No Motivation to Do Anything? 8 Tips for Lack of Motivation!

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If you feel tired and lazy all the time and simply can’t find the energy to do anything, you will likely suffer from a lack of motivation.

40% of high school students in the US suffer from a lack of motivation. 52% of all employees do not feel any joy at their work – the reason: lack of motivation and no drive.

However, if you don’t feel any drive, this may result in serious consequences. In this article, we explain what lack of motivation is, where it comes from and how you can recognize it. Afterward, we will give you 8 tips to help you regain your motivation.

Jump ahead to any of the sections below:

What Is Lack of Motivation?

The term lack of motivation describes the state when you have no drive or energy to do anything. As soon as you lack one of the two to some extent, you lack motivation.

When energy and drive are out of balance, there is a lack of motivation. Simply put, this means that your energy level affects your motivation and vice versa.

When you experience a lack of motivation, you tend to be passive and have less self-confidence than usual. You may feel unmotivated, even in a festive mood. As mentioned above, your motivation depends on your drive and energy level.

However, lack of motivation itself is not an illness but a symptom in itself. When it becomes chronic, it’s a leading symptom of depression. 

Lack of Motivation: Causes and Symptoms

Lack of motivation is not just the simple feeling of being unmotivated. Instead, you feel limp, tired, and powerless. On top of that, you are irritated faster and radiate negative energy.  

The reasons for lack of motivation can be:

  • Stress.
  • Lack of self-confidence.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle.
  • An unbalanced diet and vitamin deficiency.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Missing goals in life.
  • Metabolic diseases like hypothyroidism.

Lack of motivation can also be caused by a hormonal change in the body, such as during pregnancy. 

Anything that has a negative effect on your energy level and drive can be the cause of lacking motivation.

No Motivation to Do Anything: How It Ruins Your Life

Old tired man

There are many reasons why you should overcome a lack of motivation. However, the biggest reason is: No drive equals no growth.

It’s no big deal if you feel unmotivated from time to time and prefer to hang around and do nothing instead of being productive. However, if this state turns chronic, you should do something about it. 

The longer your lack of motivation drags on, the harder it will be for you to get back into a regular pace later. Even little things like drinking water regularly or maintaining a regular sleep rhythm will potentially become a problem.

As soon as you notice that it’s getting harder and harder to get started and every little task seems like a huge challenge, you should become active and do something about it.

8 Tips on How to Regain Motivation

Good thoughts and intentions alone are often not enough if you have a lack of motivation. You have to become active and tackle the problem at its root. Here are 8 effective methods that can help you to do so.

Tip 1: Change Your Perspective

Mistakes and setbacks can be frustrating. If you make the same mistakes over and over again, you will feel discouraged and demotivated. As a consequence, the lack of progress will pull you down.

Imagine being an artist, but lacking the motivation to try a new style of art. You always paint the same way and are disappointed because you don’t see any improvement in your work. 

The solution: Change your perspective on problems. 

Usually, there is more than one way to tackle a problem. Looking at things from a different point of view will show you new ways.

Changing your perspective not only awakens your creativity and helps you regain your motivation, but it also helps you to overcome your lethargy.

Tip 2: Focus on Your Intrinsic Motivation

Motivation can be intrinsic and extrinsic. 

Extrinsic motivation is based on external drivers, such as rewards, money, status, and praise from others. You receive positive criticism or have the prospect of a bonus and are thus motivated to make further efforts.

This type of motivation is good for overcoming your lack of motivation in the short term. As soon as you receive the reward, in most cases, your drive will decrease again.

Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is your inner drive: your convictions, values, and your why. It arises from within yourself and your experiences. If you are intrinsically motivated, you do something because you like to do it and because you are convinced of it.

As with so many things in life, you need to question your intrinsic motivation and visualize it in order to find your drive and motivation again. A clear vision of your goals gives you a new impulse towards being motivated.

Only if you are convinced of something and really want it intrinsically, you will be able to work on it consistently. Ask yourself why you want to do something and why you aren’t motivated at the moment. Maybe one reason is that you actually don’t want this particular thing.

You can find more detailed information and examples of the different types of motivation in this blog article.

Tip 3: Make Your Own Decisions

Woman raises fists in the sky

Surely there has been a point in your life where you felt like you were not free in your decisions. Maybe you went to a university your family pushed you into or you are not moving to a new city because of your partner.

Start to make your own decisions, for example: 

  • Enroll in a course of study that you want or find a compromise in an open discussion with your family.
  • Ask your boss to expand your area of responsibility. Show him where you have already proven yourself and what advantages he has when he gives you new tasks.
  • Try to reduce your number of work hours to get more free time to work on your online business.

If you feel like making your own decisions, you gain a feeling of strength. You will feel motivated and actively approach your plans. Whenever you feel helpless, or pushed around, remember, that you can always make your own decisions.

You take responsibility for your life and show that you can make your own decisions. This not only strengthens your self-confidence, but also the appreciation of others towards you.

