We all have days when we just can’t get motivated, when we’d rather stay in bed or do anything except our work.
I’ve been having a whole week of those days. I just couldn’t find the energy or enthusiasm to work on paperwork or my many projects, which led to stress and worry about not getting things done, which led to lack of energy and enthusiasm…
Sitting and staring at my to-do list wasn’t helping, so I made a list of what was killing my motivation and how I could bring it back to life. If you’re feeling unmotivated, maybe you could do the same.
Here are the top three culprits that got me stuck in a rut:
Too darn hot
If you live in the UK, you’ll be all too aware that we’ve had a heatwave. Some people have been loving the sun. I definitely have not.
Hot weather is not my favourite and I can easily feel ill if I’m not careful. I burn quickly, my asthma gets set off by heat and I generally feel tired and grumpy. There were some days when all I could do when I got home was sleep. Obviously not ideal working conditions!
There were a few things I did to counteract these issues, like drinking lots of water, staying in the shade as much as possible, using sun cream and making lists of things that I can do even when I’m not feeling well. However, the main thing was accepting that this was out of my control and, especially living in Manchester, we would be back to good old British weather soon. As I’m writing this now, the sky is blissfully grey and the air is cool. Unsurprisingly, I feel much better and motivated enough to be writing this on the bus!
All by myself
I was spoiled by my experience with time-trace-place. Being in a creative environment with such wonderful collaborators was fantastic. Returning home to work alone was certainly a contrast and I realised just how much being with other creative people motivates me. Luckily, I found Productivity Alchemy, a podcast all about normal people being productive. It’s not the same as being around other creative people 24/7, but it gives me a much needed motivation boost when I have to work alone.
The ‘What now?’ feeling
I discussed this issue after last year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s the feeling you get after a big project is finished and it leaves me feeling a bit dazed.
After time-trace-place I went straight back to work (literally the morning after we arrived back in Manchester) and didn’t give myself any time to process the experience. I often fall into the trap of thinking that being efficient and productive means doing as much work as possible, but not giving myself a break has actually been counterproductive and the strange, lost feeling has lasted longer because of it. I have gone through my diary to schedule days off after big projects to avoid this happening again.