What To Do When You Feel Unmotivated
In the past, I often used to feel unmotivated to sit down and do the work. Almost every single day I noticed the excuses coming up as they tried to talk me out of my work. In other words, procrastination was looking for its way to creep in — and often it managed to convince me to do something else (like placing my books in the right order on my bookshelf)
However, as someone who helps content creators, entrepreneurs and other high achievers raise their personal performance, I learned a thing or two about the psychology of motivation. So, fortunately, I’m now quite easily able to break through the excuses and generate the motivation to start working.
So, if you ever find yourself procrastinating more than you’d like because you struggle with getting motivated, I’d recommend you read this post carefully.
Discipline Versus Motivation
There are a ton of gurus out there who claim that you should ‘just be disciplined’ and disregard motivation if you want to achieve anything meaningful. I don’t agree.
Don’t get me wrong, discipline is incredibly important and it helps you to get your work done. But disregarding motivation is a mistake.
When you truly understand the mechanics of motivation, you’ll make your (work)life so much easier. The truth is, you can generate motivation at your own command if you understand the psychology behind it.
Motivation, unlike claimed by many, is not random. It’s not something that just happens. Like every other effect, it’s caused by something.
When you understand this, you no longer have to force yourself to do the work, which can sometimes be a drag on your overall mood and energy level. Rather, you use the power of motivation to your advantage.
Personally, I believe we should make our work as fun as possible. When you spend so much of your time on this planet working, why not enjoy it as much as you can? In fact, it has been proven that being happy at work makes you more productive, which is a key component of success.
Power Versus Force
Where forcing yourself to do the work is like swimming against the current, getting yourself motivated to do the work is like swimming with the current. Both will result in getting the job done, but with a completely different mood and perspective.
For the first approach, you’ll need to use a lot of force in order to get to your desired destination. For the second approach, you’ll make use of power in order to get to your desired destination.
This is something that David R. Hawkins writes about in his book Power vs Force. He describes force as ‘something that changes the momentum of an object. It’s something you do to get certain results or try to project onto others.’
Whereas he describes power as ‘something that already resides from within. There’s no need to apply force because it’s already there and omnipotent.’
Force is intrinsically incomplete and therefore has to constantly be fed energy. Power is total and complete in and of itself and requires nothing from outside of itself.
Because force has an insatiable appetite, it constantly consumes. Power, in contrast, energizes, gives forth, supplies, and supports.
In other words, we need to learn how to use power (motivation) instead of force (discipline) if we want to quickly & easily stop procrastinating and improve our productivity levels — and that’s what we’re going to dive into right now.
How To Generate The Power of Motivation To Stop Procrastinating
The most likely reason why you feel unmotivated is that, temporarily, you are in a lousy state of mind. From that state of mind, you don’t feel like doing the ‘right’ things that move you upward in life.
This state of mind can be caused by many different things. The most common ones are:
- Feeling stressed
- Sleeping in
- Excessive drinking & being hungover
- Hanging out with unmotivated and unambitious people
- The lack of clear goals & priorities
- Watching a lot of TV or Netflix (especially when done in the morning)
- Scrolling through social media (especially when done in the morning)
- Snoozing a few times before waking up
- Eating bad foods that create energy crashes or a heavy feeling
If you find yourself engaged in one or more of the above-mentioned points, chances are that you’ll pull yourself into a lousy state of mind. From that state of mind, it’ll be incredibly hard to feel motivated to work, study or exercise.
So, as an antidote, you need to apply a few state change ‘hacks’ to go from a lousy state of mind to a peak state of mind. This is exactly what you have to do every single time in order to go from unmotivated to highly motivated.
Getting Into A Peak State of Mind
You’ve probably been into a peak state of mind yourself a few times (hopefully many times). It’s that state of mind in which you just feel like you can take on the entire world. You’re ambitious, you crush your to-do’s and you feel like a total badass.
You want to do the right things, eat the right foods and do what’s good for you and your future. No way that you’ll procrastinate in that state of mind.
Unfortunately, most people rarely experience days in which they’re in a peak state. And that’s absolutely something that has to change if you want to stop procrastinating.
Therefore, you’ve got to integrate so-called peak-state habits in your daily life. Most of these ‘state change habits’ involve the use of your body, as the way you use your body massively determines your psychology and emotional state.
Change the way you move, change the way you feel.
What you do with your body is a huge determining factor in the way you feel and the state of mind you’re in. That’s why, whenever I need to change my state, I do things like Wim Hof breathing exercises, take a cold shower, meditate or do a quick workout. This immediately changes my physiology, which has a direct effect on the neurons in my brain, which in turn puts me in a happier, more energetic and motivated mindset. Don’t forget, the mind and body are incredibly connected.
On top of that, it’s critical to feed your mind the right things if you want to get into peak state. You’re not going to get into peak state if you’re playing video games or watching Netflix. Rather, do some of the following things to get into a peak state of mind:
- Exercise and move with your body
- Do breathwork exercises (Wim Hof style breathing for example)
- Take cold-showers
- Do affirmations
- Review your goals
- Read (self-development and business books)
- Listen to an inspiring podcast
- Watch a motivational video
- Focus on the pleasure you get from doing the work instead of all the ‘pain’
- Focus on the long-term consequences of not doing the work
All of these habits feed your mind and body in such a way that you’ll feel more inspired, motivated and focused on the important things in life. Implement a few of these habits in your daily life and you’ll automatically find yourself less and less in a lousy state, and more often in a peak state.
This is, in my opinion, a much more enjoyable and effective way to get yourself to do the work. You use the power within your own body and mind rather than forcing yourself to do the work.
For those days in which you do still get into a lousy state, try to change your state as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll become. So, move with your body, do some rapid breathing exercises, visualize about your goals, review your goals or watch a motivational video to get into a peak state immediately. From this state of mind, you’ll find it much easier to work hard, crush your goals and stop procrastinating.
For today I decided to watch a short motivational video, take 10 intense breaths (to generate energy), do 20 kettlebell swings and focus on the long-term consequences of not doing the work (miss out on potential income, no audience growth etc.). This helped me to generate the necessary motivation to work with power, rather than force.
Now Do It
Successfully changing your state at will, over and over again, is what will set you apart from the rest. It’s what will help you perform at the highest levels, stop procrastinating and do the things that are right for you and your future.
Instead of having to force yourself to do the work, you make use of the power that’s already within you (as cheesy as it sounds, it’s true). Try it for yourself and see what these state changes will do to you.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab
Learn How To Stop Procrastinating:
Do you procrastinate more than you’d like? And does it limit your growth and results in life? Learn how to break the procrastination habit once and for all! Feel free to download my 18-page guide ‘How To Stop Procrastinating’ right underneath.