Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Some days are tougher than others, and a lack of motivation can be hard to overcome. We’ve all been there-not feeling motivated to work, and struggling to get anything done. It’s part of our everyday life at one time or another.
When you’re in this position, it can be tough to try and get started on anything. You feel like you can’t do anything right, and the day seems pointless. Those negative thoughts can quickly spiral into an all-day ‘get nothin’ done’ affair.
So what can you do? Sometimes it’s hard to know how to get in a productive mood and feel motivated.
It’s time to adjust your mindset and implement some actions that will help get you to get started on a positive track, then stay there for the rest of the day.
Here are 15 things that will make all the difference, and help you become more productive, even when you don’t feel like working.
How to Get in a Productive Mood
1. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but, indeed, you can’t go wrong with a healthy breakfast. You’ve probably been taught that since childhood, so you know how important breakfast is for your energy levels and getting in a productive mood.
In fact, people who start their day off without eating or snacking end up eating more throughout the day. And you know what can happen when you overeat.
When you don’t have breakfast your body starts to try and find fuel. It can get this through glycogen stores, but when they are depleted, it looks for other sources of power-like muscle tissue! Your body will start to break down your muscles to get enough energy to keep you going through your day.
And then you’ll feel tired and without energy, which will not encourage productivity!
The bottom line? Eat breakfast to be more productive!
2. Take a few minutes for yourself first thing in the morning
To power through your day, you have to take a few minutes for yourself first thing in the morning. If you don’t, it’s just going to be more difficult to get started on anything because of how tired and unmotivated you will feel. Taking a moment or two for yourself can make a huge difference! One effective way to do this is by meditating.
Meditation can help you release stress, feel more energized and happy throughout the day, and it has been shown to change your brain chemistry. So if it’s good for your mind, it’s certainly good for your body too!
Other types of morning routine activities that successful people engage in include stretching, yoga, exercise, deep breathing, and prayer.
The bottom line? Think about what will help put you in a good mood and motivate you as you start the day, and do it!
3. Work on something that you enjoy doing
If you are working on something that you don’t like doing, you’re going to feel less motivated. It’s just how it is. Working on things that you enjoy will give your day a much-needed boost of positivity.
You’ve likely heard this plenty of times before, but try focusing on the positive aspects of what you’re working on and avoid dwelling on the negative.
Of course, every task you need to complete isn’t going to be on that ‘enjoyable’ list, but if you can intersperse the tasks that you enjoy with the less desirable or even boring tasks, it makes the day go a little easier and helps you ultimately have a productive day.
The bottom line? When you work on something that you love, it doesn’t seem like a dreaded chore-it feels like an opportunity to do something you enjoy!
4. Take some time to relax
The productive person’s most important job is focusing on how they can move forward with their lives throughout the day. However, if you don’t take some time to relax too, it’ll feel like the day is nothing but work!
We all need a little bit of downtime to keep ourselves happy and motivated throughout the day.
There are plenty of ways you can do this, whether it be taking 20 minutes for yourself at lunch or listening to your favorite kind of music.
The bottom line? Permitting yourself to relax for a little while each day can make you more productive, and more satisfied.
5. Exercise a little bit every day
You probably already know how essential it is for you to exercise to have a long, healthy life, but did you know that it can also help you feel energized and stay focused when you return to work?
When you get your blood flow going, it’ll affect how you feel throughout the day.
Another benefit that exercise has is that when you’re in a workout routine, it becomes easier to stick with. It’s a healthy habit that will become more automatic to do, and this may influence to you create more healthy habits as you go through the workday.
The bottom line? Exercise, every day!
6. Schedule your tasks and set deadlines
If you want to be productive throughout the day, it’s important for you to actually schedule your tasks and set deadlines. This is how real-life productivity works-you have a schedule that helps you stay on top of everything that needs to get done.
If you don’t schedule things out, then chances are you’ll never get to them!
Use a bullet journal or planner to write things down, a google calendar, a to-do list, etc, to note your tasks and set deadlines for yourself. That way, it will be much easier for you to see what needs to be done and when.
Then, it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task any longer!
The bottom line? Schedule your tasks, with deadlines. Just do it!
7. Break down your goals for the day into small achievable tasks.
Another way to stay productive throughout the day is by breaking down your goals into small, achievable tasks, rather than lamenting the fact that you have SO MUCH to do!
That type of thinking can be paralyzing and take you further down the path of non-productivity.
If you start the day by creating smaller tasks that can be achieved, it will help keep you focused and give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete those tasks.
