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There are certain days when you feel energized and ready to climb mountains but there are also other days when you feel tired and unmotivated. These are the days when you need to be particularly mindful of your schedule so you can actually get some work done.
Today I’m gonna share with you the latest approaches on how to get into a productive mood and start working even when you don’t feel like it at all! In this post, you’ll find 13 unusual ideas to pump yourself up and get the ball rolling.
Earlier I talked about dealing with laziness in general, and this time we’ll look at specific, actionable things you can do quickly to get motivated to work RIGHT NOW.
The ability to get yourself together and don’t rely exclusively on your mood for getting work done is one of the most important qualities for a productive person!
How does mood affect productivity, according to science?
Even though there are many productivity factors that influence your workday, your mood is practically on top of it all. Psychologists agree that being in a negative mood affects your productivity in many bad ways even if you are consciously trying to be positive.
Working in a bad emotional state makes you get distracted more easily, especially by negative thoughts. You tend to take breaks more often and may struggle to focus on a task. Working in a good mood is associated with producing better results, being more flexible, and coming up with more creative solutions.
What are your personal triggers that can improve your mood? Define them and use them if possible before you proceed to the steps below.
For starters, think of something that always makes you smile! Studies have shown that even a fake smile makes you feel better as this specific muscle movement is connected to releasing the “good” neurotransmitters to your brain – and those directly influence your emotional state.
Make an effort to up your mood so you can make the most of your day! Here are a few quick ideas that may help lift your mood right away. When you are done, read on to see what you can do to get your actual work started.
Here are 13 things you can do to put yourself into a productive mood when you don’t feel like working. Follow them to the T and get ready to get things done!
13 ways to get into a productive mood right now
1. Lock your entertainment away
Let’s be honest, one of the biggest hurdles we often face that stops us from being productive comes in the form of entertainment-based distractions.
Here is a friendly suggestion: consider locking away your entertainment. It might seem tough at first, but just try it and see how much free time you suddenly get for working on your goals!
One way to do this is by getting a lock box from Amazon. You can use it to temporarily store your phone or TV remote, making it just a little bit harder to mindlessly reach for them when you are trying to be productive.
By putting some distance between you and those tempting distractions, you stop them from harming your productivity and give yourself a better shot at focusing on your work.
Think of it as a gentle nudge to remind yourself of your priorities. When you have to put in a little extra effort to access your distractions, you might be more inclined to stay on track and concentrate on the task at hand. Plus, once you’ve completed your work, you’ll enjoy your leisure time even more, knowing that you have truly earned it!
2. Use ChatGPT as your motivational coach
If you still aren’t using ChatGPT, you should give it a try!
There is hardly any limit to the ways of using it, so you can be creative and talk to it as you would talk to a friend.
For example, I asked ChatGPT to be my harsh coach and motivate me to start working, and here is what it said:
There was more to it, but this was already enough to make me wanna go do something. If you aren’t as easily convinced, feel free to continue chatting with ChatGPT and ask for more. If anything, you can always ask it to be even harsher!
As an AI tool that doesn’t have to sleep and can talk to many people at once, ChatGPT is literally available 24/7 to provide you with support, guidance, and a listening ear whenever you need it!
No more waiting for appointments or paying hard-earned money to expensive coaches – ChatGPT is right there when you need to get into a productive mood or hear a fresh perspective on your problem.
3. Make use of body doubling
Body doubling is a productivity technique that has gained traction on platforms like TikTok, particularly among people with ADHD. The concept involves having someone, whether a friend or a stranger, be your “body double” while you work on tasks. Their presence creates a sense of accountability and a focused atmosphere, making it easier for you to concentrate and stay on track.
If you are wondering how having someone else in the room can make such a difference, it’s all about the power of social influence. When there’s another person working nearby, you might feel the urge to also start working and resist distractions. This can be especially helpful if you often find yourself procrastinating or struggling to get started on tasks.
The concept of body doubling seems to work especially well for routine tasks people don’t wanna do. More and more people go live on Tiktok filming themselves doing chores, so viewers can keep them company and be productive as well.
4. Use the 5-second rule
If you haven’t heard about The 5 Second Rule book by Mel Robbins, she talks about a simple way to start implementing something right away when you got an idea.
The main point of the book is using a so-called 5-second rule. It says that whenever you decide to do something, count from 5 to 1, and then physically move in the direction of doing it.
