. This is when I go and work in the living room or at the coffee shop down the street. That small change in environment is just what I need to get re-motivated sometimes.

16. Find an Accountability Partner

Having an accountability partner to check in with every few days or on a weekly basis is another great way to keep yourself motivated when you are feeling lazy. I hired a coach to help me create my course, and it was the best investment I’ve made. Without him, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have accomplished it at all. Ideally, you should find someone who has similar goals as you do so you can keep each other on track. Start your own mastermind group or running club. Help others while you help yourself.

17. Create a Plan

A great habit I picked up from a motivational book I read a few years ago is to plan out the top 5-6 more important things you need to do tomorrow before you quit working today. This ensures that when you wake up tomorrow you’ll know right away where to get started.

How do you pep yourself up when you’re feeling lazy?

Everyone feels lazy sometimes, but if you want to rock out your to-do list, then you need this 17 tricks to motivate yourself!

19 responses to “17 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You’re Feeling Lazy

  1. I don’t force myself to work, so whenever I feel lazy, I sometimes take a nap or clean my working area (decluttering). Or, I create a simple plan on how I can achieve my tasks one after another.It really works for me when I think it needs to. Haha!

  2. When I’m feeling lazy, I like to just take a break and do something else, such as getting some exercise in. Doing so really helps clear my mind and helps me feel more motivated when I try working again.

  3. What a great post to read on a Monday morning! Exercising (love that Legally Blonder quote so much, btw), finding inspiration, setting goals, and creating a plan are the habits that usually get me feeling motivated again.

  4. #12 is my bugaboo. TV is a huge timesuck in our house, even after we’ve cut the cable. There’s just so much available via streaming now that cutting out the traditional subscription really didn’t make a dent.

  5. I try to take breaks when I need them, but it can be hard to convince myself to take time off when my to-do list is huge and my email keeps dinging.

  6. I’ve been working at creating a daily priority list then tackling the really hard stuff first. It makes the rest of the stuff feel like a piece of cake. I also decided to just have a super fun long day of beach volleyball because I worked hard all day saturday. Sometimes it’s necessary to get play time in…especially when it’s frugal. And I slept like a baby from happy exhaustion last night.

  7. When I’m feeling in a slump I force myself to take a break and work out. I ALWAYS feel better afterward. And then I sleep well and the next day is bright and fresh. Great list!

  8. Great suggestions. When I’m feeling lazy, it’s usually because I’m tired. A glass of ice water and a healthy snack can help, or a brief walk outside in the fresh air. But when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I try to clean up the clutter and set priorities or goals as you mentioned.

  9. Great tips ! Exercise and relaxing by doing some yoga are for me the best ways to motivate myself. Going to to the gym is relieving and efficient to be relaxed.

    Creating a plan is also crucial to be more productive. I strongly advise you to download an app to do a tasklist every day.

  10. It’s hard to get into that place of flow when I’m feeling lazy. Sometimes working out and taking a break helps, other times it doesn’t. I’m now trying to work on meditation as another strategy for my motivational tool belt 🙂

  11. I felt REALLY lazy at the beginning of this year, so I started using a tip I think I got from you… putting on make up each morning. LOLOL it’s crazy how feeling like you’ve “gotten dressed” for the day completely changes your mood!

  12. Yes to yoga!!! I’m always amazed at how focused, de-stressed and just generally clear I feel after practicing. It’s one of the few non-negotiable things in my schedule–I’ve got to have my yoga! I also do #4 all the time and make little deals with myself (ok, self, you can eat a snack after you do X)–these little internal motivations seriously do work for me. I got myself to clean the kitchen last night that way 😉

  13. I find that getting my blood flowing with a good workout or even a quick walk is the best way to boost my energy. I also compromise with myself quite a book. If I’m particularly unmotivated, I let myself do something fun, like reading one blog post, for every productive task I do. Love these other tips too. Definitely saving this for reference!

  14. I find that if my list is too long to get me started, I pick 1 or 3 things (depending on how big they are) to do that day. I try to start with the hardest. When i’ve finished I have A real sense of accomplishment even if I don’t do anything else. But isually iT is done in an hour and I’m busy the rest of the day 🙂

  15. A few things help me.
    First of all, go with the flow. Sometimes I’ll just “play” and do things I want to do like going to the park, taking a drive out of town, or even just read some magazines. It’s normal to have the need to re-energize.
    I’ll often do just a few little things, like tidy up one area in a room, do some laundry, etc. Keeping it mindless is the key.
    Watching or reading about how to complete major tasks is a major motivator. For example, when I needed to install a pantry, watching those “how to build a pantry” videos really got me excited – and moving. Whenever I used to watch that old British show “How Clean is Your House?”, I would go through the place non-stop, de-cluttering and scrubbing away. It was so inspiring.
    Finally, on a lazy day, I’ll make my “to do” lists and sometimes break them up into sections like the garden, the kitchen, etc. When we feel overwhelmed, identifying what needs to be done, how to do it, what to buy to do it, etc. can take the pressure off and help us to feel much more in control.
    Remember, it’s O.K. to take time and relax. Everything in moderation, right?

  16. That’s a good point that putting on real clothes is an important part of the day, whether you work from home or not. For me, it can help to wear something that will inspire me. I’ve been looking into finding motivational apparel that has an inspiring phrase or idea. That can make looking into the mirror a little easier!

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