The bottom line? Break down your goals for the day into small, achievable tasks!
8. Dress like you’re working, even if you work from home.
If you work from home, this might not be easy to do but it can do wonders for your productivity! Dressing like you’re working, even if you’re doing so in the comfort of your own home will make it so much easier for you to focus.
Clothing can affect how we feel about ourselves and what we do, so wearing your work clothes might just help you stay on task and get things done!
And, you don’t have to take this to an extreme and wear your best business suit. But, trying to be productive and motivated in your jammies and fluffy slippers isn’t helping you, my friend.
The bottom line? Tell your mind it’s time to get to work by what you are wearing.
9. Minimize distractions
Whether your workspace is virtual or at the office, minimize the distractions so you can avoid getting sidetracked. This is one of the keys to learning how to get in a productive mood and stay there.
Make sure your office is well-lit and inviting, and that it contains the things that motivate you to get in a productive frame of mind. Put up inspiring pictures or objects that remind you what you’re working for!
Keep your phone (tablet, iPad, etc) out of the way while you’re working, and resist the temptation to keep checking it. Set guidelines for when you will pick up the electronics and abide by them.
The bottom line? Minimize distractions in your workspace so you can be more productive
10. Just start working on a task that you know needs to be done.
The most important thing that you can do to get in a productive mood is to just start working on the task that needs to be done.
Don’t overthink it or worry about how long it will take for you to complete-just dive right in and get started, whether it’s a big project or a small boring task.
This way, it won’t seem like such a daunting task anymore, which means you’ll actually be able to complete it!
The bottom line? Just start working on that task. Don’t take time to think about it, just start!
11. Learn your most productive time of day
When considering how to get in a productive mood, some people find mornings work best for them, while others are more productive in the evening) and plan the most important tasks for that time. Most successful people know their rhythm and routine of working and plan accordingly.
You’ve probably already realized by now that there are certain times of day when you feel like you’re at your most productive and in a productive mood.
For some people, it may be first thing in the morning but if that’s not your cup of tea, then pick another time of day, to complete ONLY the most important tasks that need to be done.
By the end of the day, you’ll have worked through the daily tasks, perhaps a large project, and know that you used your time effectively.
The bottom line? Know yourself well enough to gauge when you are most productive during the day, and maximize that time!
12. Plan for your least productive time of day
If you’re at your most productive in the morning, then chances are, you probably have a “least productive” time of day too.
This is a great opportunity to plan something really easy and not so daunting for yourself during this time. This will take some stress off and it might even help your mood improve as well.
This is an approach that has worked well in my own experience. I’m a morning person and do well through mid-afternoon with my tasks. So I schedule the hard work in the earlier part of the day, and the lesser tasks later in the afternoon.
The bottom line? Schedule the easier, simpler tasks for the time of day when you’re less productive.
13. Take regular breaks throughout your day, whatever is best for you.
Taking regular breaks throughout the workday is important because it allows you to recharge and get ready to complete more tasks when you sit back down at your desk.
A lunch break (within reason) is also an important part of continuing to make progress through the day. It’s good for your mind and body and can help bring back that lost motivation.
This is something that works differently for everyone-so take some time each day just to figure out what’s most efficient for you.
The bottom line? Make yourself take breaks during the day, even if they are short and quick.
14. Learn how to say “no”
This is one action step that you might never have thought of, but it’s important to learn how to say no to tasks that are not as essential as the things that you need to focus on.
We can struggle with these things because sometimes they’re more fun than the task at hand.
Conversely, someone might ask you to help them out, but by agreeing to do that you know you’ll be overwhelmed and then paralyzed with the inability to get anything done.
Whatever the reason, if you know in your heart that doing this thing will get you off your productivity game, then just say no! This will ease your stress levels and help you focus on what’s most important.
The bottom line? Realize it’s okay to say “no”.
15. Get enough sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is a crucial step in learning how to be productive even when you’re not feeling motivated.
Besides, a refreshed, well-rested mind will always be more productive! So go to bed on time and give yourself plenty of time to rest up for tomorrow.
And yes, I’ll say it. Plan for your bedtime. Then, make it happen.
The bottom line? Get your sleep!
Finally – don’t forget the chocolate!
Being productive doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the sweet things in life (e.g., dark chocolate has been shown to boost brain power). You deserve it!
Sometimes it’s the little things we do for ourselves that can be not only mood-boosting but help raise our self-esteem, too.
It might not be chocolate for you, but when you reward yourself for a job well done… a productive day that you powered through even though you weren’t in the mood…you set your future self up for a more positive, productive tomorrow!