Apparently, there is a window of about 5 seconds after you make a decision and before all the doubts and excuses start kicking in. So you need to act on it before your mind starts questioning it! This is explained really well in this short animated video:
Use this 5-second rule whenever you need a productive day, especially if there is a deadline of some sort.
5. Review your long-term goals
Reviewing your long-term goals is a powerful way to get into a productive mood.
Take a moment to reflect on what you want to achieve in the future and how today’s tasks align with those goals. This gentle reminder of your dreams can act as a compass, guiding you toward the work that matters most.
It will also pump you up with motivation and you’ll get to work with renewed enthusiasm!
When you are reviewing your long-term goals, you can also reassess your priorities and make any necessary adjustments to your daily workflow. Doing this regularly helps you stay on track and ensure that your daily tasks are genuinely making a difference.
6. Try a virtual coworking
Joining a virtual coworking is a brilliant idea for boosting productivity and cultivating a sense of connection. Especially if you work alone and/or at home, this might be exactly what you need to become more efficient.
By joining an online community like Flown, you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your determination and drive. These shared virtual workspaces create a warm and supportive atmosphere that will inspire you to stay focused and achieve more by the end of your day.
If the concept of virtual coworking is new to you, Focusmate might be a good place to try it. You book a specific time slot for your project, and the app matches you with another person. Then you hop on a video call to share your plan for the session and check in at the end to share results.
By engaging with others in the online community, you can exchange ideas, get insights, and even find new goal-oriented friends!
7. Visualize success
Visualizing success is like giving yourself a powerful pep talk. Just imagine yourself finally reaching your big goal and enjoying the fruits of your labor!
This positive vision will feel absolutely amazing and spark your determination! Make sure to imagine in detail the reward you get, how it changes your life, and how you’ll feel when you get there. Keep this mental image close to your heart as you work, and let it inspire you to stay motivated and handle challenges with grace.
Let your imagination guide you, and remember that you have the power to make your dreams a reality!
8. Use an app to focus
Forest is a free mobile app I love that helps you stay focused. It counts the time that you work without distractions and with every successful time period, you grow a new tree in your forest.
I’ve tried a lot of applications aimed at keeping you focused, but this one is the only one that actually works for me. I love the way they use the Pomodoro technique through growing beautiful forests full of trees. They literally get you hooked on productivity!
Besides, Forest not only serves as a practical tool for keeping you in a productive mood but also makes you feel accomplished as you can see a visual representation of your hard work every day.
As you witness your digital forest flourish with each productive session, you develop a sense of pride that gives you motivation and encourages you to continue nurturing your productivity forest by putting in more work.
9. Say productivity affirmations
We already determined that your mood plays a crucial role in your productivity, and the best way I know to raise it is through the power of positive affirmations.
These empowering statements can help you cultivate a winning mindset, setting the stage for a successful and fulfilling day. By reciting productivity affirmations at the start of each day, or whenever you feel your spirits weakening, you’ll be gently tuning your mindset in preparation for a productive work session.
Take a moment to craft affirmations that resonate with you, and make them an integral part of your daily routine. With each affirmation, you are reinforcing your belief in yourself and your ability to accomplish great things.
10. Put money on the line
If you are serious about your goal but, for some reason, keep procrastinating, money can be a good incentive. Stickk is a tool that makes you lose money if you don’t stay committed to your goals.
Putting a small amount of money on the line can transform productivity into a thrilling challenge. By creating a tangible consequence for not meeting your goals, you’ll be motivated to push through and stay on task.
This friendly bet can serve as the spark you need to take responsibility for your progress and triumph in your accomplishments, whether they are monumental or modest.
11. Watch a motivational Ted Talk
Watching a motivational TED Talk can be incredibly inspiring.
These talks, delivered by experts and visionaries, are brimming with insights, experiences, and strategies to help you overcome obstacles and reach new heights. Listening to these empowering stories will usually motivate you to at least move a finger in the right direction, if not change your life completely.
Whenever you have a 20-minute break or find yourself procrastinating, watch a Ted Talk about productivity and channel it for instant motivation!
12. Promise yourself a reward
Sometimes when nothing else works, you need to motivate yourself in a more aggressive way. Promise yourself something pleasant that you will only get when you do a certain amount of work. Make it measurable so it’s hard for you to cheat and it will feel like it was worth it when you get the reward in the end!