Tip 4: Take Good Care of Yourself

As a person lacking motivation you often neglect yourself. You feel tired, exhausted, and powerless. A low energy level has not only consequences on your mental health but also on your physical well-being.

The reason for a low energy level is usually a lack of self-care and an unhealthy lifestyle. If you compulsively try to be productive, you overwork yourself, sleep too little, move around too little and eat unhealthy food, then it’s very likely that you will experience a low energy level and feel tired all the time.

That’s because, on one hand, you fall into mental fatigue, and on the other hand, you don’t give your body the care it needs to go through the day full of energy. A lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet will do double damage to your drive and thus lead to a lack of motivation.

Therefore, pay attention to your body and a healthy lifestyle. Here a few tips how to do so:

  • Sleep with a high sleep quality.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Exercise (a walk, workout or gym).
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Practice mindfulness (through meditation or for example yoga).
  • Prime yourself to positive energy.

Tip 5: Don’t Doubt Yourself

Over the years, through failures, you create an inner critic who holds you back in your motivation. The more goals you miss, the greater the voice of the critic inside you becomes. 

Imagine the following situation: You admire a successful writer who tore your text apart without any reason because it doesn’t sound like him or her. Since then, you have the feeling that you don’t know how to write a single sentence. 

The more you think about it, the more powerless you feel.

Negative experiences make you lose faith in yourself.

Therefore, it’s important that in moments of doubt and missing motivation you become aware of your past achievements in life. Consciously reflect on your successes. These can be everyday things like, for example:

  • You got out of bed right away without staying in bed for another 10 minutes.
  • You cooked by yourself instead of ordering food.
  • You meditated for several minutes, although you did not intend to do so.

Make a list of all your successes and take a look at it when you’re lacking motivation. Over time, you will internalize it and reprogram your thinking – from self-doubt towards a healthy self-confidence.

Tip 6: Create a Motivating (Working) Environment

Young business woman

Getting up at 5 am in total darkness and sitting in a windowless office, working with outdated technology sounds incredibly demotivating.

Make your working environment as pleasant as possible. 

  • Make sure your desk is tidy and you enjoy sitting at it.
  • Surround yourself with plants, for color and better air.
  • If possible, upgrade the tech you’re working with.
  • Have a drink within reach.

If you are free to decide on your working hours, let your biorhythm guide your schedule. Find the working hours that you feel most productive and avoid unproductive lows.

Just as important for your drive is your personal environment. If you surround yourself with people who motivate you and radiate positive energy, this will inevitably rub off on you. The same applies to negativity.

Try to reduce the contact with negative people to an absolute minimum and spend your time with positive people.

Tip 7: Focus on a Healthy Competition

Competition is a good motivator, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

By definition, competition stands for emotional contest for prestige, power, or affection. It drives you and makes you overcome your limits.

These drivers for competition can be other people or yourself. For example, if you work as a freelancer, bidding on a project, your competitors will drive you to make the best pitch and bid possible.

To make use of competition for the sake of motivation, you don’t have to be in an open battle with someone. You can see yourself as a competitor. Like a runner who tries to beat his best time in every run.

Give yourself a time limit to do a task. Check your time upon completion to see how far you got. It’s possible that you underestimated your own abilities and that you can do more than you thought you could. This will give you new motivation and help you gain the confidence to continue.

No matter if you compete with others or against yourself: Competition can be an effective way to overcome a lack of motivation and find a new drive.

Tip 8: Divide Your Goal Into Small, Feasible Steps

A big driver of lacking motivation is the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you only think about all the many things you have to do to reach your goal, it suddenly seems nice to just crawl back into bed and do nothing. Simply getting started usually doesn’t help in such situations.

If you feel overwhelmed, take your big goal and break it down into many smaller steps. 

Even if it seems at first glance that your goal consists of just a few steps, such as writing a novel or an eBook. In theory, you just have to sit down and start writing. In practice, however, the fear of the plain, white page keeps you from getting started.

To tackle this more efficiently, divide the goal into small steps: 

  • Open writing program.
  • Write a sentence.
  • Write a paragraph.
  • Write 300 words.
  • Save.

The important thing is that the small steps are feasible for you. Don’t plan on writing 1,000 words a day if it’s too much for you. Because if it is, it will only fuel your demotivation even more. 

300 words may not seem like much, but repeat this process every day, and you will write 2,100 words a week, in a totally relaxed manner. 

Over time, you will regain your motivation step by step and begin to increase the amount of words per day automatically.

The smaller the task, the less resistance you will feel.

Conclusion

Lack of motivation is a state in which you are not only demotivated, but also tired, exhausted, and worn out.

Overcoming lack of motivation has a lot to do with your mindset and how you treat yourself. The key is to maintain the balance between energy and motivation.

You can improve most of your behavior and be motivated again.

It won’t happen overnight, but developing an awareness of how you are doing and what the reasons for your lack of motivation are is the first step in the right direction.

Another important thing is that you let go of the idea that you have to be motivated at all times. A low level of motivation doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t change and regain motivation.

Rather, celebrate your small successes, because they will motivate and cheer you on.
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