Our brains have a complex system that responds to dopamine (a neurotransmitter that is released when we expect a reward). The way it works is that it motivates us to do the work so we actually get the promised reward. This has been working on both humans and animals since ancient times and we can use it to our advantage when it comes to self-motivation.
It may be a hot bath, time with a good book, a beauty appointment, or a delicious treat. Whichever feels good as a reward for you, try it! You won’t need this kind of motivation as soon as you create a habit of working every day but it’s a foolproof solution you can turn to until you do.
13. Start small
Facing a massive pile of work can be overwhelming and intimidating, to the point where you might just want to stay in bed all day long. Instead, a small easy task that will only take a few minutes to a couple of hours usually looks doable and not scary at all.
If you have a big project on your plate, break it down into smaller tasks until you have many little ones that can be each done in one sitting. This way you eliminate the subconscious fear factor and can simply dive into your work for a more productive day.
To ease yourself into a flow state, set a timer and commit to working for just 10 minutes. This short, focused burst of activity can help you build momentum and often leads to longer, more productive work sessions as you become immersed in your task.
More productivity tips for a productive mood
Keep track of your habits
There are a ton of beautiful and free habit trackers like Habitify available these days but a simple grid in your daily planner can be just as effective if you don’t mind a bit of drawing.
With every habit you may be implementing into your life, you only need a few days or weeks in a row of doing it to make it stick. And as soon as you made it into a habit, you don’t need to rely on your willpower to do it every time, you just do it without thinking.
Marking every habit as successful at the end of the day gives you a feeling of achievement and good daily performance. As you start keeping track of your work as a habit, at some point you get a streak long enough that you won’t want your mood or laziness to ruin it. You worked so hard to get there so why would you start all over again?
When you are working from home, it’s easy to procrastinate for too long, oversleep, or just put the work off until tomorrow. That’s why at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I had “Business” as one of the things to track in my habit app. It simply meant that I had to do some work for my business every day. Not without ups and downs, but I came to the point where I don’t think about it anymore: I just go straight to the home office as soon as I’m done with my morning routine. Try it for yourself!
Have a to-do list
The process of getting into a productive mood becomes much easier when you have a clear picture of what exactly you need to get done. Not only it helps you clear your head and lifts some pressure off you, but it also lets you prioritize your tasks easily as you clearly see them all in front of you.
I use a minimal to-do list app for my daily tasks and an online planner for bigger projects. Both have free versions that are enough for most personal use. But you can totally just write your daily tasks on a piece of paper if that works for you!
When you have a to-do list created in advance, you will never face the question “what to do now?”. You already have a list of things you need to check off in order to call this day a good and productive one, so better start now!
Make your home office fun
If you still don’t have a dedicated place at home for the office, create one! I mentioned this before as one of the most important factors that influence productivity (check it out if you haven’t yet).
Compare two versions of yourself:
- one YOU is lying down very comfortably under the blanket with the weight of a laptop full of TV shows on top
- another YOU is sitting behind the desk at your fun but professional home office, surrounded by motivational stuff
Which YOU do you think will be more likely to start working?
It’s really hard to get into a productive mood when you are sitting in front of Netflix or Youtube feed or playing with your pet. Sometimes there are too many distractions that you need to deal with before you can be an effective home worker.
Go into your dedicated home office space first thing in the morning, limit your interactions with family and fur babies, turn off everything that you don’t need for work, and just sit there for a minute. When there is nothing else you are allowed to do and you already sit in front of your laptop, you might as well start doing something useful!
Dress up for work
Walking around in a plush robe or in a cute pajama set may be cozy and comfortable but it may also mess with your productive mood by giving you a relaxed weekend vibe instead.
By dressing up as if you were going to a corporate office, you are giving your brain familiar signals so it understands that it’s time for work soon! Strict business attire is not necessary but make sure to at least not wear anything that says “bedroom” to your home office.
You can still get away with a pinch of coziness by wearing a warm cardigan over your buttondown + jeans combination!
Final words on how to get into a productive mood
Now you know how to make yourself work even when you are not in the mood! Use these steps whenever you need to get some work done but don’t feel like it.
Remember that your mood is temporary! Inspire yourself regularly with inspirational quotes and positive affirmations to prevent your mood from going down as much as possible! It’s easier to maintain a good mood than to pull yourself out of a slump every time.